Sina Saneiyan

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Sina Saneiyan

From an early age, Sina Saneiyan was interested in science. Therefore, he chose to major in mathematics and physics in high school. At the same time, he was becoming increasingly interested in environmental issues. So Sina continued his studies in the mining engineering field, where he could pursue both of his interests (i.e., science and environment) in a practical manner. After finishing college, despite receiving job offers, Sina found himself suited for Geophysical Exploration, where he could go to unknown districts to explore new deposits and mining potentials and investigate related environmental issues with mining in those areas. He continued his academic career as a Master student and after completing that he applied for PhD of environmental sciences at Rutgers University Newark. There he knew the eager and well known board of faculty were working on interesting near-surface geophysical methods to overcome the challenges of environmental issues.

Currently Sina is working on monitoring bio-mediated soil strengthening by geophysical methods. Bio-mediated soil strengthening is an advanced and novel method in which common soil borne microbes are stimulated with environmentally friendly chemicals to enhance soil stiffness. Typically engineers use methods that are harmful to environment and generally expensive to apply. Furthermore, a challenging issue is how to measure the soil stiffness during the process without disturbing the subsurface.

By adapting geophysics as a monitoring technique for the purpose of imaging subsurface, we will be able to monitor the subsurface activities during the process of soil strengthening. The benefit of geophysics and bio-mediated soil strengthening combination is directly helpful to the environment. Also, geophysical methods will minimally disturb the environment and will provide us with a better spatial and temporal image of the subsurface.

2017 Near Surface Research Award Recipient


Soil strengthening has become one of the most important civil engineering projects, especially in populated areas where the rate of building construction is relatively high. Conventional soil strengthening methods (e.g., cement grouting) are known to be effective procedures to enhance soil stiffness. However, these methods have problems, specifically from environmental aspects. These methods also are costly in both implementation and maintenance processes. Microbial induced calcite precipitation (MICP) has been introduced to overcome environmental issues of soil strengthening, increase project viability, and reduce costs. To understand the process of MICP in the subsurface, many methods have been developed; however, they often have limitations. Although to date, no geophysical methods have been used to monitor MICP in a field-scale project, many methods have been examined in laboratory-scale experiments. The goal of this research is to establish a monitoring technique that is capable of long-term monitoring of a field-scale MICP soil strengthening project. Spectral induced polarization (SIP) with its abilities for subsurface monitoring, especially where solid particles are involved, is a promising geophysical method for monitoring subsurface changes. Hence, the focus of this research will be to examine SIP as a long-term monitoring tool for MICP related soil strengthening projects.

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Sina Saneiyan
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