Dr Voon Hui Lai

PhD in Geophysics, California Institute of Technology, 2020
Postdoctoral Fellow, Research School of Earth Sciences
ANU College of Science

Areas of expertise

  • Geophysics 0404

Research interests

Natural hazards, earth structure, deep earth, ground motion, environmental seismology


An observational seismologist by training, I'm interested in (1) advancing seismic knowledge towards building resilience against natural hazards and environmental changes; and (2) understanding the interconnectedness between Earth's systems. I deploy seismic arrays and perform waveform modeling (e.g., seismic source inversion, waveform simulation) to record seismic waves and reveal how waveform complexities are results of dynamic source processes and fine-scale structural heterogeneities.

My research journey has taken me to explore many intriguing problems including modeling volcanic sources and debris flows, simulating earthquake ground motion in sedimentary basins, connecting deep earth processes to their mineral composition, and understanding how solid earth-atmospheric waves couple. At Research School of Earth Sciences, I use Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS), a new generation fibre-optics based seismic array, to transform how we can perform high resolution subsurface and source characterizations, at places from rural outbacks to urban metropolitans.

Available student projects

The newly developed distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) instrument repurposes fibre-optic cables into thousands of seismometers at meter-spacing, transforming how we can image and monitor the Earth at high spatio-temporal resolution. We seek candidates who are interested in advancing cutting-edge DAS technology and big data processing to develop unprecedented high-resolution images of the Earth’s subsurface, detect micro-seismicity, and thereby relate geological observations to Earth processes. 

Project opportunities are open to Honours, Masters, and PhD students, with supporting scholarships. 



Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  25 February 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers