Prof. Julian Tao

The research focus of Prof. Junliang (Julian) Tao from the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, Arizona State University is Bio-inspired Geotechnics. He will offer a short course on this topic at IGT with an emphasis on geotechnical engineering applications. You are warmly welcome to participate in his lectures on December 9 and 12.

Long Bio

Junliang (Julian) Tao is an associate professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment at Arizona State University. His research focuses on Bio-inspired Geotechnics (BiG). His current research topics include include bio-inspired burrowing mechanisms and robots, bio-inspired geosystems, smart and sustainable geosystems and soil behavior. 

Tao has been researching the effective and highly efficient self-burrowing mechanisms of animals — looking at their varied subterranean locomotive abilities. His idea wins him an NSF CAREER Award titled "CAREER: Integrated Research and Education on Bio-Inspired Burrowing".

Now he is also extending this research to a new collaborative project to design and develop below-ground sensing networks using robots that mimic burrowing animals and plants. In 2018, Tao earned support from a National Science Foundation Early-Concept Grant for Exploratory Research Signals in the Soil award to develop “paradigm-shifting platform technology” for “self-boring robots” from which the next generation of underground wireless sensing networks can be launched (with Daniel Aukes and Hamidreza Marvi).


  • Ph.D. Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
  • M.S. Tongji University, Shanghai, China
  • B.S.  China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, China