Dr Brian Sheil studied Civil Engineering for his undergraduate degree at the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG). His PhD was a collaboration between NUIG and the University of California, Berkeley on the behaviour of pile group foundations.
In 2014, Brian joined the University of Oxford as a postdoctoral researcher in experimental geotechnics focused on industry-funded research projects and was subsequently promoted to departmental lecturer in geotechnical engineering in January 2017.
He took up his current position as a Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow at Oxford in March 2018. He is also a Junior Research Fellow and Stipendiary Lecturer at St Catherine’s College and a Non-Stipendiary Lecturer at Mansfield College. In January 2021, Brian was also appointed to the position of Honorary Research Senior Lecturer at NUIG.
He is the PI of the EPSRC-funded ‘FOCUS’ project aiming to develop novel sensors to monitor interactions between soil and structures during underground construction operations. He is the PI of the ‘iDRIVE’ project (Supergen ORE hub) to develop intelligent driveability forecasting for offshore monopiles where he leads a team of three universities plus industry partners. He is the PI of the ‘NERVE’ project (EPSRC Future Manufacturing Hubs) to develop intelligent precast construction elements using embedded optoelectronics. Finally, he is the PI for RAEng ‘Proof of Concept’ and EPSRC ‘Impact Acceleration Account’ awards to commercialise his research on novel fibre optic force sensors.
Most Recent Publications
A particular focus of Brian's research has been in the area of soil-structure interaction (SSI), covering development of normal and frictional contact stresses exerted by soil onto structures, soil strength mobilization displacements, pore water pressures and their time dependence. His research has included the use of numerical modelling, laboratory testing at model scale, and field testing/monitoring.
Underground construction monitoring represents a new line of research within civil engineering at Oxford University. The aim of this work is to develop the underpinning engineering science for SSI design applied to underground construction. This involves the use of laboratory testing and numerical modelling to elucidate the mechanics of soil-structure interface behaviour. Intelligent monitoring systems are being developed to measure and monitor soilstructure contact stresses on live construction projects to provide (i) field data for rigorous validation of developed design methods and (ii) real-time, automated feedback to site engineers to inform the construction of the field project itself essentially providing ‘early warning’ of unsatisfactory performance. Recent advances in fibre optic sensing will be exploited to develop novel multi-directional contact stress sensors.
Machine learning algorithms are also being employed such that prior data from previous construction projects may be synthesised with newly-acquired data to provide a robust datadriven decision-making process. Monitoring systems developed by Brian's research group have already been successfully trialled on a number of major UK construction projects. They will also be used to guide part of the Thames Tideway construction works in the near future.
- Intelligent underground construction monitoring
- Bayesian machine learning for construction
- Soil-structure interaction
- Construction support fluids
Most Recent Publications
*Denotes students and postdoctoral researchers supervised
53. Buckley, R.M., Sheil, B.B., Suryasentana, S.K., Xu*, D., Doherty, J. & Randolph, M.F. Bayesian optimisation for CPT-based prediction of impact pile driveability. In preparation.
52. Bayaraa*, M., Sheil, B.B. & Rossi, C. A combined InSAR-geotechnical monitoring workflow for tailings dams: application to Cadia mine, Australia. In preparation.
51. O'Dwyer*, K.G., McCabe, B.A. & Sheil, B.B. Experimental testing of the interface shear strength between concrete and sand-bentonite mixtures. In preparation.
50. Zhou, H., Sheil, B.B. & Liu, H. Non-circular cavity expansion in undrained critical state soil: semi-analytical solution and its application. In preparation.
49. Zhang*, P., Yin, Z.-Y., Jin, Y.-F. & Sheil, B.B. Physics-informed hierarchical data-driven modelling of path-dependent soil behaviour. Submitted.
48. Yu, H., Zhou, H., Sheil, B.B & Liu, H. Finite element modeling of helical pile installation and its influence on uplift capacity in strain softening clay. Submitted.
47. Sheil, B.B., Templeman*, J.O., Orazalin*, Z., Phillips*, B.M. & Song*, G. Undrained uplift resistance of under-reamed open caisson shafts. Submitted.
46. Li, G., Cheng, W.-C., Ong, D.E.L., Sheil, B.B. & Bai, X.-D. On the role of segmental tunnel liner joints for close-proximity tunnelling in soft ground. Submitted.
45. Suryasentana, S.K., Sheil, B.B, Lawler, M., Jiang, X. & Lehane, B.M. Automated CPT-based soil layering identification using offline and online Bayesian changepoint detection. Submitted.
44. Saberi, M., Annan, C.-D. & Sheil, B.B. An efficient numerical approach for simulating soil-pipe interaction behaviour under cyclic axial displacement. Submitted.
43. Suryasentana, S.K., Sheil, B.B. & Cassidy, M.J. Gaussian Process regression for geotechnical engineering: a review of probabilistic interpolating, modelling and forecasting functions. Submitted.
42. Templeman*, J.O., Suryasentana, S.K. & Sheil, B.B. A machine learning approach to multi-axis force sensing. Submitted.
41. Watford*, M., Templeman*, J.O., Orazalin*, Z., Zhou, H., Franza, A. & Sheil, B.B. Numerical analysis of the deep soil failure mechanism for perimeter pile groups. Géotechnique Letters. Accepted.
40. Sheil, B.B. & Templeman*, J.O. (2021) Bearing capacity of large-diameter open caissons embedded in sand. Géotechnique. In press.
39. Sheil, B.B. (2021) Circular excavations: a data-driven monitoring strategy for early collapse warning. Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering. In press.
38. Sheil, B.B., Suryasentana, S.K., Templeman*, J.O., Phillips*, B.M., Cheng, W.-C & Zhang, L. (2021) Prediction of pipe jacking forces using a Bayesian updating approach. Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering. DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)GT.1943-5606.0002645.
37. Bai, X.-D., Cheng, W.-D. & Sheil, B.B.(2021) Pipejacking clogging detection in soft alluvial deposits using machine learning algorithms. Tunnelling & Underground Space Technology, 113: 103908. DOI: 10.1016/j.tust.2021.103908.
36. Swallow*, A. & Sheil, B.B. (2020) Group shape effects on the lateral capacity of pile groups in undrained soil. Géotechnique. DOI: 10.1680/jgeot.20-P-222.
35. Sheil, B.B., Suryasentana, S.K., Mooney, M.A., Zhu, H., McCabe, B.A. & O'Dwyer*, K. (2020) Discussion: machine learning to inform tunnelling operations: recent advances and future trends. Proceedings of the ICE - Smart Infrastructure and Construction, 173(1): 180-181. DOI: 10.1680/jsmic.2020.173.1.180.
34. Templeman*, J.O., Phillips*, B.M. & Sheil, B.B. (2021) Cutting shoe design for open caissons in sand: influence on vertical bearing capacity. Proceedings of the ICE – Geotechnical Engineering. Published online ahead of print. DOI: 10.1680/jgeen.20.00218.
33. Franza, A. & Sheil, B.B. (2020) Pile groups under vertical and inclined eccentric loads: elastoplastic modelling for performance based design. Computers & Geotechnics, 135:104092. DOI: 10.1016/j.compgeo.2021.104092.
32. Sheil, B.B., Byrne, B.W. & Martin, C.M. (2020) Rate effects on the uplift capacity of pipelines embedded in clay: finite element modelling. Computers & Geotechnics. Published online ahead of print. DOI: 10.1016/j.compgeo.2021.104155.
31. Sheil, B.B. (2020) Discussion of “On the Pointlessness of Machine Learning Based Time Delayed Prediction of TBM Operational Data” by Georg H. Erharter and Thomas Marcher. Automation in Construction, 124: 103559. DOI: 10.1016/j.autcon.2021.103559.
30. Sheil, B.B. (2020) Probabilistic forecasting of microtunnelling jacking forces. Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology, 109: 103749. DOI: 10.1016/j.tust.2020.103749
29. Sheil, B.B., Suryasentana, S.K., Mooney, M.A. & Zhu, H. (2020) Machine learning to inform tunnelling operations: recent advances and future trends. Proceedings of the ICE – Smart Infrastructure & Construction. Published online ahead of print. DOI: 10.1680/jsmic.20.00011
28. Michael, R., Justin, C.D., Cortés, L.P., Burd, H.J., Sheil, B.B. & Barraquer, R.I. (2021) Deformations and Ruptures in Human Lenses With Cortical Cataract Subjected to Ex Vivo Simulated Accommodation. Investigative Opthalmology & Visual Science, 62(1): 12. DOI: 10.1167/iovs.62.1.12.
27. Chieh, W.-C., Bai, X.-D. & Sheil, B.B. (2020) Identifying characteristics of pipejacking parameters to assess geological conditions using optimisation algorithm-based support vector machines. Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology, 106: 103592. DOI: 10.1016/j.tust.2020.103592.
26. Royston*, R., Sheil, B.B. & Byrne, B.W. (2020) Undrained bearing capacity of the cutting face of large-diameter caissons. Géotechnique. Published online ahead of print. DOI: 10.1680/jgeot.20.P.210.
25. Sheil, B.B., Suryasentana, S.K. & Cheng, W-.C. (2020) An assessment of anomaly detection methods applied to microtunnelling. Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, 146(9): 04020094. DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)GT.1943-5606.0002326.
24. Royston*, R., Sheil, B.B. & Byrne, B.W. (2020) Monitoring the construction of a large-diameter caisson in sand. Proceedings of the ICE - Geotechnical Engineering. Published online ahead of print. DOI: 10.1680/jgeen.19.00266.
23. Mayall, R.O., McAdam, R.A., Whitehouse, R.J.S., Burd, H.J., Byrne, B.W., Heald, S.G., Sheil, B.B. & Slater, P.L. (2020) Flume tank testing of offshore wind turbine structural dynamics under the influence of foundation scour and scour protection. ASCE Journal of Waterway, Port, Coastal and Ocean Engineering, 165(5): 04020033. DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)WW.1943-5460.0000587.
22. Templeman*, J.O., Sheil, B.B. & Sun, T. (2020) Multi-axis force sensors: a state-of-the art review. Sensors and Actuators A: Physical, 304:111772. DOI: 10.1016/j.sna.2019.111772.
21. Sheil, B.B. (2020) Lateral limiting pressure on square pile groups in undrained soil. Géotechnique, 71(4): 279-287. DOI: 10.1680/jgeot.18.p.118.
20. Sheil, B.B., Martin, C.M. & Byrne, B.W. (2019) Simulation of overburden pressure during laboratory investigations of axial pipe-soil interaction. Géotechnique, 71(3): 272-278. DOI: 10.1680/jgeot.18.t.040.
19. Georgiadis, K. & Sheil, B.B. (2019) Effect of torsion on the undrained limiting lateral resistance of piles in clay. Géotechnique, 70(8): 700-710. DOI: 10.1680/jgeot.19.ti.010.
18. O'Dwyer*, K.G., McCabe, B.A. & Sheil, B.B. (2019) Interpretation of pipe-jacking and lubrication records for drives in silty sand. Underground Space, 5(3): 199-209. DOI: 10.1016/j.undsp.2019.04.001.
17. Michael, R., D'Antin, J.C., Cortés, L.P., Sheil, B.B., Burd, H.J. & Barraquer, R.I. (2019) Ex vivo simulated accommodation in human donor eyes with and without cortical cataract. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 60(9): 3164-3164.
16. Sheil, B.B., McCabe, B.A., Comodromos, E.M. & Lehane, B.M. (2018) Pile groups under axial loading: an appraisal of simplified nonlinear prediction models. Géotechnique, 69(7): 565-579. DOI: 10.1680/jgeot.17.R.040.
15. Sheil, B.B., Martin, C.M., Byrne, B.W., Plant, M., Williams, K & Coyne, D. (2018) Full-scale laboratory testing of a buried pipeline in sand subjected to cyclic axial displacements. Géotechnique, 68(8): 684-698. DOI: 10.1680/jgeot.16.P.275.
14. Sheil, B.B. (2017) Numerical simulations of the reuse of piled raft foundations in clay. Acta Geotechnica, 12:1047–1059. DOI: 10.1007/s11440-017-0522-8.
13. Sheil, B.B., McCabe, B.A, Zhang, Feng, Lie & Zhang. (2016) Discussion: An analytical approach for predictions of single pile and pile group behaviour in clay, Geotech., 80: 349-350.
12. Sheil, B.B. & McCabe, B.A. (2016) Biaxial loading of offshore monopiles: numerical modelling. ASCE Int. J. Geomech, 17(2): 04016050.
11. Sheil, B.B., McCabe, B.A & Li (2016) Discussion: An analytical approach for predictions of single pile and pile group behaviour in clay, Geotech., 86: 245.
10. Wang, A.D., Wang, W.D., Huang, M.S., Wu, J.B., Sheil, B.B. & McCabe, B.A. (2016) Discussion: Interaction factor for large pile groups. Géotechnique Letters, 6(3): 234-240.
9. Sheil, B.B. & McCabe, B.A. (2016) An analytical approach for predictions of single pile and pile group behaviour in clay. Geotech., 75: 145-158.
8. Sheil, B.B. & Finnegan, W. (2016) Numerical simulations of wave-structure-soil interaction of an offshore monopile. ASCE Int. J. Geomech., 17(1): 04016024.
7. McCabe, B.A., Sheil, B.B. et al. (2016) Discussion: An empirical correlation between the compression index and water content of soft Irish soils. ICE Geotech. Eng., 169(1): 90-92. DOI: 10.1680/jgeen.15.00101.
6. Sheil, B.B., Curran, B. & McCabe, B.A. (2016) Recent experiences of utility microtunnelling in Irish limestone, mudstone and sandstone rock. Tunnelling & Underground Space Tech., 51: 326-337. DOI: 10.1016/j.tust.2015.10.019.
5. Sheil, B.B., McCabe, B.A., Hunt, C.E. & Pestana, J.M. (2015) A numerical study of single pile and pile group installation effects in clay. Journal of Geo-engineering Sciences, DOI: 10.3233/JGS-140027.
4. McCabe, B.A. & Sheil, B.B. (2015) Pile group settlement estimation: suitability of nonlinear interaction factors. ASCE Int. J. Geomech. 15(3): 04014056. DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)GM.1943-5622.0000395.
3. Sheil, B.B. & McCabe, B.A. (2015) Numerical modelling of pile foundation angular distortion. Soils & Foundations 55(3): 614-625. DOI: 10.1016/j.sandf.2015.04.012.
2. McCabe, B.A., Sheil, B.B., Buggy, F., Long, M. & Farrell, E. (2014) Empirical correlations for the compression index of Irish soft soils. ICE Geotech. Eng. 167(6): 510-517. DOI: 10.1680/geng.13.00116
1. Sheil, B.B. & McCabe, B.A. (2014) A finite element-based approach for predictions of rigid pile group stiffness efficiency. Acta Geotechnica 9(3): 469-484. DOI: 10.1007/s11440-013-0240-9.