Dr. Ahmad Mousa

Senior Lecturer
School of Engineering

+603 5514 6207
Room 5-4-54

Personal statement

My research interests span a range of areas including the fundamentals of soil behavior, georisk and forensic geotechnical engineering, and sustainable construction. I am the prime inventor of a new device that can be used for simple and rapid measurements of fines content in soils. My recent publications investigate the impact of invasive wildlife on the performance of earth dams.

Academic degrees

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2006
  • Master in Civil Engineering, Purdue University, 2000
  • Master in Construction Engineering, The American University in Cairo, 1999
  • Bachelor of Engineering (Civil Engineering), Ain shams University, 1992

Professional affiliations

Member of National Professional Bodies

  • Registered PE - State of California USA, Member

Research Interests

  • Georisk
  • Safety of earth dams
  • Sustainable construction
  • Hydraulic stability of soil

Research Projects


Cracking in concrete is the main drawback which can appear at any stage of its service life. Although micro-cracks do not necessarily affect concrete strength, but they can impair its durability. The presence of cracks increase the permeability of concrete and allow penetration of oxygen, carbon dioxide and aggressive chemical substances (e.g. chloride, sulfate) into the concrete, which causes corrosion of reinforcement bars and subsequent degradation of the structure. In this research, a suitable bacteria and nutrition are added into the concrete mixture. Once cracking is occurred, the bacteria will be active in presence of oxygen and moisture, then precipitated calcium carbonate crystals will seal the cracks. However, the efficiency and performance of self-healing by bacteria are strictly depended on the viability of bacteria in the concrete matrix. In addition, nutrition may have adverse effect on the mechanical properties of concrete. Polyurea polymer is proposed as a suitable carrier for the bacteria and nutrition due to its excellent properties including fast and simple curing reaction, great mechanical properties and versatility to change different properties.

Crack healing of cement paste specimen by microbial precipitation of calcium carbonate

Image taken from crack filled with precipitation of calcium carbonate at magnification of (a) 50X and (b) 230X using Dino Lite microscopy

Precipitated white particles which was analyzed by FE-SEM and EDX at magnification of (a) 30X and (b) 500X

An Integrated Probabilistic Approach for Predicting Internal Stability in Granular Materials: Insights into Suffusion and Hydraulic Loading Memory

Internal instability of soils has been a long-standing problem in geo-engineering applications. To prevent water retaining earthen structures from experiencing internal instability, empirical guidelines have been integrated into engineering designs. Evidence from the recent failures suggests that even the earthen structures designed following the empirical guidelines could experience internal instability with time. Temporal effects of variable hydraulic loadings seem to govern the instability, and the classical empirical criteria are yet to consider these effects. The infinite number of internal instability scenarios that can occur in reality falls beyond a feasible laboratory test program. Challenges in experimentally evaluating the temporal effects of the hydraulic loading on internal stability expose it to numerical simulations. This problem can be more efficiently handled using modern probabilistic computational methods. From a probabilistic end, the potential for internal instability of soils could be envisioned as a posterior probability distribution subjected to temporal changes in the material and the experienced hydro-mechanical conditions. The Bayesian probability approach can estimate the occurrence of instability based on the conditional probability of multiple scenarios. The novel approach used in this study is expected to expand the knowledge in understanding internal instability in soils by integrating the temporal component of the problem in a forecasting model.

  • The study aims to revisit the conventional approaches in assessing internal instability in soils to reflect on the state of the art while providing a paradigm shift to the futuristic evaluation technique
  • The experiments focus on revealing the effects of hydraulic loading on the suffusion progression in gap-graded granular soils to develop a relationship between the hydraulic loading history and the potential for continuous migration of fines.
  • The Bayesian inference has been employed in the study to develop predictive models for internal instability and the failure associated with such anomalies in the dam structures.


Units taught

CIV2242 - Geomechanics 1

CIV3248 - Groundwater and Environmental Geomechanics

As a coordinator and only instructor:

CIV4210 – Project A

CIV4211 – Project B

CIV4212 - Capstone

Joint teaching:

CIV3247 – Geomechanics 2

CIV4248 – Ground Hazard Engineering

CIV4249 – Foundation Engineering

CIV5803 – Green Building  (Graduate Unit)


Behnia, Arash; Chai, Hwa Kian; GhasemiGol, Mohammad; Sepehrinezhad, Alireza; Mousa, Ahmad A. (2019) Advanced damage detection technique by integration of unsupervised clustering into acoustic emission, Engineering Fracture Mechanics, (212-227), Volume: 210, Issue Number: 00137944, 10.1016/j.engfracmech.2018.07.005

Behnia, Arash; Chai, Hwa Kian; Mousa, Ahmad A.; Ravanfar, Seyed Alireza (2019) A novel damage index for online monitoring of RC slabs under monotonic loading by integration of process controlling into acoustic emission technique, Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing, (547-560), Volume: 119, Issue Number: 08883270, 10.1016/j.ymssp.2018.09.030

Mousa, Ahmad; Mahgoub, Mohamed; Hussein, Mohab (2018) Lightweight concrete in America: presence and challenges, Sustainable Production and Consumption, (131-144), Volume: 15, 10.1016/j.spc.2018.06.007

Mousa, Ahmad (2017) Revisiting the calibration philosophy of constitutive models in geomechanics, International Journal of Geomechanics, Volume: 17, Issue Number: 15323641, 10.1061/(ASCE)GM.1943-5622.0000895

Saghaee, Gholamreza; Mousa, Ahmad A.; Meguid, Mohamed A. (2017) Plausible failure mechanisms of wildlife-damaged earth levees: Insights from centrifuge modeling and numerical analysis, Canadian Geotechnical Journal, (1496-1508), Volume: 54, Issue Number: 00083674, 10.1139/cgj-2016-0484

Saghaee, Gholamreza; Mousa, Ahmad A.; Meguid, Mohamed A. (2016) Experimental evaluation of the performance of earth levees deteriorated by wildlife activites, Acta Geotechnica, (83-93), Volume: 11, Issue Number: 18611125, 10.1007/s11440-015-0373-0

Mousa, Ahmad (2016) The “gray zone”: fabric and consistency of natural transitional soils, Arabian Journal of Geosciences, (1-6), Volume: 9, Issue Number: 18667511, 10.1007/s12517-015-2193-9

Mousa, Ahmad (2015) A Business approach for transformation to sustainable construction: An implementation on a developing country, Resources, Conservation and Recycling, (9-19), Volume: 101, Issue Number: 09213449, 10.1016/j.resconrec.2015.05.007

Mousa, Ahmad; Mahgoub, Mohamed; Wiszowaty, Piotr (2014) A simple test method for rapid measurement of fines content in soils, Geotechnical Testing Journal, Volume: 37, Issue Number: 01496115, 10.1520/GTJ20130095

Local grants

  • Effect of Hydraulic Loading on the Stability of Capping Systems for Landfill Applications, Ahmad Mousa; Gary Fowmes, 2018, Monash University Malaysia Mobility Grant Scheme,  RM 20,000
  • Development of a sustainable permeable geopolymer pavement system using fine industrial waste, Monash University Malaysia, Ahmad Mousa; Daniel Kong, 2018-2019, Sunway Group of Companies Grant Scheme, RM99,000
  • Development and implementation studies on interlocking solar concrete paver (ISCP) systems, Ahmad Mousa; Daniel Kong, 2018 - 2019, Monash Sustainable Community Grant Scheme, RM 350,000
  • Investigation of spatial-temporal fines migration in porous media, Ahmad Mousa; Daniel Kong, 2015, Monash University Malaysia, School of Engineering Seed Grants, RM 25,000

International grants

  • Pilot Forecast Modelling for Hydraulic Performance of Waste Containment Barriers, Ahmad Mousa and Gary Fowmes, Dec 2018-Dec 2019, Monash Warwick Alliance Catalyst Fund, AUD 29,000 + GBP 13,000

Current supervision

Sandun Dassanayake Mudiyanselage

Spatiotemporal migration of seepage-vulnerable fines through granular filters

2015 - Present

Monash University Malaysia

Ehsan Bakhtiyari

Probabilistic evaluation of internal erosion and failure pattern in wildlife-damaged dams under transient conditions”.

2015 - Present

Monash University Malaysia

Mohammadhossein Zamani

Synthesis Polyurea Capsules to Encapsulate Bacteria for Self-Healing of Concrete

2017 - Present

Monash University Malaysia