About Professor David Airey

David enjoys the combination of hands on work in the laboratory, the opportunity to employ and understand new technologies, the challenge of trying to understand the mysteries of soil behaviour, and the opportunity to work with stimulating colleagues and students.

David Airey is interested in all aspects of laboratory based experimental work in geomechanics.

David Airey graduated from the University of Cambridge in 1979 with a BA in engineering and stayed on to complete Masters and PhD degrees in Soil Mechanics. He took up a position as a research fellow at the University of Western Australia in 1987, and moved to University of Sydney in 1989. He is now a Professor in the School of Civil Engineering and Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching) for the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology. His research encompasses a wide range ot topics in experimental geomechanics, including the development of the first PC based stress path control program for triaxial tests, used at Cambridge University by several research students for nearly 20 years; the design of unique soil testing equipment such as the Sydney University large ring shear apparatus, the design of new shear box, simple shear and hollow cylinder devices; the refinement of the bender element technique for measuring soil stiffness in triaxial tests to provide robust reliable results, the use of internal instrumentation in triaxial tests at elevated temperature to provide data on strains during undrained heating; the conduct and interpretation of a large body of triaxial tests on uncemented and cemented carbonate soils, model tests of foundations in variably cemented carbonate sediments subjected to combined loads, tests of organic and radioactive contaminant transport, and the development of constitutive models for carbonate and structured soils. David Airey is on the editorial board of the Geotechnical Testing Journal, is a core member of TC29 a technical committee of the International Society for Geotechnical and Foundation Engineering concerned with pre-failure behaviour of geomaterials, and is a committee member of the Australian Geomechanics Society.

Selected publications

  • ITAKURA T, AIREY DW and LEO CJ (2003) The diffusion and sorption of volatile organic compounds through natural clayey soils, Journal of Contaminant Hydrology 65, 219-243.
  • RANDOLPH MF, JOER H, and AIREY DW (1999) Foundation Design in Cemented Soils, Keynote lecture, The Geotechnics of Hard Soils-Soft Rocks, (eds Evangelista and Picarelli), Balkema, 3, 1373-1390
  • CARTER, J.P., AIREY, DW, and FAHEY M (1999) A review of laboratory testing of calcareous soils, Engineering for Calcareous Sediments, Al-Shafei (ed.), Balkema, Rotterdam, Vol 2, 401-432.
  • HUANG JT and AIREY DW (1998) Properties of an artificially cemented carbonate sand, Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, ASCE, Vol 124, 6, 492-499.
  • CARTER, JP and AIREY, DW (1994) The engineering behaviour of cemented marine carbonate soils, In Geotechnical Engineering, Emerging Trends in Design and Practice, ed. K.R. Saxena, Oxford & IBH, New Delhi, 65 – 102.
  • AIREY, DW (1993) Triaxial testing of a naturally cemented carbonate soil. J. of Geotechnical Engineering, ASCE., Vol 119, 9, 1379-1398.
  • AIREY, DW and FAHEY, M (1991) Cyclic response of calcareous soil from the North West Shelf of Australia. Géotechnique, 41, 1, 101-121
  • AIREY, DW, RANDOLPH, MF and HYDEN, A (1988) The strength and stiffness of two calcareous sands. Engineering for Calcareous Sediments, eds. D. Andrews and R.J. Jewell, Balkema, Vol 1, 43-50.
  • AIREY, DW and WOOD, DM (1987) An evaluation of direct simple shear tests on clay, Géotechnique, 37, 1, 25-36.