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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