Grenoble Geomechanics Newsletter-no.25

This is the 25th edition of the GéoMécanique newsletter. This new edition contains the latest news regarding research publications, conference visits and other activities of the staff and students from the GéoMécanique group of Laboratoire 3SR (Sols, Solides, Structures – Risques). If you have something you want to share, please don’t hesitate to contact us at: . Please feel free to forward the letter to colleagues and friends, and let them know that they can subscribe by themselves here. By the way, we wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year!


Visits and conferences

The ALERT Olek Zienkiewicz Winterschool 2018 on “Natural versus compacted clayey soils: from micro to macro behaviour and modelling” was held in Bari (Italy) from November 5 to November 9. Several (current or former) students from our team attended the school: Angela Casarella, Liliana Gramegna, Mathias Tolomeo, and Alessandro Fraccica (see photo group below). Cino Viggiani gave a lecture on “Experimental characterization of localized deformation in clays and clay rocks”.

On December 11, a half-day workshop in honor of our colleague Félix Darve took place in Grenoble. Four talks were given by:

  • Eduardo Alonso (Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña, Spain): Coarse granular soils. Long term behaviour.
  • Claudio di Prisco (Politecnico di Milano, Italy): Extension of controllability theory to viscoplastic constitutive relationships.
  • Patrick Selvadurai (McGill University, Canada): Dilatancy and Rupture of Elastically Constrained Geological Interfaces.
  • Manuel Pastor (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain): Modeling of two-phase landslides.

The day was closed by Félix Darve, who gave a talk entitled “Félix in Geomechanics Wonderland”.



Mathias Tolomeo defended his thesis on October 20. His PhD is entitled “Forces inferred from macroscopic loading and grain motions”, and was supervised by Vincent Richefeu, Gaël Combe, Cino Viggiani, and Jean-Noël Roux.

Thanos Papazoglou defended his thesis on December 13. His PhD is entitled “An experimental study of localized compaction in high porosity rocks: the example of Tuffeau de Maastricht”, and was supervised by Cino Viggiani, Christophe Dano, and Giuseppe Buscarnera (Northwestern University, USA).

We had a visit from Yorgos Birmpilis from Chalmers University in Gothenburg (Sweden) with his beautiful x-ray compatible Bishop & Wesley triaxial for soft clays… 74 tomographies per test!

Marius Milatz from the Technical University of Hamburg came with his RaspberryPi powered loading system to compress unsaturated columns of sand and following granular rearrangements and water movement with x-ray tomography.



The paper entitled “Field experiments at three sites to investigate the effects of age on steel piles driven in sand” by Roselyn Carroll & P Carotenuto (NGI), C Dano, & I Salama (3SR), M. Silva (Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María), K Gavin (TU Delft) and R Jardine (Imperial College London) has been accepted for publication in Geotechnique.



On December 4, the sculpture “Essere vento, 2015″ was officially presented in our lab, in the presence of the director of the Museum of Grenoble, the president of UGA, a city council representative, and — most importantly — almost all the members of 3SR. “Essere vento” has been sculpted by the artist Giuseppe Penone and it is the result of a 4-year collaboration between him, Joël Chevrier, Eddy Andò and Cino Viggiani.



In this Christmas edition, the PhD student Ritesh Gupta presents two videos showing the simulated response of a model monopile installed in calibration chamber under the action of combined vertical, horizontal and moment (VHM) loading. The simulation is performed using PlAXIS 3D, comprising of following 4 Steps:

Initial phase: Geometry and material definition
Phase 1: Vertical and lateral confining pressure application
Phase 2: Pile installation
Phase 3: Axial loading application
Phase 4: Lateral loading application

The objective here is to find out the zone of influence in sand volume under the combined loading action in the installed pile. It will aid in decision-making for the strategic location of soil stress transducers in the experimental sand volume. Moreover, the application of lateral load till failure provides a rough estimate of the static load capacity of model pile and subsequently determines the amplitude of cyclic loading.

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