Professor Abbas El-Zein has a BE in Civil Engineering from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, an MS (with distinction) from the University of Southampton in the UK, an MS in Environmental Science from the ENPC in Paris, France and a PhD in Computational Mechanics from the University of Southampton. He worked in the UK for 3 years as a computational analyst advising automotive and aeronautical industries worldwide. He joined the University of Sydney in 2004.
Abbas is interested in problems of contamination and hydro-mechanical behaviour of saturated and partially-saturated soils, assessment of vulnerability to climate change, as well as the broad links between technology, poverty and environmental degradation in the developing world. He has supervised a number of Engineers without Borders honours thesis projects on water, sanitation and food security in Cambodia and Nepal.