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.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.