Grenoble Geomechanics Newsletter No. 45

Dear Geo-Fellows,

Here we go with our first newsletter of the year, the 45th edition of our quarterly bulletin. It provides an account of the road covered since our last publication.  Let’s pause to celebrate the milestones we’ve accomplished together.

Overall, enjoy and forward this letter to fellows and friends!

Anything you want to share in the next newsletter? Please, do not hesitate to contact us at:

PhD graduates

  • Chiara ROSSI successfully defended her PhD on March 12. Her doctoral project was entitled “A micro-mechanical approach to cemented granular materials”, and was supervised by Alessandro TENGATTINI, Cino VIGGIANI, and Pierre BÉSUELLE. The Jury was composed of Ivo HERLE (Technische Universität Dresden), Erika TUDISCO (Lund University), Francesca CASINI (Universita’ degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata), Gael COMBE (Université Grenoble Alpes) and Antoine NAILLON (Université Grenoble Alpes).

GCER 2023-2024!

  • Four (4) students of our master program in geomechanics have started working on their research projects in our team: Khayri AL KATABI (supervised by Orianne JENCK), Yoshiki MIYASAKA (supervised by Cyrille COUTURE), Pinelopi PANAGIOTAKI (supervised by Olga STAMATI and Cino VIGGIANI), and Renan TONOLLI (supervised by Cyrille COUTURE, Alessandro TENGATTINI and Cino VIGGIANI).


  • In early February, our Japanese colleague Ryunouske KIDO left 3SR — after almost one year as a visiting professor. Ryunosuke has just started working at Hiroshima University as an associate professor — previously an assistant professor at Kyoto University.
  • Yanyan ZHOU, PhD student at Chang’an University in China, arrived on January 8 and will stay with us for one year. She will play with triaxial testing and X-ray imaging to investigate the link between changes in the micro fabric of loess and strain localization in the material. She is working under the supervision of Olga STAMATI, Alessandro TENGATTINI, and Cino VIGGIANI. For those wondering what it is, loess is a predominantly silt-sized sediment formed by the accumulation of wind-blown dust (from Wikipedia).
  • Suleyman DEMIR (cf. picture below) joined our Geo team at the beginning of last December as a post-doc researcher.  He is staying with us for 16 months, working with Alice Di DONNA and Alessandro TARANTINO (University of Strathclyde, UK), on  “Fundamentals of thermo-mechanical behaviour of clays”.



  • On March 15, Vincent RICHEFEU and Cino VIGGIANI went to Montpellier for the kick-off of the project PlantCom (Plant comminution: from cells to process), funded by the ANR. From 3SR, the project includes Vincent, the PI for Grenoble, Cino, and Gael.
  • The first workshop organized in the framework of the COST program ON-DEM will take place in Aalto (Finland) from the 14th to the 16th of May. The first day includes a training session on Yade-DEM organized by Bruno CHAREYRE, Vasileios ANGELIDAKIS, and Katia BOSCHI.
  • An orientation meeting has lately gathered all the geomechanics team members.GEOMECATEAMLEADERS



  • On March 29, Lev TRUSKINOVSKY (Laboratoire PMMH, Paris) gave a very inspiring talk on “Mesoscopic discrete-continuum approach to crystal plasticity“–We’ve learned that plasticity is discrete, in nature!

New material!

  • A new experimental device was installed in the Eiffel building, in February. Kindly donated by INERIS, the 1g ground motion simulator aims to investigate soil-structure interactions when instabilities occur. It completes the 3SR geotechnical experimental stock.
The new jewel !!!

The new jewel !!!


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Grenoble Geomechanics Newsletter No. 44

Dear Geo-Fellows,

As we gear up for the holiday season and prepare to bid adieu to an eventful year, Edition 44 of our newsletter is a testament to the incredible journey we’ve shared over the last three months. Let’s take a moment to revel in our collective achievements, relish the milestones, and share in the anticipation of what lies ahead.

Please colleagues, enjoy and forward this letter to fellows and friends.

If you have something you want to share in the next newsletter, please do not hesitate to contact us at:

PhD graduates

  • On December 14th, Marylin SARKIS defended her PhD thesis on “Caractérisation micro-mécanique des contacts pour la prédiction de propriétés macroscopiques du sable bio-cimenté ” under the supersion of Christian GEINDREAU, Fabrice EMERIAULT and Antoine NAILLON. The jury was composed of Pierre PHILIPPE (INRAE, Aix-en-Provence), Anh Minh TANG – (École des Ponts ParisTech), Gaël COMBE (Université Grenoble Alpes), Hannelore DERLUYN (Univ Pau & Pays Adour) Annette ESNAULT FILET (Soletanche Bachy).
  • On 4th of December Lu AN defended his PhD thesis whose title is “Analyse de la stabilité des barrages en terre à l’aide d’approches basées sur l’apprentissage automatique” under the supervision of Daniel DIAS, Laurent PEYRAS, Claudio CARVAJAL, Orianne JENCK and Pierre BREUL. Farimah MASSROURI (Université de Lorraine), Jean-Michel PEREIRA (École des Ponts ParisTech), Alaa CHATEAUNEUF (Université Blaise Pascal) and Julien BAROTH (Université Grenoble Alpes) took part in the jury.

GCER 2022-2023!

  • The kick-off meeting took place on September 11. This year, the students are fewer than last year — they are 14. For the first time ever there are no italian students in the class (!). They will start their research project in February next year.

ALERT-Geomaterials, annual meeting in Aussois!

One of the sessions of the workshop (Sept. 25 to Sept. 27) was co-organized by Cino (“Anisotropy in geomaterials: theory, experiments and modelling“, see

The doctoral school (Sept. 28 to Sept. 30) was co-organized by Félix (“Machine Learning in Geomechanics“, see

PhD prize!

  • Our Angela Casarella was one of the three finalists for the Ioannis Vardoulakis PhD Prize 2023 for her thesis entitled “Multi-scale investigation of the thermomechanical behaviour of non-active clay“. Warm congratulations to her!




  • Barés J., Cárdenas-Barrantes M., Pinzón G., Andò E., Renouf M., Viggiani G., Azéma E. (2023) – Compacting an assembly of soft balls far beyond the jammed state: insights from 3D imaging. Physical Review E 108, 044901-1-1.
  •  Seo D., Tengattini A., Viggiani G., Buscarnera G. (2024) – Experimental and Analytical Assessment of Fracture Criteria for Non-Spherical Sand Grains. Granular Matter, Granular Matter 26, 1.
  • Pan J., Pinzón G., Wang R., Andò E., Viggiani G., Zhang J.M. (2024) – Lessons learned from matching 3D DEM and experiments at macro, meso and fabric scales for triaxial compression tests on lentils, JMPS, accepted November 2023.
  • A benchmark study of 8 different open-source codes for DEM has been accepted in Computer Physics Communication. The paper, entitled “Comparing open-source DEM frameworks for simulations of common bulk processes” involves Robert Caulk, Vasileios Angelidakis, and Bruno Chareyre for the Yade-DEM part and is here.


  • Michela Arciero and Cino attended to IS-PORTO 2023, the 8th International Symposium on Deformation Characteristics of Geomaterials, held from the 3rd to the 6th September 2023 in Porto. Michela gave a talk.
  • Bilal Al Tfaily presented his work titled “A 3D discrete element model for studying soil-structure interaction on shallow foundations subjected to seismic loads” at the XVII International Conference on Computational Plasticity, COMPLAS 2023, held in Barcelona, Spain, from 5th to 7th September 2023. An image of his numerical sample of Ticino sand is presented below.



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Grenoble Geomechanics Newsletter No. 43

Welcome back, geomechanics enthusiasts!

After a well-deserved summer vacation, the whole geomechanics is back into the world of geomechanics, eager to dive back into running experiments, conducting simulations, tackling new challenges, exploring the intricate mechanics of the Earth’s subsurface, teaching courses that inspire the next generation…

This 43rd edition of our newsletter is to remind us of where we left off and a spirited preview of where we shall resume our journey. Find all the news in the 43rd edition of our newsletter. Please forward this letter to colleagues and friends. Enjoy!

If you have something you want to share in the next newsletter, please do not hesitate to contact us at:



  • Our colleague Takashi Matsushima, from the University of Tsukuba, Japan, has spent two weeks at 3SR working with Cino. They are working together on a textbook on soil mechanics, which they hope to finalize within the next two years. They had a lot of fun as evoked by the captivating picture below.



PhD graduates!

  • On June 28th, Antoine MERTZ defended his PhD thesis titled “Comportement de conduites de gaz enterrées et soumises à des charges de surface”, under the supervision of Fabrice EMERIAULT, Christophe DANO, and Orianne JENCK. The jury was made up of Prof. Pascal VILLARD as president (Université Grenoble Alpes, France),  Jean-Claude DUPLA (Ecole des Ponts ParisTech, France), Olivier DECK (Ecole des Mines Nancy, France), Luc THOREL (Univ. Gustave Eiffel Nantes, France), Fabrice EMERIAULT (Grenoble INP, France).
  •  On July 7th, Imane Salama defended her Ph.D. thesis on “Ageing of geomaterials adjacent to foundation elements” under the supervision of  Christophe DANO and the co-supervision of Jelke DIJKSTRA (Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden). The members of the jury were: Fabrice EMERIAULT as president (Grenoble INP, France), Pierre BREUL (Univ. Clermont Auvergne, France), Philippe REIFFSTECK (Univ. Gustave Eiffel Marne-la-Vallée, France), Mahdia HATTAB (Univ. Lorraine Metz, France), Christophe DANO (UGA, France).

GCER 2022-2023!

  • The 2022-2023 class of master students defended their research project in the last week of June 2023. Out of these 24 students, 9 of them will embark on a PhD this fall — of which 3 in our lab: Elena Ilari, Hilario Greggi, Ali Kazemnadi.

New PhD students!

  • In October 2023, our former master student Tomoya Nagatama will start his PhD project “bio-inspired soft robotics for underground exploration” under the supervision of Cino in Grenoble and Barbara Mazzolai (Instituto Italiano di Tecnologia). Nicolas, Luc, and Bob are also involved in this project.
  • Hilario Greggi will start also his PhD on the subject titled “Image analysis of simultaneous X-ray and neutron tomography of fluid flow in geomaterials” under the supervision of Alessandro TENGATTINI (UGA), Olga STAMATI (European Synchrotron Radiation Facility), Stéphane ROUX (ENS Paris-Saclay).



3SR has added one more publication to its contribution to science:

  • Vego I., Tengattini A., Lenoir N., Viggiani G. (2023) – The influence of water sorption on the microstructure of a hydro-sensitive granular material (couscous) deduced from simultaneous neutron and x-ray tomography. Granular Matter, 25, 65


  • In August 2023, Cino gave a eight-hour on-line course on “Advanced Experimental Geomechanics” to the PhD students (about 50) of Shandong University in China.
  • A 3-day short course on DEM and Yade is offered as a satellite event of the DEM9 conference.
    It will cover basics of DEM and Yade usage, multiphysics couplings, and complex shapes.
    The instructors are Bruno Chareyre (from our lab 3SR), Robert Caulk (INRIA Grenoble), and Vasileios Angelidakis (Univ. Erlangen-Nuremberg). For more details, please see the flyer below or click here.



On April 27, Jean Lerbet (from Université d’Évry Val d’Essonne) gave a talk (in French) about “l’écriture intrinsèque des lois de comportements des milieux discrets”. More information in here.
On May 4, Pin Zhang (Royal Society-Newton International Fellow, University of Cambridge, UK) gave a talk about “Data-Driven Modelling for Discovery and Solution of Partial Differential Equations”. More information in


Olatoundé Alexandre YABA was awarded the BOUSSINESQ Prize 2023, attributed by the French Committee for Soil Mechanics (Comité Francais de Mécanique des Sols – CFMS) in recognition of his PhD work on “Improvement of Railway Trackbeds using Geogrids Analysis of Mechanical Behaviour, Settlement Reduction and Increase in Effective Bearing Capacity”.

The BOUSSINESQ Prize is assigned every two years and aims to distinguish the author of the most remarkable thesis, completed in a French institution, on one of the subjects concerning the CFMS, namely soil mechanics, geotechnics, and specific techniques concerning works in interaction with the ground.

The PhD thesis was prepared at the 3SR Lab, in cooperation with SNCF Réseau, between 2019 and 2022, under the direction of Fabrice EMERIAULT, the co-supervision of Orianne JENCK and Jean-François FERELLEC (from SNCF Réseau).


Congratulations on his well-deserved success! Wishing him continued achievements and joy in his journey ahead.

New personnel!

We welcome Cyrille Couture as an Assistant Professor (Maitre de Conférences) at UGA in Laboratoire 3SR. We can’t help but notice his exceptional and distinctive style – a haircut that truly sets him apart! With a sharp intellect and a flair for individuality, we have no doubt that Professor Couture will bring a fresh perspective to our community and make an impact that’s as unique as his haircut.

Sad news!

It is with great sorrow that we learned of the death of Patrick Selvadurai on July 20, 2023. Patrick was a fantastic scientist in geomechanics, and a good friend of many of us. For a longer biography, and a place online to pay respects, please visit the Dignity Memorial website.

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Grenoble Geomechanics Newsletter No. 42

As the famous Albert Einstein once said, ‘The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.’ This quote perfectly captures the spirit our Geomechanics Group has been in these two last months. Whether you’re a scientist, a researcher, or simply someone who is curious about the latest developments in Geomechanics, we’ve got you covered here. Find all the news in the 42nd edition of our newsletter. Please forward this letter to colleagues and friends. Enjoy!

If you have something you want to share in the next newsletter, please do not hesitate to contact us at:


  • Dr Akihiko KONDO, from Port and Airport Research Institute (PARI) in Japan is with us at 3SR for three months. He and Dr. Gaël Combe plan to conduct collaborative research to apply the mechano-luminescent grains technique developed in PARI into “1g2e”, a unique shear device for 2D granular assemblies in 3SR. In this single one experiment, both the localization phenomenon of the strain field and the instantaneous generation and disappearance of stress chains and their transitions, and consequently a detailed description of deformation and failure mechanisms in granular materials can be obtained.
  • A group of researcher and PhD students from the University of Hamburg, by the names of Marius Milatz, Michail Komodromos and Dennis Heinrich visited us within the two first weeks of April. They mostly played with our computed tomography scanner while performing triaxial tests whose results will be used as input in numerical models. Marius Milatz used also a custom-built miniaturised direct shear apparatus to look inside the shear behaviour of unsaturated granular materials on the grain and pore scale.


  •  We have Laura Perrotta, from Scuola Superiore Meridionale in Italy here with us at 3SR, to  perform in-situ XR micro-CT tests on Lightweight Cemented Soil and image analysis of the results. Laura is a PhD student in Mathematical and Physical Sciences for advanced Materials and Technologies. She will be here for 2 months, from March, 27 to May, 27.
  • Over the program ECOS Norte Perou “NUMOTOS”,   Dominique Daudon  spent 2 weeks, by mid-march 2022, in Lima at the Pontifica Universidad Catolica del Peru (PUCP), with  Prof Sandra Santa Cruz and Paola Ita, a PhD student, to participate to the first seismic testing of 2 Dry Stone Retaining Walls (DSRW) on a vibrating table of the PUCP civil engineering department.  As no literature has been encountered on similar walls testing, experimental campaings were really expected with great impatience. Despite the limits of the campaign,  the experimental results demonstrated the positive effect of reinforcing the walls with a larger number of through stones, and the capability of the Yade numerical model to anticipate the experimental results. This peruvian journey follows the one of last July 2022 with Florent Vieux Champagne (3SR-RV), where static tests of 9 DSRW were performed to evaluate the fragility curves of 3 reinforced walls, and to calibrate the Yade DEM numerical model.  Paola Ita will join us in 3SR this summer.

PhD graduates!

  • On March 14th, Gustavo Pinzon defended his PhD thesis titled “Experimental investigation of the effects of particle shape and friction on the mechanics of granular media”, under the supervision of Cino Viggiani, Edward Andò, and Alessandro Tengattini. The jury was made up of Prof. Farhang Radjai (Université de Montpellier, France), Prof. Jean Michel Pereira (École des Ponts ParisTech, France), Prof. Gaël Combe (Université Grenoble Alpes), Prof. Catherine O’Sullivan (Imperial College London, UK), Prof. Antonio Gens (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya), and Prof. Stephen Hall (Lund University, Sweden).


  •  On March 22nd, Jiamin became a doctor of Grenoble Alpes University as she defended her thesis titled “Numerical analysis of the rigid inclusions soil reinforcement technique” under the supervision of  Daniel DIAS and  Orianne JENCK. The members of the jury were Anne PANTET (Université de Normandie – Le Havre), Emmanuel BOURGEOIS (Université Gustave Eiffel), Pascal VILLARD (Université Grenoble Alpes), Luc THOREL (Université Gustave Eiffel), and Bastien CHEVALIER (Université Clermont Auvergne).


  • Later, on March 31st Ilija Vego defended his thesis “Multi-modal investigation of hygroscopic granular media at high relative humidity” under the supervision of Cino Viggiani, Alessandro Tengattini, and Edward Andò. The jury was comprised of Prof. Emilien Azéma (Université de Montpellier, France), Prof. José E. Andrade (California Institute of Technology, US), Prof. Karen E. Daniels (North Carolina State University, US), and Gaël Combe (Université Grenoble Alpes, France).




The laboratory 3SR has contributed to two recent articles:

  • Mourlas C., Pardoen B., Bésuelle P., Large-scale failure prediction of clay-rock from small scale damage mechanisms of the rock medium using multiscale modelling, Int J. for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics, vol. 47, n° 7, pp. 1254-1288,
  • Couture C., Bésuelle P., 2023, Three-invariants model and bifurcation analysis of deformation bands for a sandstone subjected to true triaxial loading paths, Acta Geotechnica,


Warm congratulations go to Alessandro Tengattini who was awarded the ENSA Neutron Instrumentation and Innovation Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the devlopment of Neutron Imaging, in particular for building the NeXT-Grenoble instrument at the Laue-Langevin Institute (ILL) and improving its capabilities to the highest possible level.

Alessandro arrived at the ILL in 2015 as a postdoc when he started the construction of D50-Tomo, which later became NeXT-Grenoble. In 2018 he became Joint Scientist ILL/UGA before being awarded, in 2020, the Imaging for Mechanics Chaire at UGA/ILL, when he then became an Associate Professor at the University.


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Grenoble Geomechanics Newsletter No. 41

After some (well) deserved holidays, our GéoMéchanique group at Laboratoire 3SR (Sols, Solides, Structures – Risques) is back on track, ready to continue with the experiments, simulations, and top-tier research! Find all the news in the 41st edition of our newsletter. Please forward this letter to colleagues and friends. Enjoy!

If you have something you want to share in the next newsletter, please do not hesitate to contact us at:


Journées en l’honneur de Jacques et Denis

Two half-days were organised by the laboratory in the honor of Jacques Desrues and Denis Caillerie. It took place between the 26th and 27th of January and held talks by Robert Charlier (Université de Liège, Belgium), Stéphane Andrieux (ONERA, France), Pierre Suquet (CNRS, LMA, Marseille, France), Michel Bornert (Laboratoire Navier, Paris, France), Pierre-Simon Jouk (TIMC, Grenoble, France), René Chambon (3SR, Grenoble, France), Claudio Tamagnini (Università di Perugia, Italy), and Annie Raoult (Laboratoire MAP5, Paris, France).




Claudio Tamagnini (Università di Perugia, Italy) spent one month at the lab as an invited professor — from January 15 to February 15. A friend of Cino’s and an expert in Numerical Modeling in Geomechanics, he is helping Chiara (PhD student of Cino, Alessandro and Pierre) not only with the correction of the formulation of her model for Cemented Granular Materials but also with the implementation of the latter in Finite Elements.


PhD graduates!

  • Chunjing Ma defended his thesis titled “Numerical assessment of the behaviour of energy tunnels” on November 14th 2022, under the supervision of Daniel Dias and Alice Di Donna. The jury was composed of: Fleur Loveridge (Leeds University, UK), Hussein Mroueh, (Lille Sciences & Technologies, France), Fabrice Emeriault, (University of Grenoble Alpes, France), Alessandro F. Rotta Loria, (Northwestern University, US), and Iulia Prodan (Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, Romania).
  • On November 22nd, our amazing Angela Casarella successfully defended her PhD work “Multi-scale investigation of the thermomechanical behaviour of non-active clay”, under the supervision of Vincent Richefeu, Alice Di Donna, and Alessandro Tarantino (Strathclyde University, UK). The jury was composed of:  Gioacchino Viggiani (Université Grenoble Alpes, France), Juan Carlos Santamarina (KAUST, Saudi Arabia), Pierre Delage (École des Ponts ParisTech, France), Catherine O’Sullivan (Imperial College London, UK), and Jelke Dijkstra (Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden).


  • On December 16th, Ankit Sharma defended his PhD work, funded by Equaterre group, on the “Development and experimental validation of a new in-situ geotechnical test – Cyclic CPT, with emphasis on identifying liquefiable soils”. The jury was composed of Dr. M. ARROYO ALVAREZ DE TOLEDO (reviewer, UPC Barcelona), Dr. P. REIFFSTECK (reviewer, UGE Paris), Pr. F. EMERIAULT (president, INP Grenoble), under the collective supervision of B. Chareyre (PhD director), L. Sibille and C. Dano, all from 3SR and P. Riegel and P. Sadrabadi (Equaterre).

PhD defense members

(Future) PhD graduates

  • On March 31st Ilija Vego will defend his thesis “Multi-modal investigation of hygroscopic granular media at high relative humidity” under the supervision of Cino Viggiani, Alessandro Tengattini, and Edward Andò. The jury is composed of Prof. Emilien Azéma (Université de Montpellier, France), Prof. José E. Andrade (California Institute of Technology, US), Prof. Karen E. Daniels (North Carolina State University, US), and Gaël Combe (Université Grenoble Alpes, France).
  • On March 14th Gustavo Pinzón will defend his PhD titled “Experimental investigation of the effects of particle shape and friction on the mechanics of granular media”, under the supervision of Cino Viggiani, Edward Andò, and Alessandro Tengattini. The jury is composed of Prof. Farhang Radjai (Université de Montpellier, France), Prof. Jean Michel Pereira (École des Ponts ParisTech, France), Prof. Gaël Combe (Université Grenoble Alpes), Prof. Catherine O’Sullivan (Imperial College London, UK), Prof. Antonio Gens (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya), and Prof. Stephen Hall (Lund University, Sweden).

New PhD students

In November 2022, Michela Arciero started her PhD project “Multi-scale analysis, laboratory design in seismic field and study of soil reinforcement techniques with a sustainable perspective” under the supervision of Giuseppe Modoni (University of Cassino and Southern Lazio) and Gioacchino Viggiani (UGA, 3SR Laboratoire).

Master projects

Six students of the international master program in Geomechanics have started their second-semester research project and will work in our team: Coraly Corneio (from Bolivia), Georgios Felekis (from Greece), Elena Ilari (from Italy), Aoxin Li (from China), Saad Mortadi (from Morocco), and Birhan Woldemichael (from Ethiopia). We look forward to hearing from them about what are they working on — perhaps in a team meeting soon?

Recent publications

  • Lewis H., Couples G., Tengattini A., Buckman J., Tudisco E., Etxegarai M., Viggiani G., Zihms S., Hall S.A. (2022) – Interactions Between Imbibition and Pressure-Driven Flow in a Microporous Deformed Limestone. Transport in Porous Media.
  • Pinzón G., Andò E., Desrues J., Viggiani G. (2023) – Fabric evolution and strain localisation in inherently anisotropic specimens of anisometric particles (lentils) under triaxial compression. Granular Matter, 25:15.
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Grenoble Geomechanics Newsletter No. 40

Some cold breeze starts to blow in Grenoble, as winter (and ski season!) slowly takes over. But not to worry, the sun always shines on our GéoMéchanique group at Laboratoire 3SR (Sols, Solides, Structures – Risques). Find all the news in the 40th edition of our newsletter. Please forward this letter to colleagues and friends. Enjoy!

If you have something you want to share in the next newsletter, please do not hesitate to contact us at: .



The Lagashop workshop, organised by Alice Di Donna, Pierre Bésuelle and Jacques Desrues, was held from 5 to 7 July in the Vercors near Grenoble. 30 people participated in this workshop dedicated to the recent evolution of the Lagamine finite element computational code, and organised around the themes of multiscale models, multiphysics couplings, interfaces and localisation as well as large-scale modelling of real problems. This was an opportunity for excellent scientific exchanges in a relaxed atmosphere. More information at:


Group photo during the thematic visit of the Grotte de Choranche.


On August 29 and 30, Angela, Alice, and Cino Viggiani organized a short course on Multiscale numerical modelling of geomaterials (the program is here: This two-day course took place in Grenoble, as a pre-event to the 16th IACMAG conference in Torino, Italy.


Visit to the European Synchrotron

Lorentz Center Workshop “Image is everything” 

On September 12-16, Alessandro, Gustavo, Ilija, and Cino attended a workshop on imaging of particulate and multiphase materials at the Lorentz Center in Leiden, the Netherlands (


ALERT-Geomaterials is (a)live!

Exactly like last year, both the workshop and the doctoral school were held in Aussois — from September 26 to October 1st. Not only was ALERT Geomaterials held in person, but almost 20 of the attendees were from Grenoble – and many of them had posters/presentations. For those interested, the full program can be found here:


Some (well) known faces at the Aussois cafeteria!

A new batch of students in our Master program (Geomechanics, Civil Engineering and Risks)

A fresh year, a fresh batch of students. The Master’s program boasts 24 new students coming from 16 different countries. The kick-off meeting took place on September 19, all classes are happening on-site (!)


Dr Sandra SANTA CRUZ from Universidad Pontifica Catolica de LIMA (Peru), civil engeenering department end GRUPO GERDIS  will be at 3SRLab from 19/10 until 1/11. She will give 2 seminars in the framework of Risk Institute of UGA:

  • “Evaluation of the seismic vulnerability of Pircas (peruvian traditional dry stone retaining walls): experimental and numerical work”.
    • In partnership with the 3SR Laboratory for the numerical part.
    • Thursday 20/10/2022 at 4:00 pm
    • Coordination: Florent Vieux-Champagne, Yannick Sieffert, and Dominique Daudon
  • “Interdisciplinary project on the evaluation of the vunerability of hospital and colleges of Lima (Peru)”
    • Review of an interdisciplinary project between the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PUCP) and local authorities.
    • Thursday 27/10/2022 at 4:00 pm

Place: Laboratoire 3SR- Room 011 (Bâtiment Galilée – 1270 Rue de la Piscine – 38610 Gières, France)

Language: English

Participation is free.
To follow the seminar online:

Recent publications

  • Abdallah, A., Aboul Hosn, R., Al Tfaily, B., & Sibille, L. (2022). Identifying parameters of a discrete numerical model of soil from a geotechnical field test. European Journal of Environmental and Civil Engineering, 1-20.
  • Milatz, M., Andò, E., & Viggiani, G. (2022). Data from in situ X-ray CT imaging of transient water retention experiments with cyclic drainage and imbibition. 10.15480/336.4291

Last but not least!

Cino turned 60 on October 4. To many more years marked by laughter, good science, and an eternal young soul!

ceba75eb-262e-4a98-be7d-18e078fea24eThe young souls of 3SR!


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Grenoble Geomechanics Newsletter No. 39

Summer is at full speed in Grenoble, and so is our GéoMéchanique group at Laboratoire 3SR (Sols, Solides, Structures – Risques). Find all the news in the 39th edition of our newsletter. Please forward this letter to colleagues and friends. Enjoy!

If you have something you want to share in the next newsletter, please do not hesitate to contact us at: .

Conferences & Events

ICTMS 2022

From June 27th to July 1st, the 5th International Conference on Tomography of Materials & Structures took place in Grenoble, and the 3SR team was present in both the scientific and organizing committees.  A massive attendance of researchers from all over the world made such a nice week, full of x-rays, cheeses and wines!

The keynotes presentations were given by:

  • Alexandra Pacureanu (ESRF, France) : Hard X-ray nano-imaging for life sciences
  • Joost Batenburg (University of Leiden, The Netherlands) : Advanced X-Ray Tomography Reconstruction: Classical methods, Machine learning approaches, and how to attain the best of both worlds.
  • Christian Schlepütz (PSI – SLS, Switzerland) : Time-resolved microtomography for materials science: Unveiling structural evolution in dynamic processes
  • Stephen Hall (University of Lund, Sweden) ND imaging of processes in granular- and geo-materials from intra-granula to bulk scale
  • Karen Chen-Wiegart (Stony Brook University, USA)
  •  Synchrotron X-ray nano-tomography and multimodal characterization of materials for energy applications.
  • Jean Susini (Soleil, France) : Synchrotron-Based X-ray Imaging: Trends, Challenges, and new Opportunities.

Our GéoMéchanique team was well represented by: Alessandro Tengattini (NeXT 2.0 : the upgrade of the neutron and x-ray tomograph at ILL), Olga Stamati  (3D particle tracking in flowing granular media with only X-ray radiography: application to two case studies), Ilija Vego (5D Tomography of couscous exposed to high relative humidity), Couture Cyrille (Fast x-ray tomography of immiscible fluid fingering in porous sandstone), Pierre Besuelle (Deformation mechanisms in a clay rock at the micron-scale), and Gustavo Pinzón (Metrological advances on contact detection from X-ray tomography images).

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Some students from 3SR giving a hand with the logistics of ICTMS, there is always time for fun pictures !

Yade hackathon!

The core Yade open-source software developers gathered in Frieberg, Germany from 23/06-25/06 for a hackathon! Many familiar faces from Laboratoire 3SR made their appearances including Bruno Chareyre, Janek Kozicki, Jerome Duriez, Václav Šmilauer, Katia Boschi, and Robert Caulk.


Yade hackaton team!

Yade short-course!

Robert Caulk and Bruno Chareyre completed a short course covering thermo-hydro-mechanical processes in particulate materials. Among the participants included students from Italy, France, China, Netherlands, and the United Kingdom and even a few familiar faces from Laboratoire 3SR. All slides and tutorials from the short-course are publicly available on the Yade website at:

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Bruno, Robert and some of the attendees of the Yade course

CPT ’22

Our great PhD student Ankit Sharma participated in the 5th International Symposium on Cone Penetration Testing that took place in Bologna. He presented his new cyclic CPT test and discussed how it can be more suited to identify liquefiable soils – promising results ahead!

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Seminars and Visits


Cino wearing a tie in Prague


Multi-phase flow module on Yade

Yade-DEM’s module for multi-phase flow has been further extended to account for vapor transfers. The work was part of the PhD of Son Thai Pham at the Otto von Guericke University of Magdeburg, Thermal Process Engineering Dept., in order to analyze crack patterns in drying materials. Results have been published in Powder Technology by Thai Pham et al. (2022).

Percolation of air and capillary forces resulting the slow drying of a porous material (Thai Pham et al. 2022).

Master projects

The 28 students of our Master program “Geomechanics, Civil Engineering and Risks” defended their Master dissertation in the week 4-7 July (10 of them did their internship in our team GéoMécanique). On July 7, a BBQ took place to celebrate the end of the program. It was back after two years of absence — because of the pandemic.


Master students at the BBQ

Visiting Scholars 

  • Our colleague Benjy Marks visited us for the last month!.  Benjy works at the University of Sydney, and he is an expert in granular flow problems, such as avalanche runout, landslide and debris flow modelling.
  • On April 8, Cyrille Couture has moved to Japan for a post-doc at the Port and Airport Research Institute. He is working with Daiki Takano and his research team. Good luck!

PhD graduates!

Olatounde Yaba defended his PhD titled: “Improvement of Railway Trackbeds using Geogrids – Analysis of Mechanical Behaviour, Settlement Reduction and Increase in Effective Bearing Capacity”, and prepared under the supervision of Fabrice Emeriault. Bravo Docteur !

Recent publications

  • Son Thai Pham, Bruno Chareyre, Evangelos Tsotsas, Abdolreza Kharaghani, Pore network modeling of phase distribution and capillary force evolution during slow drying of particle aggregates, Powder Technology,
  • Sharma, A., Rapanakis, P., Incardona, E., Dano, C., Sibille, L., Chareyre, B., & Sadrabadi, H. H. (2022). New method for assessing soil liquefaction resistance using a cyclic cone penetrometer. In Cone Penetration Testing 2022 (pp. 1102-1106). CRC Press.
  • Vego, I., Tengattini, A., Andò, E., Lenoir, N., & Viggiani, G. (2022). Effect of high relative humidity on a network of a water-sensitive particles (couscous) as revealed by in-situ x-ray tomography. Soft Matter.
  • Shahin G., Papazoglou A., Marinelli F., Viggiani G., Buscarnera G. (2022) – Experimental Study of Compaction Localization in Carbonate Rock and Constitutive Modeling of Mechanical Anisotropy. International Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics, accepted June 2022.
  • Yin Q., Andò E., Viggiani G., Sun W. (2022) – Freezing-induced stiffness and strength anisotropy in freezing clayey soil: phenomenological theory, numerical modeling, and experimental validation. International Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics, 46:11, 2087-2114.
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Grenoble Geomechanics Newsletter No. 38

As spring is fully back in Grenoble, so is our first GéoMéchanique Newsletter of 2022 from our group at Laboratoire 3SR (Sols, Solides, Structures – Risques). Find all the news within the 38th edition of our newsletter. Please forward this letter to colleagues and friends. Enjoy!

If you have something you want to share in the next newsletter, please do not hesitate to contact us at: .

Group events & visits

Workshop Montpellier – 3SR

On November 25 and 26, we hosted a group of about 12 people including faculty and PhD students from Montpellier, including Carlos Santamarina (KAUST, Saudi Arabia) who is currently on sabbatical leave in Montpellier. The first day Farhang Radjai gave a talk on “Time and length scales in rheology of granular flows”. We then had a very nice dinner downtown.


On the following day, a one-day workshop took place with three speakers from Montpellier and three speakers from Grenoble – see program below. Quite a lot of time was dedicated to discussion, which was rich and fruitful. Most of us returned home with the feeling that we had just gone through an exceptional academic exercise. We hope that similar events can be organized again in the future.



  • Angela Casarella: Inferring clay particle interaction modes at different pore-water chemistry: from particles in suspension to the consolidated state
  • Jean-Yves Delenne: Modelling grain fragmentation
  • Alessandro Tengattini: Neutron(and x-ray) Imaging for the mechanics and physics of geomaterials
  • Saeid Nemazabadi: Modelling deformable grains
  • Cyrille Couture: Experimental study on 3D fingering of immiscible fluids in porous media
  • Katerina Ioannidou: Modelling cement paste in the sub-micron scale

3SR @ IIT Genova

A comitee from 3SR (including Luc and Cino for the Géomécanique team) visited Barbara Mazzolai and coworkers in Genova, Italy for the Geomechanics meets Biorobotics: a new approach towards sustainable technology, a two-day workshop at ITT Genova (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia) focused on the commom points between biorobotics, smart materials, geomechanics, biology and archeology. See the program of the workshop here: 2022 Geomechanics meets Biorobotics Agenda .

Such a nice interaction!




At the beginning of this year, PhD student Ilija Vego spent two months at the Wageningen Univeristy and Research and Unilever facilities in the Netherlands. There several experiment were performed on a water-sensitive material (couscous), exposing its particles to high relative humidity levels. Also, a Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) machine was used to study the different response of dry and wet specimens, as well as the overall absorption process.


Hands-on DEM short course offered – June 2022!

Robert Caulk and Bruno Chareyre are now offering a short-course focused on Thermo-Hydro-Mechanical modeling, which will be held in Amsterdam Netherlands in June 2022. The course will be hands-on with Yade open source DEM software, where participants will learn how to build their own THM models as well as the theory underpinning the THM couplings in Yade. Please see the following link for more details and contact information, please see the flyer:

New faces at 3SR

  • Alessandro Tarantino, from University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, UK, visited us for a couple of weeks in November and December 2021.
  • Barbara Mazzolai and coworkers from Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) visited us for a few days in December 2021. We started working on a common project in wich we’re looking at the way the growth of plant roots in a soil is affected by a significant change of density of the soil. The experimental tool is (surprise surprise!) x-ray tomography and associated image analysis. Also Floriana Anselmucci was with us for these preliminary experiments.



  • Martial Blondet, from PUCP Lima, Peru,  visited us for 2 days, in the framework of the Risk Institute seminar.
  • Paola ITA, PhD student at PUCP Lima, Peru, is visiting us for 4 months from January 2022, within the ECOS North Peru programm, a bilater mobility cooperation program between GERDIS-PUCP (Lima) ans 3SR. Paola, works on the seismic behavior of “pircas” through discrete element modeling. The objective is to improve the construction techniques of her small self-built support walls in the popular districts of Lima, a very seismic region. Within the framework of his thesis, of the ECOS program, and of the M2GC Biosourced Mtx UE of Phitem, a cyclic shear test of a small dry stone wall was carried out at the IUT. This is a world premiere shared by the Geomeca and RVO team. The cyclic displacements at the head were 1,2,3,4,5 cm; the brand new stereovision equipment acquired by CMTC, 3SR and LEGI was used to obtain displacement field measurements at the wall surface.


  • Xiaomin Liang, PhD student at Tongji University, arrived to 3SR at the end of January and will stay with us for one year. Her work at 3SR, funded by CSC (Chinese Scientific Council) will include innovative tests on sand samples to investigate the link between changes of elastic wave velocity and the corresponding changes in the micro fabric of the material, namely its anisotropy.
  • Øyvind Torgesrud has arrived to the lab in early February and will stay with us for one year. His PhD project, which started in April last year, is supervised by Jose Andrade at Caltech, Hans-Petter Jostad at NGI, Eddy, and Cino. His doctoral work experimentally and numerically investigates fabric evolution in granular soils under cyclic loading. The tools are x-ray tomography (again, surprise surprise!) and LS-DEM.

PhD graduates!

Our beloved Robert Caulk successfully defended his thesis titled “Modélisation « micro-macro » par la méthode des éléments discrets du comportement à long terme des scellements de puits sous sollicitation hydraulique-gaz” on January 28th 2022. Bravo Docteur !


Master projects

10 of the 28 students currently enrolled in our Master program “Geomechanics, Civil Engineering and Risks” have started in February their internship in 3SR in our team Géomécanique, good luck with their projects!

Recent publications

  • Anselmucci F., Andò E., Viggiani G., Lenoir N., Arson C., Sibille L. (2021) – Imaging local soil kinematics during the first days of maize root growth in sand. Scientific Reports, 11:22262.
  • Etxegarai M., Tudisco E., Tengattini A., Viggiani G., Kardjilov N., Hall S.A. (2021) – Characterisation of single-phase fluid-flow heterogeneity due to localised deformation in a porous rock using rapid neutron tomography. Journal of Imaging, 7, 275
  • Tengattini A., Andò E., Einav I., Viggiani G. (2022) – Micro-mechanically inspired investigation of Cemented Granular Materials – Part I: from x-ray micro tomography to measurable model variables. Acta Geotechnica, accepted January 2022.
  • Tengattini A., Nguyen G.D., Viggiani G., Einav I. (2022) – Micro-mechanically inspired investigation of Cemented Granular Materials – Part II: from experiments to modeling and back. Acta Geotechnica, accepted January 2022.
  • Couture C., Papazoglou A., Tengattini A., Bésuelle P., Viggiani G. (2022) – X-ray imaging of immiscible fluid fingering patterns in a natural high porosity rock. Frontiers, Vol. 10, Article 839368.
  • Garcia E.F., Sitar N., Andò E., Viggiani G. (2022) – Influence of depositional fabric on mechanical properties of naturally deposited sands. Géotechnique, accepted March 2022.
  • Roy N., Frost J.D, Viggiani G. (2022)  – Pore Space Evolution of Sand Assembly under Shear: An Experimental Study using X-Ray Tomography.  Granular Matter, accepted March 2022.
  • Wang, R., Pinzón, G., Andò, E., & Viggiani, G. (2022) -Modeling Combined Fabric Evolution in an Anisometric Granular Material Driven by Particle-Scale X-Ray Measurements. Journal of Engineering Mechanics, 148(1), 04021120.
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Grenoble Geomechanics Newsletter No. 37

What a year so far! Publications, prizes, workshops, conferences, visits, new staff, master’s students – landslides(?) – the Grenoble GéoMechanique group is an absolute force to be reckoned with. Stay tuned to the end for bonus news and photos!


From a recent publication “Unearthing real time 3D ant tunneling mechanics”, photo credit: CalTech

ALERT-Geomaterials is (a)live!

Everyone at the ALERT Geomaterials Workshop and Doctoral School was thrilled to be back on-site, and full of fromage-fondu, in Aussois! What a contrast to last year, when the workshop was canceled and the doctoral school was only held by Zoom.

Not only was ALERT Geomaterials held in person this year, but almost 20 of the attendees were from Grenoble – and many of them had posters/presentations. Our very own Angela Casarella made a beautiful presentation covering her work towards a Coarse-Grained Molecular Dynamics model for clays.

For those interested, the full program can be found here Workshop&school_Final_2021

Crème de la crème, Cyrille-B takes the prize

Meanwhile, in the face of fierce competition, Cyrille-B Couture lifted the Ioannis Vardoulakis PhD Thesis Award!! Cyrille defended his thesis, entitled “Mechanical characterization of porous sandstones in true triaxial conditions: diffuse and localized deformation, effect of anisotropy”,  almost one year ago. It was funded by the IMEP2 doctoral school of the Université Grenoble Alpes (UGA). We should note that Cyrille’s distinctive work has garnered international recognition and the Grenoble GéoMechanique group is humbled and proud to have participated in this success. Interested readers can find Cyrille’s PhD manuscript here:


What is the Ioannis Vardoulakis PhD Thesis Award? This annual PhD prize was founded by the ALERT Geomaterials association with the aim of promoting the dissemination of scientific research carried out by PhD students in the field of soil, rock, and concrete mechanics.

ALERT Board of Directors elections

A new ALERT Board of Directors was elected (for the next 3 years). The 15 member board voted our very own Cino in as President, which makes this the start of his second presidential term. He promptly appointed the “bureau”, which includes three people in addition to the president: director, deputy director for administration, and deputy director for finances. They are, respectively, Fréderic Collin (University of Liège, confirmed), Claudia Vitone (Politecnico di Bari, confirmed), and Luc Sibille (new)). This means 50% of the bureau is representing our GéoMechanique group :-)

A new batch of students in our Master program (Geomechanics, Civil Engineering and Risks)

A fresh year, a fresh batch of students. The Master’s program boasts 28 new students coming from 19 different countries (which is amazing, given the situation with the pandemic). So far, zero online classes, everything is happening on-site for the foreseeable future :-).

Granular Materials, indoors and out, in the Montpellier workshop

A few GeoMechanique representatives joined a workshop on granular materials in Montpellier. In particular, Vincent Richefeu, Gaël Combe, Ilija Vego, Gustavo Pinzon, and Cino Viggiani all paid close attention to the special guest, Juan Carlos Santamarina of KAUST. Our team members ended up having fun outdoors as well, since the workshop was followed by a geological excursion in Larzac guided by Alfredo Taboada (who also organized this event). We hope that a similar event can be organised in Grenoble soon!


 A new face in the hallways

We have a new associate professor, named Quentin Rousseau, coming from Ecole Centrale de Nantes. He is with Grenoble-INP (ENSE3) and has joined our Geomechanics group in Laboratoire 3SR to continue his compelling work which focuses on the modelling of the poromechanical behaviour of soils subject to internal erosion by suffusion. He will work on multiscale mechanical modeling in geomaterials. Please give him a warm welcome next time you see him in the hallway!

Some rolling friction at Particles 2021

Bilal Al Tfaily presented his work entitled “Improving the prediction ability of simplified discrete element models on complex loading paths” at  Particles 2021 conference in Hamburg Germany. In particular, he shows a comparison between the use of rolling friction and clumps in terms of prediction ability and computation time.


A look at some recent publications

We are proud to announce that an updated version of the article “Micromechanical constitutive models of geomaterials” by Luc Sibille and Félix Darve for the French encyclopaedia, “Techniques de l’ingénieur” was released last September:

Amato G. Andò E., Lyu C., Viggiani G., Eiksund G.R. (2021) – A glimpse into rapid freezing processes in clay with x-ray tomography. Acta Geotechnica

Milatz M., Hüsener N., Andò E., Viggiani G., Grabe J. (2021) – Quantitative 3D imaging of partially saturated granular materials under uniaxial compression. Acta Geotechnica

(*)Buarque de Macedo R., Andò E., Joy S., Viggiani G., Pal R.K., Andrade J. (2021) – Unearthing real time 3D ant tunneling mechanics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), Vol. 118 No. 36 e2102267118

Tudisco E. Vitone C., Mondello C., Viggiani G., Athanasopoulos S., Hall S.A., Cotecchia F. (2021) – Local and global behaviour of fissured clays: effect of fissures orientation and confining pressure. Acta Geotechnica

Patino-Ramirez F., Anselmucci F., Andò E., Viggiani G., Caicedo B., Arson C. (2021) – Deformation and failure mechanisms of granular soil around pressurised shallow cavities. Géotechnique,

Wang R., Pinzón G., Andò E., Viggiani G. (2021) – Modelling Combined Fabric Evolution in an anisometric granular material driven by particle-scale x-ray measurements. Journal of Engineering Mechanics, ASCE, accepted August 2021

A paper which is not about DEM has Bruno Chareyre as a co-author. Yet, as it turns out, it is still about granular media: Montellà, E., Chauchat, J., Chareyre, B., Bonamy, C., & Hsu, T. (2021). A two-fluid model for immersed granular avalanches with dilatancy effectsJournal of Fluid Mechanics, 925, A13.

(*) This paper received a strong amount of external attention for its unique approach to ant tunnel imaging — see for example  and

Bonus pics:

A subset of the GéoMechanique group became irrationally excited over the discovery of a fresh landslide: landslide

Last, but certainly not least, the true heroes of the Aussois cafeteria (some new and old 3SR PhD students)


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Grenoble Geomechanics Newsletter No. 36

Et le voila! As the end of spring gives way to a lively world filled with open bars, sunny parks, and green mountains – the Grenoble GéoMécanique group continues producing new projects, new publications, new talks, and new personnel! Read our 36th Grenoble Geomechanics Group Newsletter for details!



New projects:

Screenshot from 2021-06-01 16-21-32

  • Dominique Daudon will study DEM modeling of Pircas embankment stones (Incas technology) under seismic loading during her new ECOS mobility project which has a duration of  3 years. The project “Sarra” is coordinated by Frederique Leblanc, of Laboratoire Jean Kuntzman (LJK), to study “small rockfall run out” and it is funded by UGA. The collboration implies LJK, Laboratoire 3sr, the University of Bordeaux (Vincent Couallier) and Irstea (Franck Bourrier)

A look at some recent publications:

  • Amato, G., Andò, E., Lyu, C. et al. (2021) A glimpse into rapid freezing processes in clay with x-ray tomography. Acta Geotech.
    This fascinating article was carried out in 2019 by our former M.Sc student, Giorgia Amato, under the main supervision of Gudmund Reinar Eiksund, who was on sabbatical at 3sr during the research.
  • Edward AndòBenjy Marks and Stéphane Roux  (2021) Single-projection reconstruction technique for positioning monodisperse spheres in 3D with a divergent x-ray beam
  • Luc Sibille, Nadia Benahmed, Félix Darve (2021). Constitutive response predictions of both dense and loose soils with a discrete element model, Computers and Geotechnics, Volume 135,
  • Anna Herring, Penelope L. King, Mohammad Saadatfar, Fatin Mahdini, Afiq Muzhafar Kemis Yahyah, Edward Andò, (2021) 3D microstructure controls on mineral carbonation. Journal of CO2 Utilization.

In other news:

  • Øyvind Torgersrud has taken a break from his job at the NGI (Norwegian Geotechnical Institute) to start a PhD with Eddy and Cino, to be co-supervised by Jose Andrade at Caltech (USA) and Hans Petter Jostad in NGI. He will study granular mechanics both with x-ray tomography and LS-DEM. We can expect him to be working in Grenoble for all of 2022 and possibly longer.
  • Eddy (Edward Andò) has temporarily left the 3SR and is now a visiting professor in Katrin Beyer’s lab in EPFL.
  • Gustavo Pinzon and Cyrille Couture both presented their work at “IROAST short virtual event”, covering their experimental campaigns focused on imaging porous media. The meeting was hosted by the University of Kumamoto on May 12, 2021.
  • Cino gave a spirited keynote lecture at the (virtual) german soil mechanics conference (Bodenmechanik-Tagung) on April 21, 2021 where he discussed recent developments in x-ray and neutron imaging for geomechanics.
  • Cyrille Couture started a 6-month post-doc at the ILL working with Alessandro to study the hydromechanics of multiphase fluid fingering in granular material.



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