Itai Einav

Biography: Itai Einav studied civil engineering at the Technion, Haifa, Israel, where he graduated with a BSc in 1998 and a PhD in 2002. He then moved to the University of Western Australia, COFS, Perth, and did his postdoctoral research, during which time he received the APD Fellowship from the Australian Research Council (ARC) and an MTS Visiting Professorship from the University of Minnesota. In late 2005 he moved to the University of Sydney, School of Civil Engineering, first as a Senior Lecturer, and then as an Associate Professor.
Research Outline: Itai Einav’s activities revolve around the fundamentals of material characterization (e.g., granular and cellular materials) and applied geomechanics (e.g., offshore geotechnics). In particular, he has created a suite of thermo- and micro- mechanical tools to address fundamental questions in soil mechanics. His latest achievement was the establishment of a ‘breakage mechanics’ theory for modeling confined comminution; this provided the first continuum approach to allow the prediction of evolving grain-size distribution in brittle granular materials through constitutive modeling. Out of this theory he has recently announced a further advance, ‘breakage soil mechanics’. This was a specific application of the theory that explained several previously unexplained aspects of granular soil behavior from a physical basis: the dependence on the initial granular grading and void ratio of (i) yielding and (ii) critical state; and the connection between isotropic hardening and particle fracture. This new model of soil mechanics shows tremendous potential for its simplicity, rigor, and the extent of problems to which it can bring new insights.