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!


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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).

WhatsApp Image 2022-07-14 at 18.16.05

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:

unnamed (1)

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!

WhatsApp Image 2022-06-19 at 7.19.58 PM

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.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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)


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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.



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Grenoble Geomechanics Newsletter No. 35

Well, well, well. You’ve decided to read the brand new Geomechanics Newsletter. Good choice :) Our 35th newsletter presents a range of happenings including the release of our beautiful new Activity Report, which contains all sorts of GéoMécanique group research. In other news, we have 11 in-house Master’s students starting their research projects next week, and as usual – an incredible amount of publications.  As always: read on for details!

Screenshot from 2021-02-24 14-54-06

Activity Report #3 

Screenshot from 2021-02-24 14-55-54

Thanks to Vincent Richefeu & Antoine Mertz for their hard work organizing, collecting, and compiling the work of over 14 researchers and 25 PhD students. The report presents the hard work of Grenoble Geomechanics Group and covers a wide range of topics including, but not limited to:

  1. Multi-scale analysis of geomaterials
  2. Interfaces, soil-structure interactions and civil engineering structures
  3. Bio-chemo-mechanical interactions
  4. Thermo-hydro-mechanical coupling

Take a deep dive into our work by downloading the pdf book.

Screenshot from 2021-02-25 14-57-47

Deconfinement – for the calibration chamber

Our dear old rusty calibration chamber was removed from its underground resting position to make way for a smaller, younger, (but less distinguished) calibration chamber. In the end, 3SR will be one of the only labs in the world to have two calibration chambers of different sizes. Such an asset will enable further research into size-effect.

Thanks to Ankit, Payam, and Laurent for contributing their manual labor to the 3 tonne excavation!

WhatsApp Image 2021-02-12 at 12.18.34-2



Below you will find a selection of fresh 3SR publications ranging from imaging topics to earthworm locomotion.

Rorato R., Arroyo, M., Gens A., Andò E., Viggiani G. (2021) – Image-based calibration of rolling resistance in discrete element models of sand. Computers and Geotechnics, Volume 131, 103929

Borela R., Frost J.D., Viggiani G., Anselmucci F. (2021) – Earthworm-inspired robotic locomotion in sand: an experimental study using x-ray tomography. Géotechnique Letters, Vol. 11, No. 1, 1-8.

Kruyt N., Zhao C., Wiebicke M., Pinzon G., Andò E., Viggiani G. (2021) – Fabric evolution in granular soils: experimental and theoretical results. Computers and Geotechnics, accepted January 2021.

Anselmucci F., Andò E., Viggiani G., Lenoir N., Peyroux R., Arson C., Sibille L. (2021) – The use of x-ray tomography to investigate soil deformation around growing roots. Géotechnique Letters, accepted February 2021.

Chao Yuan and Bruno Chareyre (2021) Transitioning from the funicular to the pendular regime in granular soils. Géotechnique 0 0:0, 1-32

Les stages commencent!

You may notice we have 11 new Master’s internships starting at the beginning of March. Their projects range from experimental work with the Tomo, to numerical work with various softwares. Among them we have:

Erika INCARDONA / Ibraheem KHAN / Georges MOUALLEM / Panteleimon


Cino has now resorted to virtual globetrotting in his recent PoreLab webinar ( His presentation covering imaging processes in relation to geomaterials laboratory testing can be viewed here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Grenoble Geomechanics Newsletter No. 34

L’hiver arrive! We will miss this past Fall since it brought with it an incredible amount of production from the GéoMécanique group here in Grenoble. In total we had three students successfully defend their theses, six journal publications, a grant from AUGC, and the commencement of another fleet of 26 MSc students from 13 countries.  Read on for details!


Thesis Season 

Our very own Cyrille Couture brilliantly defended his PhD thesis on October 22, 2020, entitled “Mechanical characterization of porous sandstones in true triaxial conditions: diffuse and localized deformation, effect of anisotropy”. Good job Cyrille!



The one and only Floriana Anselmucci defended her PhD thesis which covered an experimental investigation of the mechanical response of sand to plant root growth. Lot’s of fun images! Great job Floriana!



The hyper smart Qiangqiang Sun successfully defended his PhD on “Seismic response of tunnels in soils: From deterministic to probabilistic approaches.” We look forward to all your future work!



Master’s program, commence!

Another Fall, another round of the famous MSc program “Geomechanics, Civil Engineering and Risks”. November 2 welcomes a shiny new class of 26 master students, coming from 13 different countries (including Africa, Europe, Asia, and South America). Interestingly, we’re doing very well in terms of gender equality: there are 13 men and 13 women in the class! So far, all the teaching is remote (via zoom), but we expect to meet these students in person when they start their master’s projects, in early March 2021.


AUGC Grant:

The famous clay trio, Angela Casarella, Alessandro Tarantino, and Alice Di Donna, received a grant from AUGC: Association Universitaire de Génie Civil to present their paper “Micromechanical interpretation of thermo-plastic behaviour of clays”  at ICEGT 2020 (rescheduled in April 2022). The paper has already been published with the other conference proceedings here:

A look at some recent publications

And let’s not forget about all the hard working authors pumping 3SR journal publications out the door!

Rorato R., Arroyo, M., Andò  E., Gens A., Viggiani G. (2020) – Linking shape and rotation of grains during triaxial compression of sand. Granular Matter (accepted September 2020).

Doreau-Malioche J., Combe G., Viggiani G. (2020) – Étude du comportement de l’interface sable-pieu sous chargement axial monotone et cyclique à l’échelle granulaire. Revue Française de Géotechnique (accepted September 2020).

Wiebicke M., Herle I., Andò E., Viggiani G. (2020) – Measuring the fabric evolution of sand – application and challenges. Geotechnik (accepted November 2020)

Martinez, A., DeJong, J., et al. (60 authors including Viggiani G.) (2020) – Bio-inspired Geotechnical Engineering: Principles, Current Work, Opportunities, and Challenges. Géotechnique (accepted November 2020)

Rorato R., Arroyo, M., Gens A., Andò E., Viggiani G. (2020) – Image-based calibration of rolling resistance in discrete element models of sand. Computers and Geotechnics (accepted December 2020)

Borela R., Frost J.D., Viggiani G., Anselmucci F. (2020) – Earthworm-inspired robotic locomotion in sand: an experimental study using x-ray tomography. Géotechnique Letters (accepted December 2020).


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Grenoble Geomechanics Newsletter-no.33

Welcome back to school! The talented members of our GéoMéchanique group of Laboratoire 3SR made good use of their “summer vacation” by publishing papers, hiring new doctoral students, and adding a permanent member to the staff. In other news, we have master’s student defenses coming up next week. Read on for details!


New Personnel

Two masters students are taking fresh PhD positions:
Chiara Rossi – starting December
PhD project: A micro-mechanical approach to cemented granular materials
Supervisors: Alessandro Tengattini, Pierre Bésuelle, Cino Viggiani
Country of origin: Italy

Meanwhile, we welcome Alessandro Tengattini as an Assistant Professor (Maitre de Conférences) at UGA in Laboratoire 3SR:alessandro

Master’s defense schedule ahead!

Next week, we have the opportunity to watch the master’s students defend their work between 07/09-10/09. The schedules each day vary, but the defenses will generally occur between 9 am and 5:30 pm. For those interested, here is a file containing the master’s student defense times.


A look at some recent publications

William Chèvremont, Hugues Bodiguel, Bruno Chareyre, (2020) Lubricated contact model for numerical simulations of suspensions, Powder Technology, 72. (temporary open-access link | permanent link).

Tengattini A., Andò E., Lenoir N., Viggiani G. (2020) – Neutron imaging for geomechanics: a review. Geomechanics for Energy and the Environment (accepted in June 2020).

Karapiperis K., Harmon J., Viggiani G., Andò E., Andrade J. (2020) – Investigating the Incremental Behavior of Granular Materials with the Level-Set Discrete Element Method. Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids (accepted in July 2020)
[a pdf is available here: ]

Shahin G., Viggiani G., Buscarnera G. (2020) – Simulating rock heterogeneities through a CT-FEM mapping scheme discloses effects of boundary friction on compaction banding onset. International Journal of Solids and Structures (accepted in August 2020).

Robert Caulk, Luc Scholtès, Marek Krzaczek, Bruno Chareyre (2020) – A pore-scale thermo–hydro-mechanical model for particulate systems, Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Grenoble Geomechanics Newsletter-no.32

Summer starts on June 20th, and clearly the GéoMéchanique group can’t help but take this opportunity to start new experiments, push publications, and network academically. Find all the news within the 32nd edition of our newsletter.

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


Presentation on clay structure!

Social distancing rules can’t keep us apart – we moved our monthly meeting to the virtual world :-). This month, doctoral student Angela Casaeralla made a riveting virtual presentation covering her research on the thermal effects of clay. We learned about how thermal processes (heating in particular) contribute to reduced attraction forces on clay platelets leading to structural collapse and changes in volumetric strain.


Visiting Scholars

Our colleague Barbara Mazzolai has obtained a grant from Labex Tec21 to visit 3SR for one month — most likely in October this year. Barbara is the director of the Center for Micro-BioRobotics of IIT (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia). Her current scientific activity focuses on bioinspired soft robotics, with a particular research interest in merging biology and engineering. She has been invited by Luc Sibille, Floriana Anselmucci, Edward Andò, Nicolas Lenoir, Robert Peyroux and Cino Viggiani — we’re looking forward to discussing plants and soil with her, and hopefully setting up new common research projects.

Our colleague Benjy Marks has obtained a grant from Labex Tec21 to spend 2 to 3 months per year in Grenoble over the next three years. His first visit is tentatively scheduled in January and February next year.  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. He will work on “Mapping fluid migration in granular flows”, together with Alessandro Tengattini, Edward Andò, and Cino Viggiani at 3SR — in close collaboration with Thierry Faug at INRAE (formerly IRSTEA).


Swelling SAP particles (a granular super-swelling material) in partially saturated conditions leads to rather complex couplings, but fortunately there are ways to simulate them at the pore scale based on some Yade-DEM module implemented at Utrecht Hydrogeology Group; see “Unsaturated flow in a packing of swelling particles; a grain-scale model“, 2020, Adv. Water Res., by Thomas Sweijen, Majid Hassanizadeh, and Bruno Chareyre.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Grenoble Geomechanics Newsletter-no.31

Despite an incredible amount of adversity in recent months – including a bit of smoke in Eiffel and, more importantly, the distinct lack of real-life croissants during our Friday “croissant” breaks – the GéoMéchanique group remains strong and productive. Find all the news within the 31st edition of our newsletter. Enjoy!

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

People visiting, people visited

In February, we had a two-day visit from Matthew Coop from University College London (UK) to discuss and validate our design for a particle-particle friction testing apparatus — Matthew is the reference in this field. Our design is good, so now we build! Oh-well, “now” has become “soon”, given the fire in the Eiffel building plus the lockdown … :-(


In early March, Eddy and Cino visited Marius Milatz and colleagues at the Technical University of Hamburg — there is an ongoing collaborative project on the hydromechanics of unsaturated columns of sand under load studied with … x-ray tomography (surprise surprise!)


PhD graduates!

On March 5, Max Wiebicke successfully defended his PhD at the University of Dresden, Germany. Max PhD is entitled “Experimental analysis of the evolution of fabric in granular
soils upon monotonic loading and load reversals” and was jointly supervised by Ivo Herle in Dresden and by Eddy and Cino at 3SR.

On April 7, Ghassan Shahin successfully defended his PhD at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois (USA). Ghassan’s PhD is entitled “Geomechanical modeling of inception and propagation of compaction bands in porous rocks” and was jointly supervised by Giuseppe Buscarnera in the USA and by Cino in Grenoble.

A look at some recent journal publications

Eddy and Cino coauthored the following paper, which was accepted for publication:

Mollon G., Quacquarelli A., Andò E., Viggiani G. (2020) – Can friction replace roughness in the numerical simulation of granular materials? Granular Matter, accepted February 2020.

Alessandro, Nicolas, Eddy, and Cino coauthored the following paper, which was accepted for publication:

Tengattini A., Lenoir N., Andò E., Giroud B., Atkins D., Beaucour J., Viggiani G. (2020) – NeXT-Grenoble, the Neutron and X-ray Tomograph in Grenoble. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research A, accepted April 2020.

(please note that the final open access version is available online:

Eleni, Eddy, Emmanuel, and Alessandro also published an article in Frontiers in Earth Science:

Stavropoulou Eleni, Andò Edward, Roubin Emmanuel, Lenoir Nicolas, Tengattini Alessandro, Briffaut Matthieu, Bésuelle Pierre (2020) Dynamics of Water Absorption in Callovo-Oxfordian Claystone Revealed With Multimodal X-Ray and Neutron Tomography, Frontiers in Earth Science, accepted February 2020.

Open Geomechanics is set to release a new article by Robert:

Caulk, R.A. (2020) Modeling acoustic emissions in heterogeneous rocks during tensile fracture with the Discrete Element Method. Open Geomechanics, accepted April 2020. 


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment