Dr Jonathan A. Black
Senior Lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering
Department of Civil and Structural Engineering
Sir Frederick Mappin Building
Mappin Street, Sheffield, S1 3JD
Telephone: +44 (0) 114 222 5110
Fax: +44 (0) 114 222 5700
My research helps to ensure the safe and sensitive transformation of our natural environment to support the infrastructure that underpins society.
dr jonathan black
Jonathan Black completed his undergraduate degree and PhD at Queen's University Belfast. During his doctorate studies he was appointed a Lecturing Assistant in the School of Planning, Architecture & Civil Engineering. He briefly lectured at the University of Plymouth and then joined our Department in 2008,becoming Senior Lecturer in 2015.
Jonathan’s research covers the geotechnics of energy and infrastructure resilience. By understanding how the ground, and the materials the ground is made up of, holds energy and acts under various external drivers, global energy supply can be secured and made more sustainable.
He aims to understand the foundation systems of offshore wind turbines; how they’re affected by cyclic loading, and whether their design can be improved to make them more resilient. He also looks at how climate change affects geotechnical infrastructure, such as embankments and slopes that support transport networks or flood defences. Another area of interest focuses how structures interact with the soil they’re in and how changeable ground conditions affects their performance. By understanding this performance and usage of buried infrastructure, such as water pipes, utilities and transport systems, and how external drivers within soil accelerate the aging process or stability, better management of infrastructure can be applied saving money and time.
Jonathan uses a range of investigative experimental tools in his research, including physical modelling with Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV), and internal visualisation of soil-structure interaction using transparent soil.
Specific research topics include:
- Physical modelling of geotechnical problems using centrifuge experimental facilities
- Transparent soils and non-intrusive physical modelling
- Foundation engineering (such as monopile foundations for offshore wind turbines)
- Resilience of infrastructure such as slopes, embankments, flood defences etc. to climate change
- Soil reinforcement though mechanically stabilised soils.
Jonathan is Director of the Centre for Energy & Infrastructure Ground Research, which is home to our 4-metre geotechnical beam centrifuge.
He is responsible for the development of Soil Interaction Learning & Teaching Suite (SILTS), which is problem-based learning through physical experimentation, observation and critical reflection to enhance the student experience. This project uses a 1-metre teaching centrifuge, which allows students to design and test their own geotechnical systems.
Jonathan is the UK representative of the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering Technical Committee 104 on physical modelling, and has served on the editorial panel of Géotechnique and ICE Geotechnical Engineering. He is also Director for Admissions & Recruitment in the department, a key leadership role coordinating recruitment activities at undergraduate and postgraduate level.
- A Rashid AS, Black JA, Kueh ABH, Mohamad H & Md Noor N (2017) Bearing capacity charts of soft soil reinforced by deep mixing. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Ground Improvement, 170(1), 12-25. View this article in WRRO
- Stanier SA, Black JA & Hird CC (2014) Modelling helical screw piles in soft clay and design implications. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Geotechnical Engineering, 167(5), 447-460. View this article in WRRO
- Sivakumar V, Lively J, Solan B & Black J (2014) Granular anchors for stabilising slopes. Géotechnique Letters, 4(4), 295-300. View this article in WRRO
- Sanvitale N, Bowman ET & Black JA (2019) Viewing Fluid Flow Inside a Granular Medium, Lecture Notes in Civil Engineering (pp. 91-97). Springer International Publishing
Conference proceedings papers
- Khan I, Al-Fergani M & Black JA (2018) Development of a rainfall simulator for climate modelling. Physical Modelling in Geotechnics (pp 507-512). London, 17 July 2018 - 20 July 2018. View this article in WRRO
- Klinkvort RT, Black JA, Bayton SM, Haigh SK, Madabhushi GSP, Blanc M, Thorel L, Zania V, Bienen B & Gaudin C (2018) A review of modelling effects in centrifuge monopile testing in sand. Physical Modelling in Geotechnics (pp 719-724). London, 17 July 2018 - 20 July 2018. View this article in WRRO
- Black JA, Bayton S, Cargill A & Tatari A (2018) Centrifuge modelling in the undergraduate curriculum—a 5 year reflection. Physical Modelling in Geotechnics (pp 533-538). London, 17 July 2018 - 20 July 2018. View this article in WRRO
- Bayton SM, Black JA & Klinkvort R (2018) Centrifuge modelling of long term cyclic lateral loading on monopiles. Physical Modelling in Geotechnics (pp 689-694). London, 17 July 2018 - 20 July 2018. View this article in WRRO
- Bayton S, Elmrom T & Black JA (2018) Centrifuge modelling utility pipe behaviour subject to vehicular loading. Physical modelling in Geotechnics (pp 163-168). London, 17 July 2018 - 20 July 2018. View this article in WRRO
- Tessari A & Black JA (2018) Development of a teaching centrifuge learning environment using mechanically stabilized earth walls. Physical Modelling in Geotechnics (pp 545-550). London, 17 July 2018 - 20 July 2018. View this article in WRRO
- Charles JA, Smith CC & Black JA (2018) Identification of soil stress-strain response from full field displacement measurements in plane strain model tests. Physical Modelling in Geotechnics (pp 835-840). London, 17 July 2018 - 20 July 2018. View this article in WRRO
- Hakhamaneshi M, Black JA & Tatari A (2016) Optical Characterization of Transparent Gelita Using the Modulation Transfer Function. Geo-Chicago 2016 View this article in WRRO
- Bayton SM & Black JA (2016) The effect of soil density on offshore wind turbine monopile foundation performance. Proceedings of the 3rd European Conference on Physical Modelling in Geotechnics (Eurofuge 2016), Nantes, France (pp 245-251), 1 June 2016 - 3 June 2016. View this article in WRRO
- Bayton SM & Black JA (2016) Evaluating the p - Y Curve Method of Analysis for Large-Diameter Monopiles Using Centrifuge Modelling. Geotechnical Special Publication, Vol. 2016-January(270 GSP) (pp 418-428) View this article in WRRO
- Black JA (2014) Development of a small scale teaching centrifuge. Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Physical Modelling in Geotechnics. Perth, Australia, 14 January 2014 - 18 January 2014. View this article in WRRO
- Black JA, Baker N & Ainsworth A (2014) Establishing a 50g-ton geotechnical centrifuge at the University of Sheffield. Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Physical Modelling in Geotechnics. Perth, Australia, 14 January 2014 - 18 January 2014. View this article in WRRO
- Forlati G & Black JA (2014) Impact of pile geometry on the installation of open ended press-in piles. Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Physical Modelling in Geotechnics. Perth, Australia, 14 January 2014 - 18 January 2014. View this article in WRRO
- Bayton SM, Black JA, Smith CC, Handley B & Primett C (2016) Challenging the perceptions of precast piles View this article in WRRO