Faculty Profile


  • Ph.D.(2013), MSCE (2011), Georgia Institute of Technology
  • M.S.(2008), B.S.(2005), Tongji University

Sheng Dai, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in geosystems engineering at Georgia Tech. He received BS and MS degrees in civil engineering from Tongji University, China, and MSCE and Ph.D. degrees in civil engineering (geosystems engineering program, minor in mathematical geophysics) from Georgia Tech. After graduation, he worked in the Predictive Geosciences Division at the National Energy Technology Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy. In 2015, he returned to Georgia Tech and joined the faculty in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He is an affiliated faculty in the Ocean Science and Engineering program, the Strategic Energy Institute, and holds a courtesy appointment at the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech.

Dr. Dai has strong research and teaching interests in soil behavior, geomaterials characterization, bio-inspired geotechnics, subsurface geomechanics, energy geotechnics, and flow in porous media. His group develops innovative testing techniques in combination with advanced numerical modeling to study fundamental properties and BTHMC-coupled processes in soils and rocks at elevated pressure and temperature conditions. His research has been funded by DOE, NSF, NASA, NETL, IDOT, AECOM, and Leidos. 

Dr. Dai has been recognized for his research and teaching, including being a recipient of the NSF CAREER award, ORISE Fellowship, the Bill Schutz Junior Faculty Teaching Award, and the Class of 1969 Teaching Fellows at Georgia Tech. He is an associated editor of the Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, and serves on the Pressure Core Advisory Board for U.S. Geological Survey, the GOM2 Marine Test Technical Advisory Committee for UT/DOE, the National Gas Hydrate Program for NETL, and the Task Force Leader of TC308 Energy Geotechnics of ISSMGE. 


  • Energy geotechnics
  • Advanced lab and field testing
  • Bio-inspired geotechnics
  • Flow in porous media
  • Subsurface geomechanics
  • Coupled processes simulation
  • Soil behavior


  • 2020, NSF CAREER award
  • 2017, Spotlight of Research, featured in Fire in the Ice Newsletter, NETL/DOE
  • 12/2017, Bill Schutz Junior Faculty Teaching Award, CEE/Georgia Tech
  • 2016, Class of 1969 Teaching Fellows, Georgia Tech
  • 2015 - , Pressure Core Advisory Board, US Geological Survey, US Department of Interior
  • 2013; 2014, ORISE Fellowship, DOE
  • 05/2013, George F. Sowers Distinguished Graduate Student Award, Geosystems/Georgia Tech


  • Liu, Z., Kim, J., Lei, L., Ning, F., & Dai, S. (2019). Tetrahydrofuran hydrate in clayey sediments–laboratory formation, morphology, and wave characterization. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth.
  • Lei, L., Liu, Z., Seol, Y., Boswell, R., & Dai, S. (2019). An investigation of hydrate formation in unsaturated sediments using X‐ray computed tomography. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth.
  • Dai, S., Kim, J., Xu, Y., Waite, W.F., Jang, J., Yoneda, J., Collett, T.S. and Kumar, P., 2018. Permeability anisotropy and relative permeability in sediments from the National Gas Hydrate Program Expedition 02, offshore India. Marine and Petroleum Geology.
  • Choi, J.H., Dai, S., Lin, J.S. and Seol, Y., 2018. Multistage Triaxial Tests on Laboratory‐Formed Methane Hydrate‐Bearing Sediments. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth. 123 (5): 3347-3357
  • Liu, Z., Dai, S., Ning, F., Peng, L., Wei, H. and Wei, C., 2018. Strength estimation for hydrate‐bearing sediments from direct shear tests of hydrate‐bearing sand and silt. Geophysical Research Letters, 45(2), pp.715-723.
  • Li, G., Zhan, L., & Dai, S. (2018). Influence of pore distribution characteristics on relative hydraulic conductivity in soil covers – a pore-scale numerical investigation. The 8th International Congress on Environmental Geotechnics, Oct. 28 – Nov. 1, 2018, Hangzhou, China.
  • Lu, Y., Cortes, D.D., & Dai, S. (2018). From phase change materials to the enhanced geothermal recovery. B2G-Atlanta, 14 September, 2018, Atlanta, USA.
  • Zhao, Y., Jeong, B., Kwon, T.-H., & Dai, S. (2018). Effects of motile bacteria on surface tension. B2G-Atlanta, 14 September, 2018, Atlanta, USA.
  • Kim, J., & Dai, S. (2018). Effects of hydrate on sand crushing. International Symposium on Energy Geotechnics (SEG-2018), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Sept 25-28, 2018, Lausanne, Switzerland.
  • Cortes, D.D., Narsiriam, A., & Dai, S. (2018). Smart ground-source borehole heat exchanger backfills: A numerical study. International Symposium on Energy Geotechnics (SEG-2018), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Sept 25-28, 2018, Lausanne, Switzerland.