Dr Mohammad Saadatfar

ANU College of Science

Areas of expertise

  • Soft Condensed Matter 020405
  • Geophysics 0404
  • Algebraic Structures In Mathematical Physics 010501
  • Petroleum And Reservoir Engineering 091406
  • Complex Physical Systems 029902
  • Colloid And Surface Chemistry 030603

Research interests

  • Effect of morphology and geometry on physical properties of microstructured porous media, micro-mechanics of granular materials.
  • Rock physics and rock mechanics
  • Granular dynamics
  • Cellular solids and foams
  • CO2 geosequestration 
  • Complex systems
  • Soft condensed matter

Researcher's projects

"Rock Physics: A study of micromechanics of rocks and granulated materials."

Collaborators: Christoph Arns and Edward Garboczi.

Gant: ARC, DP0881458 2007

Current student projects

1. Mapping Forces in Granular Media


Have you ever wondered why we only leave footprints on wet beaches not on dry sand? Or why wet sand looks dry the moment you stand on it? Or have you thought about landslides and what triggers them? Or how a large assembly of cells can pile up and form a living tissue? Answering these simple questions requires a deep understanding of the kinematics and mechanics of granular materials. There have been many developments in understanding the nature of granular materials in recent years, but to date some questions are still topics for debate; questions such as the dynamics of the interaction between individual grains and the distribution of forces inside granular packings.

At the Department of Applied Mathematics at ANU, we have the necessary experimental aparatus and computing power combined with years of research experience in the field of granular materials to address some of the fundamental questions in this area. Students involved in this project will learn to design and perform experiments to understand the nature of forces in granular materials. Parallel to the experiments, students will learn common numerical techniques such as Molecular Dynamics and the Discrete Element Method to simulate packings of granular materials. These simulations will give us the flexibility of performing virtual experiments with controlled parameters to compare with real experiments and therefore validate the results.


2. Structural Analysis of Metallic Foams


What do aeroplane wings, water filters, car floors and the 2008 Olympic Aquatic Centre have in common? They are all metallic foams in one way or another! Metal foams combine weight and strength advantages over solid metals, making them ideal materials for a variety of industrial applications. These distinctive properties of metal foams arise largely from the complex microstructure of the foams rather than the physical properties of the metal they are made of.

Thanks to the state of the art X-ray Computed Tomography facility at the Department of Applied Mathematics at the ANU, we are now able to access the internal structure of metallic foams non-intrusively. Tomography combined with the computing power of the supercomputer available to ANU researchers allows three-dimensional structural analysis of large complex materials such as metallic foams.

In this project, we aim to perform numerical analysis on existing experimental data acquired by our partner group in Germany. The experiments were carried out on closed-cell Aluminium foams tested in a uniaxial compression cell with lateral constraint. The foam samples were then imaged using X-ray CT to produce 3D digital datasets. Characterising the deformation of the foam based on cell shape/geometry is one of the main goals of this project. Also using Finite Element Methods (FEM), we will attempt to numerically predict the collapse of the metallic foams under compression.

In this project, students will learn to handle large complex structures and apply geometrical/topological calculations on them. Additionally students will gain knowldge of the Finite Element Method (FEM) which is an industry standard for structural analysis of materials.



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 May 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers