Dr Sam Yuen

  • Room: Level: 02 Room: C201
  • Building: Engineering Block C
  • Campus: Parkville

Research interests

  • Geo-environmental Engineering
  • Sustainable Waste Management


Dr Yuen is recognized both nationally and internationally for his active research on solid waste management with specific interests in bioreactor landfills, waste containment systems, leachate recirculation, landfill hydrology and landfill gas management. He served the industry for over 12 years practising as a consulting engineer in a wide range of geotechnical and environmental projects before commencing his academic career with the University of Melbourne in 1996 . He is the Research Team Leader of the national Australian Alternative Cap Program co-funded by the Australian Research Council and the Waste Management Association of Australia. His is also a member of the Landfill Aftercare and Management Expert Advisory Group appointed by EPA Victoria.

Dr Sam Yuen from the Department of Infrastructure Engineering has been awarded the 2012 University of Melbourne Staff Engagement Excellence Award for his work on sustainable waste management.   As the instigator and principal architect of the project, "Phytocapping for sustainable waste management systems and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and odour from waste disposal sites", which was completed in 2011.
Supported by the Australian Research Council and industry, the project brought together a wide range of stakeholders including waste management operators represented by their peak industry body, the Waste Management Association of Australia, several leading environmental consultancies, all mainland state regulators, the CSIRO and five other universities. The government agencies have started to embrace the improved landfill cover design in their policies and regulations. The interdisciplinary nature of the program has provided research training opportunities for graduate students. Research findings have been conveyed to the public through a project web site and 12 peer-reviewed publications.
The Staff Engagement Excellence Award recognises projects with external partners that have enhanced the University's teaching and research programs, and provided demonstrable returns to community or partner organisations.

Recent publications

  1. Dettrick D, Costelloe J, Arora M, Yuen S. A comparison of measured and predicted diffusion coefficients applied to sand and silt sized acid mine drainage materials. Journal of Environmental Management. Academic Press - Elsevier Science. 2019, Vol. 231. DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2018.08.011
  2. Yuen S. Phytocapping of landfills. Solid Waste Landfilling Processes, Technology, and Environmental Impacts. 2019. Editors: Thomson E.
  3. Michael RN, Yu B, Wintle B, Doronila A, Yuen S. The effect of substrate compaction on plant water use and the implications for phytocap design specifications. ECOLOGICAL ENGINEERING. Elsevier. 2019, Vol. 127. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoleng.2018.11.023
  4. Yuen S, Styles JR. Settlement and characteristics of waste at a municipal solid waste landfill in melbourne. ISRM International Symposium 2000, IS 2000. 2018.
  5. Jaksa M, Lik Kuo Y, Shahin M, Yuen S, Airey D, Kodikara J. Engaging and Effective Laboratory Classes in Geotechnical Engineering. International Conference on Geo-Engineering Education. 2016.
  6. Yuen S, Salt M, Sun J, Benaud P, Zhu GX, Jaksa MB, Ghadiri H, Greenway M, Ashwath N, Fourie AB. Phytocapping as a sustainable cover for landfills. Sustainable Landfilling. CISA Publisher. 2014. Editors: Cossu R, Van Der Sloot H.
  7. Asadi M, Yuen S, Bogner J, Chen D, Lightbody PJ. Seasonal variation of methane emissions from two landfills in Australia. 7th International Congress on Environmental Geotechnics (ICEG). Engineers Australia. 2014. Editors: Bouazza A, Yuen S, Brown B.
  8. Jayarathne GWRS, Pivonka P, Yuen S, Pharoah A, Connor M. A hydrological study of on-site soil absorption systems. Proceedings of the institution of Civil Engineers: Water Management. Thomas Telford Services. 2013, Vol. 166, Issue 1. DOI: 10.1680/wama.11.00029
  9. Sun J, Yuen S, Bogner J, Chen D, Asadi M. Evaluation of phytocaps as biotic systems to mitigate landfill methane emissions. 14th International Waste Management and Landfill Symposium. CISA Publisher. 2013.
  10. Asadi M, Yuen S, Bogner J, Chen D, Lightbody P. Methane emissions from a municipal waste landfill in South Australia without gas recovery: Comparison between field measurements and Calmim modelled results. 14th International Waste Management and Landfill Symposium. CISA Publisher. 2013.
  11. Goodman NB, Connor M, Yuen S. Transformation and dispersion of inorganic Nitrogen compounds in and around septic tank absorption trenches. Water. Australian Water Association. 2013, Vol. 40, Issue 6.
  12. Lai F, Bamford W, Yuen S, Li T. Economic Significance of Geotechnical Uncertainties in Open Pit Mines. 11th Australia - New Zealand Conference on Geomechanics (ANZ 2012) Conference Proceedings. ANZ 2012. 2012.
  13. Jaksa M, Airey D, Kodikara J, Shahin M, Yuen S. Reinventing geotechnical engineering laboratory classes. Shaking the Foundations of Geo-Engineering Education. CRC Press. 2012.
  14. Du X, Bamford WE, Yuen S. Finite element analysis on composite support system: Shotcrete and space truss structure. Civil Engineering in China - Current Practice and Research Report - Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Civil Engineering, ICCEHB. 2011.
  15. Sun J, Yuen S, Bogner B, Chen D. Investigation of phytocap methane oxidation and emission: a full scale field trial and a controlled glasshouse experiment. Proceedings Sardinia 2011, Thirteenth International Waste Management and Landfill Symposium. CISA Publisher. 2011.

View a full list of publications on the University of Melbourne’s ‘Find An Expert’ profile