Faculty Profile


  • PhD (2013), MS (2011), Civil Engineering (Geosystems Engineering), Georgia Tech
  • MS, BS, Civil Engineering (Geotechnical Engineering), Tongji University

Sheng Dai is an Assistant Professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. He earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in civil engineering from Tongji University, Shanghai, China. In 2008, he joined the geosystems group at Georgia Tech, where he served as the president of the Geotechnical Society (2011-2012) and earned his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in civil engineering in 2011 and 2013. He then worked at the National Energy Technology Laboratory of U.S. Department of Energy before joining the faculty at Georgia Tech in 2015.

Dr. Dai has strong research and teaching interests in the energy and environment geoengineering fields. His group study the fundamental physical properties and bio-thermo-hydro-mechanical-chemical coupled processes in soils and rocks at elevated pressure and temperature conditions, with applications primarily in the areas of hydrocarbon recovery, enhanced geothermal systems, and geological carbon sequestration. His group explore the scientific foundations of geomaterial behavior through wave characterization, imaging techniques, and the development of unprecedented devices (including testing theories and bio-inspired sensors). His group recently got involved in methane hydrate and carbon research at DOE and the NSF-funded Engineering Research Center (ERC) for Bio-mediated and Bio-Inspired Geotechnics (CBBG).

Dr. Dai is a recipient of George F. Sowers Distinguished Graduate Student Award from the geosystems group at Georgia Tech in 2013, and ORISE Fellowship from U.S. Department of Energy in 2013 and 2014. He is now on the advisory board for Pressure Core Analyses led by U.S. Geological Survey of U.S. Department of Interior.


  • Energy geomechanics: gas hydrate; enhanced geothermal systems; carbon sequestration
  • Geomaterials: fundamental THCBM properties at elevated pressure-temperature conditions
  • Flow in porous and fractured media: multiphase flow; percolation theory
  • Testing techniques: lab/field instrumentation; X-ray tomography; inverse theory; wave characterization


  • ORISE Fellowship, U.S. Department of Energy, 2013; 2014
  • George F. Sowers Distinguished Graduate Student Award, Georgia Tech 2013


  • S Dai, J Cha, E Rosenbaum, W Zhang, Y Seol. (2015). Thermal conductivity measurements in unsaturated hydrate-bearing sediments. Geophysical Research Letters, 42(15), 6295-6305.
  • S Dai, Seol, Y., Wickramanayake, S., Hopkinson, D. (2015). Characterization of hollow fiber supported Ionic liquid membranes using microfocus X-ray computed tomography. Journal of Membrane Science, 492, 497-504.
  • JC Santamarina, S Dai, M Terzariol, J Jang, WF Waite, WJ Winters, ... & K Suzuki. (2015). Hydro-bio-geomechanical properties of hydrate-bearing sediments from Nankai Trough. Marine and Petroleum Geology. 66 (Part 2), 434-450. doi:10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2015.02.033
  • A Nasirian, DD Cortes, and S Dai (2015). The physical nature of thermal conduction in dry granular media. Géotechnique Letters, 5, 1-5.
  • S Dai, Y Seol (2014). Water permeability in hydrate-bearing sediments: A pore-scale study. Geophysical Research Letters, 41(12), 4176-4184.
  • Y Seol, JH Choi, S Dai, K Jarvis (2015). Recent advances in NETL’s laboratory studies of hydrate-bearing sediments. Fire in the Ice, 15(1), 5-9.
  • S Dai, Y Seol, JH Choi (2014). Impacts of Hydrate Pore Habits on the Physical Properties of Hydrate Bearing Sediments. AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts, B11B-0011.
  • WF Waite, JC Santamarina, S Dai, WJ Winters, J Yoneda, Y. Konno, J Nagao, K Suzuki, T Fujii, DH Mason, E Bergeron (2014). Instrumented Pressure Testing Chamber (IPTC) Characterization of Methane Gas Hydrate-Bearing Pressure Cores Collected from the Methane Production Test Site in the Eastern Nankai Trough, Offshore Japan. AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts, B11B-0014.
  • N Mahabadi, S Dai, Y Seol, J Jang (2014). Water Retention Curve and Relative Permeability for Gas Production from Hydrate-Bearing Sediments. AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts, B11B-019.
  • The Sapporo Scientific Team - Georgia Tech: S Dai, J Jang, M Terzariol, E Papadopoulos, and JC Santamarina; AIST: Y Konno, J Yoneda, and J Nagao; JOGMEC: K Suzuki, T Fujii; USGS: WJ Winters, D Mason, WF Waite, and E Bergeron (2013). Pressure core analysis tools used to characterize hydrate-bearing sediments from the Nankai Trough. Fire in the Ice, 13(2), 19-22.