Current team members:

PhD student. Expected graduation: Aug 2024.

M.S., Geotechnical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
B.S., Civil Engineering, Shandong University, China

My name is Xiaohang Ji. I joined Dr. Xiao's research team in Fall 2020. My dissertation is "Understand and forecast long-term variations of in-situ geophysical and geomechanical characteristics of degrading permafrost in the Arctic."

PhD student. Expected graduation: May 2025.

M.S., Geotechnical Engineering, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
B.S., Civil Engineering, Chengdu University of Technology, China

My name is Zi-Yi (Zoey) Wang. I joined Dr. Xiao's research team in August 2021. My research dissertation is "Civil Infrastructure Geohazard Assessment under the Effects of Permafrost Degradation and Coastal Erosion in Northern Alaska."

M.S. student. NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) awardee

B.S., Civil Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, 2023 (GPA: 4.0)

My name is Matthew Hallissey. I joined Dr. Xiao's research team in fall 2021 as an undergraduate student. In 2022, I received NSF REU award and participated in Dr. Xiao's field research in Utqiagvik, Alaska. In 2023, I received NSF GRFP award and will continue my graduate study in Dr. Xiao's team beginning in Fall 2023.

PhD student.

M.S., Geotechnical Engineering, Tongji University, China
B.S., Urban Underground Space Engineering, Central South University, China

My name is Xueyang Wang. I joined Dr. Xiao's research team in August 2023.

Undergraduate student, Civil Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, expected graduaton May 2026

My name is Isabel Rubino. I joined Dr. Xiao's research team in Fall 2022. I received NSF REU award and co-organized a STEM summer camp for middle school students in Utqiagvik, Alaska in summer 2023 and STEM activities in middle schools in State College, PA.

Prospective students

If you are motivated, dilligent, and independent  student, who aspires to study and address engineering challenges through convergent and multi-disciplinary research, please contact Dr. Xiao.

Undergraduate students are welcome!

I have advised many undergraduate students in Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program and alway welcome undergraduate students to join my research team. Please contact me.

Awards received by graduate students at Penn State (with Xiao as major advisor)

  1. Matthew Hallissey (Undergraduate student 2019-2023, and M.S. student 2023-2025)
  1. Xiaohang Ji (PhD student):
  1. Min Liew (MS then PhD student):
  1. Sajjad Salam (PhD student):
  1. Jintai Wang (PhD student):
  1.  Behnoud Kermani (PhD student):
  1. Mahsa Khosrojerdi (PhD student):
  1. Benjamin Adams (PhD student):


Previous graduate students with Dr. Xiao as major advisor:

Min Liew (Penn State). Ph.D., Aug 2022.

Dissertation: “Permafrost Degradation and Coastal Erosion and Their Potential Impacts on Civil Infrastructure in the Arctic”

Chih-Chun Tang (Penn State). M.S., Dec 2022.

Thesis: “Evaluation of Erodibility of Sand Infill Placed in Synthetic Grass”

Benjamin T. Adams (Penn State). Ph.D., Aug 2020.

Dissertation: “Experimental and analytical investigations of the relative and interactive effects of physicochemical fluid characteristics on the incipient motion of granular particles under laminar flow conditions”

Sajjad Salam (Penn State). Ph.D., Aug 2020.

Dissertation: “Cyclic behavior of fine coal refuse and seismic stability of coal tailings dams.”

Jintai Wang (Penn State). Ph.D., Aug 2018.

Dissertation: “Seismic performances of a liquefiable sand deposit using 1-g shake table testing considering aging and shaking history effects and the numerical simulation of sand liquefaction.”

Mahsa Khosrojerdi (Penn State). Ph.D., Aug 2018.

Dissertation: “Service limit state design and analysis of engineered fills for bridge support.”

Behnoud Kermani (Penn State). Ph.D., May 2018.

Dissertation: “Experimental and numerical study of subgrade soil migration into pavement subbase and mitigation using geotextile.”

Yen-Chieh Wang (Penn State). MSCE, May 2019.

Thesis: “Synthesis of geotechnical properties of tailings.”

Rong Zhao (Penn State). MSCE, May 2019.

Thesis: “Evaluation of liquefaction potential and in-situ geotechnical properties of coal slurries in shake table testing using cone penetration test.”

Maria Lissette Beltri (Penn State). MSCE, Dec 2018.

Thesis: “Hurricane-Induced Coastal Soil Erosion – Review and Synthesis.”

Min Liew (Penn State). MSCE, Aug 2018.

Thesis: “Field and laboratory characterizations of in-situ coal slurry.” (Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award, Penn State Graduate School)

Yuetan Ma (Penn State). MSCE, May 2018.

Thesis: “The effects of fluid’s physicochemical characteristics on piping erosion progression of a silty sand.”

Anthony Cemo, MSCE 2013 (Fresno State)

Project: “Development of an experimental imaging system for the micro-scale study of seepage-induced granular particle mobilization.”

Martin Ledezma, MSCE 2013 (Fresno State)

Thesis “Improved shake table tests on the seismic responses of slurry walls.”

Corbin Hartman, MSCE 2013 (Fresno State)

Thesis “Seismic Responses of MSE Walls Using Accelerated Alternative Backfill Materials with Tire Derived Aggregate (TDA) and Lightweight Aggregates (LWA).”

Jan Bowen, MSCE 2011 (Fresno State)

Project “Seismic responses of bridge abutments with tire derived aggregate (TDA) backfill.”

Mathew Graham, MSCE 2011 (Fresno State)

Thesis “Seismic analysis of slurry walls.”

Benjamin Adams, MSCE 2011 (Fresno State)

Thesis “Piping erosion mechanisms of organic soils and bioabatement of piping erosion of sand.”

Exequiel Sinco, MSCE 2011 (Fresno State)

Thesis “Piping progression of sand under various permeating fluids.”

Nathan Shwiyhat, MSCE 2010 (Fresno State)

Thesis “Geo-mechanical effects on suffusion of sand-kaolinite mixtures.”

Jose Gomez, MSCE 2009 (Fresno State)

Thesis “Effect of piping on shear strength of soils.”