Computational Granular Mechanics and Engineering Applications

Dalian University of Technology

Shunying Ji


Our research interests are computational granular mechanics and engineering applications. We focus on the developments of irregularly shaped (convex and concave) particles for discrete element method (DEM), multi-scale coupling model between different numerical methods and different materials. The numerical methods are applied in ocean engineering in cold regions, geotechnical engineering, and process engineering. The problems we are committed to solving include the interaction between sea ice and marine structures, the dynamic behaviors of ballast under cyclic loads, and the physical properties of granular materials in process engineering.


We develop DEM code in the GPU-based parallel environment. The element types include sphere, dilated polyhedron, and superquadric. The finite element method (FEM), smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH), and multi-body dynamics (MBD) are developed in our codes to establish DEM-FEM, DEM-SPH, FEM-DEM-SPH, and MBD-DEM-FEM coupling models.

Dalian University - Granular Lab models  


Developed local domain method in sphere-based DEM for ice-structure interaction simulation, a fast contact detection method for dilated polyhedron and bond-failure criterion for sea ice simulation. Developed software based on DEM to compute the ice load on ship structures navigating in the ice covered regions.


The numerical methods in our codes and the software have been used by shipbuilding industries, design institutes, and universities.

Core competencies

  • Computational mechanics
  • High-performance computing
  • Damage and fracture mechanics
  • Ice load analysis for marine structures
  • Ice-induced vibration of offshore structures
  • Particulate engineering

Second Lead Researcher

  • Lu Liu, Ph.D.

Current members

  • Biyao Zhai (Ph.D. Student)
  • Siqiang Wang (Ph.D. Student)
  • Shaomin Liang (Ph.D. Student)
  • Ji Li (Ph.D. Student)
  • Xu Li (Ph.D Student)
  • DongBao Yang (M.S. Student)
  • Shuaikang He (M.S. Student)
  • Jie Wu (M.S. Student)

Recent graduates

  • Shuai Kong (Ph.D)
  • Rui Zhang (M.S)
  • Deng Xu (M.S)


  • Profs. Hung Tao Shen and Hayley Shen, Clarkson University
  • Prof. Yuntian Feng, Swansea University
  • Prof. Andrew Chan, University of Tasmania

Funding agencies