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Zhao, Q.

Assistant Professor

PHONE:  502. 852.4561


  • Ph.D. in Civil Engineering, 2013
    Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering, 2006
    Tongji University, Shanghai, P.R.China


  • Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, July 2013 – Present

    Speed School of Engineering, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky

  • Graduate Research Assistant, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Jan 2008 – May 2013
  • Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia


  • Molecular dynamics simulation of interaction between mineral and controlled organic phases
  • Burns S.E.and Zhao, Q., Georgia Institute of Technology. May 2009-May 2013

  • Categorization of erosion control matting in Georgia
  • Burns S.E., Choo. H., Cutts, R.E. and Zhao, Q., Atlanta, Georgia, Jan 2008-May 2011

  • Intrinsic compressibility of Shanghai soft clay
  • Ye W. and Zhao, Q., Department of Geotechnical Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai, P.R.China, Nov 2005 – Dec 2006


Refereed Journal Publications

  • Zhao, Q. and Burns S.E. (2012). Molecular dynamics simulation of secondary adsorption behavior of montmorillonite modified by single chain quaternary ammonium cations. Environmental Science and Technology Volume: 46 Issue: 7 Pages: 3999-4007.
  • Zhao, Q. and Burns S.E. (2012). Microstructure of single chain quaternary ammonium cation intercalated into montmorillonite - a molecular dynamics study. Langmuir Volume: 28 Issue: 47 Pages: 16393-16400.
  • Zhao, Q. and Burns S.E. (2013). Modeling sorption and diffusion of organic sorbate in hexadecyltrimethylammonium-modified clay nanopores– a molecular dynamics simulation study. Environmental Science and Technology, Volume: 47 Issue: 6 Pages: 2769-2776.
  • Bate, B., Zhao, Q., and Burns, S.E. Impact of Organic Coatings on the Frictional Strength of organically modified clay. Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, in press.


Conference Proceedings Publications

  • Zhao, Q. and Burns, S.E. (2011). Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulation of the swelling behavior of organoclays. Geo-Frontiers, ASCE Geo-Institute Specialty Conference, Dallas, TX, March 2011.
  • Larrahondo J.M., Zhao Q., Burns S.E., and Elliott W.C. (2008). Effects of Ferric Oxyhydroxide Coatings on Sand Shear Response: A Laboratory Approach to Chemical Weathering. Proceeding of the Research Symposium on the Characterization and Behavior of Interfaces CBI2008. Atlanta GA, September 2008.
  • Zhao, Q. and Burns, S.E. Organic contaminant sorption and diffusion in engineered clays with organoclay additives - barrier performance prediction based on molecular modeling techniques. Geo-Characterization and Modeling for Sustainability, ASCE Geo-Institute Specialty Conference, Atlanta, GA, Feb 2014, (accepted).



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