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



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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.

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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. 


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Grenoble Geomechanics Newsletter-no.30

As your evening commute begins to lighten up* with the approach of Spring, so does the productivity in our GéoMéchanique group at Laboratoire 3SR (Sols, Solides, Structures – Risques). Within the 30th edition of our newsletter, you can pick the greenest pre-Spring GéoMéchanique buds including seminar presentations, workshops, and publications. Please forward this letter to colleagues and friends. Enjoy!

*note we make no mention here of your commute “drying up”

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

3SR seminar series in full swing

  • January 16, 2020: Robert Caulk (3SR) gave a talk on “A pore-scale Thermo-Hydro-Mechanical coupled model for particulate systems”
  • January 23, 2020: Ryan Hurley (Johns Hopkins, USA) gave a talk on “Experimental Micromechanics of Geologic Materials with X-ray Diffraction and Tomography”
  • ryanhurley
  • January 31, 2020: Ioannis Stefanou (Ecole Centrale Nantes) gave a talk on “Controlling Anthropogenic and Natural Seismicity: Insights From Active Stabilization of the Spring‐Slider Model”

Don’t miss it! Takashi Matsushima on March 10th at14h00 discussing “Recent progress in granular statistical mechanics”.

For a full list of past and planned seminars, head over to the brand new 3SR website.

Granular GéoMéchanique ambassadors!

A (very nice!) three-day workshop on Emerging Scales in Granular Media took place in Hong Kong (14-16 Jan 2020)


Among roughly forty invited speakers, Cino and Felix represented 3SR:


GéoMéchanique team seminar activity

Thanks to our new seminar organizer, Ankit Sharma, our team continues to meet regularly to exchange ideas about ongoing research. On December 5th, we heard from Agathe Furet on her concrete impact research and Ritesh Gupta (pictured below) on the behavior of structural piles under combined cyclic loading. On January 16th, Maria Delli Carpini introduced us to her work modeling geosynthetics in cohesive soils with the discrete element method.

Don’t miss it! Coming up on February 13th at 12h30, we have Cino Viggiani presenting some recent observations on the formation of ice lenses in clays.


Recent Publications

Familiar faces back to haunt 3SR

Welcome Marta Stasiak back for her new one year post-doc concerning “L’étude numérique du comportement mécanique de blocs quasi-fragiles” under supervison of Gaël Combe and Vincent Richefeu.

Elin Törnquist, a PhD student from Lund University in Sweden, returns to complete a second three month residency here at 3SR where she will perform neutron and XRay imaging at the ILL in collaboration with Alessandro Tengattini and Edward Ando.

Geomaterials short course (still) offered – June 2020!

Registration is now open for our very own workshop entitled “Mechanics of geomaterials: from micro to macro”, which will take place in Grenoble on June 29-30 2020. The workshop is in the framework of the IACMAG conference. Download the flyer for more information.

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Grenoble Geomechanics Newsletter-no.29

They say it pairs well with vin chaud on a chilly Thursday evening – the 29th edition of our GéoMécanique newsletter :-). Within you will find neige fraîche in the form of news covering our recent graduates, visiting researchers, workshops, and lectures generated by the GéoMécanique group at Laboratoire 3SR (Sols, Solides, Structures – Risques). 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: .

Fresh PhD grads!

Hamid (Payam) Hossein Sadrabadi defended a PhD on “In-situ identification of liquefiable soils by cyclic static penetrometer : physical and numerical modelling“. Supervised by Bruno Chareyre and Luc Sibille, the work advances an ongoing project on innovative in-situ testing methods funded by Equaterre group.


On September 27, Olumide Okubadejo successfully defended his PhD. Olumide’s PhD is entitled “Identification and tracking of grains undergoing progressive breakage under mechanical loading with image analysis of 3D+t tomography images” and was jointly supervised by Mauro Dalla Mura and Laurent Bonnaud at GIPSA-Lab and by Eddy and Cino at 3SR.

On October 11, Anne Oleker successfully defended her PhD at the University of Aachen, Germany. Anne’s PhD is entitled “Deformation properties of Boom Clay – Implementation of a multi-scale concept” and was jointly supervised by Janos Urai and Guillaume Desbois in Aachen and by Pierre and Cino in Grenoble.

Riccardo Rorato successfully defended his PhD “Imaging and discrete modelling of sand shape” in Barcelona, supervised by Marcos Arroyo (UPC), Edward Andò (Grenoble) and Antonio Gens (UPC)


ALERT-Geomaterials 2019

The annual wosrkshop and doctoral school of ALERT-Geomaterials took place in Aussois from September 30 to October 4, 2019. Cyrille CoutureBruno Chareyre and Luc Sibille presented their research in the session “Upscaling in Geotechnical Engineering”. Luc Sibille and Evelyne Kolb (Sorbonne, Paris) organized and coordinated the Tuesday session on ‘The mechanics of root-soil systems: from microscopic to macroscopic approaches”, which included a short presentation by Floriana Anselmucci. The doctoral school, entitled “The legacy of Ioannis Vardoulakis to Geomechanics” was coordinated by Jean Sulem and Cino Viggiani, and included a lecture by Eddy AndòDorjan Dauti was awarded the 2019 Ioannis Vardoulakis PhD prize for the best PhD in geomechanics (ex-aequo with Antoine Wautier).


Inspiring lectures and talks

On October 16, Barbara Mazzolai (Center for Micro-BioRobotics, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia) visited the lab and gave a talk on “Towards a new generation of self-growing plant-inspired robots”

On November 21, Bernardo Caicedo (Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia) visited the lab and introduced 3SR researchers to diatomaceous species and their pronounced effect on soil behavior with his talk titled, “Effect of the shape of diatomaceous species on the macroscopic behaviour of soils”.

On November 1st, Cino Viggiani delivered the 17th C.W. Lovell Distinguished Lecture at Purdue University, USA where he introduced Purdue researchers to recent advances in (geo) mechanics thanks to image analysis. Find details on his talk titled: “3D experimental geomechanics at the grain scale: what for?”


Fresh CALIPER projects at 3SR

The CALIPER project (a Horizon 2020 funded Initial Training Network, see has officially started in September 2019. The network consists of 15 academic and private sector partners (including Université Grenoble Alpes) who come together to advance the field of granular materials forward in numerical modeling, experimentation and understanding. In this framework, two PhD students will be working at 3SR: Ilija Vego (who started in October) and Gustavo Pinzon (who will start in December). They will be supervised by Edward Andò, Alessandro Tengattini, and Cino Viggiani.

New doctorat

Nicolás Zalamea started his PhD in the team the 1st October 2019. The title of the PhD is “Multi-scale modelling of the thermo-hydromechanical behaviour of argillaceous rocks”. He is supervised by Pierre Bésuelle, Stefano Dal Pont and Alice Di Donna.

Special guests 

Antonio Pol is visiting 3SR from University of Padua for three months to work on his project titled “Coupled hydromechanical simulation of debris flows and submerged avalanches”.

In the framework of the UGA-GeorgiaTech project BIOinMECH (The mechanics of bio-inspired processes: a multiscale study of multifunctional systems), two PhD students from GeorgiaTech came to spend three months at 3SR (from mid September to mid December): Nimisha Roy and Rodrigo Borela Valente


Nimisha and Rodrigo setting up an experiment in the tomograph, with the help of Floriana

Geomaterials short course offering – June 2020!

We are organising a workshop that will take place in Grenoble on June 29-30 2020 entitled “Mechanics of geomaterials: from micro to macro”. The workshop is in the framework of the IACMAG conference. Download the flyer for more information.

Biophysique team workshop

Floriana Anselmucci and Luc Sibille from 3SR and Rodrigo Borela Valente from Georgia Tech (currently visiting us) attended mid November the workshop “Biophysique de l’interaction racine-sol” organized by the GDR PhyP. Floriana presented her PhD work “Digital image analysis of the root-soil interaction”, and Luc gave a brief talk “What is the impact of root development on soil state ?”

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Grenoble Geomechanics Newsletter-no.28

The school year has started and that means autumn is threatening your shorts, swim trunks, and sandals. But not to worry, unlike the now barren fig tree out front Galilée, the 28th edition of the GéoMécanique newsletter brings fruit in the form of summer 2019 publications, conferences, invited talks, and activities generated by the GéoMécanique group at Laboiratoire 3SR (Sols, Solides, Structures – Risques). Please feel free to forward this letter to colleagues and friends. Enjoy!

If you have something you want to share in the next newsletter, please don’t hesitate to contact us at: .

Don’t forget your roots (for slope stability considerations)!

Glyn Bengough (University of Dundee and Hutton Institute) visited us on September 17th, 2019 to give the first seminar of our annual 3SR seminar series. His engaging seminar covered “Root–soil mechanical and hydrological interactions different scales”.


Glyn enlightening 3SR on root-soil mechanical interactions

DEM8 conference recap

A group of researchers and students represented 3SR at DEM8, the 8th international conference on discrete element methods at University of Twente in Enschede, Netherlands. Between July 22-26th, Vincent Richefeu chaired the particle breakage session, Bruno Chareyre presented in the open source software and two phase flow sessions [1][2], Cyrille-B Couture discussed FEM-DEM couplings, and Robert Caulk introduced an open framework for thermo-hydro-mechanical simulations [3].

[1] Chareyre B., Montellà, E.P., Yuan, C., Gens, A. (2019), A hybrid pore network – LBM method for integrating flow of immiscible phases in DEM. In 8th International Conference on Discrete Element Methods. (fulltext)

[2] Caulk, R.A., Kozicki, J., Kunhappan, D., Maurin, R., Montellà, E.P., Sweijen, T., Yuan, C., Chareyre, B. (2019), Yade’s (undeniable) transformation into a model project of optimzation, multi-physics couplings, and user support. In 8th International Conference on Discrete Element Methods. (fulltext)

[3] Caulk, R.A., Chareyre, B. (2019), An open framework for the simulation of coupled Thermo-Hydro-Mechanical processes in Discrete Element Systems. In 8th International Conference on Discrete Element Methods. (fulltext)

Up and Running! Open Geomechanics Journal 

Cino Viggiani and Edward Andò (among the editors of Open Geomechancics) are pleased to announce that Open Geomechanics, a diamond open access journal run by researchers, is up and running. There are already two papers available online (open access of course); one demonstrating a hyperplasticity framework conveyed with convex analysis [1] and the other mathematically examining the effect of proppant on hydraulic fracture geometry [2]. Find both articles along with their riveting review histories online. Consider adding your next article to this diamond open access journal.

[1] Houlsby, Guy T. Frictional Plasticity in a Convex Analytical Setting. Open Geomechanics, Volume 1 (2019) article no. 3, 10 p. doi : 10.5802/ogeo.2. (full text)

[2] Selvadurai, A.P.S. Proppant-Induced Opening of Hydraulically Created Fractures. Open Geomechanics, Volume 1 (2019) article no. 2, 10 p. doi : 10.5802/ogeo.1. (full text)

A look at some recent journal publications

Max, Eddy, and Cino coauthored the following two papers which were accepted for publication:

Nadimi S., Fonseca J., Andò E., Viggiani G. (2019) – A micro finite element model for soil behaviour: experimental evaluation for sand under triaxial compression. Géotechnique , accepted August 2019.

Wiebicke M., Andò E., Viggiani G., Herle I. (2019) – Measuring the evolution of contact fabric in shear bands with x-ray tomography. Acta Geotechnica, accepted September 2019.

PhD graduates!

On September 13, Ilaria Soriano successfully defended her PhD in Edinburgh, Scotland. Ilaria’s PhD is entitled “Bands of localised deformation in weakly cemented sands: the example of Bédoin (southern France)” and was jointly supervised by Elma Charalampidou and Helen Lewis at Heriot-Watt University and Cino Viggiani at Université Grenoble Alpes. This was a PhD in cotutelle, i.e., she obtained a PhD from both universities.

On July 16th, Eduard Puig Montellà presented his research encompassing “Modeling capillarity and two-phase flow in granular media: from pore-scale to network scale”. He was supervised by Bruno Chareyre and Antonio Gens, while his jury included: Hugues BODIGUEL (INP Grenoble), S. Majid HASSANIZADEH (Utrecht University), Jean-Yves DELENNE (INRA), Vanessa MAGNANIMO (University of Twente).

Recommence – Masters Program 

On September 9, the 13th edition of our well-received one-year master program in “geomechanics, civil engineering and risks” recommenced in Grenoble. This year, we have a diverse class of 24 students coming from 11 countries worldwide.

Lectures and talks 

Cino Viggiani was busy this summer delivering four keynote/plenary/invited lectures on opposites sides of the globe:

– June 2019: plenary lecture at the annual conference of the Engineering Mechanics Institut (EMI2019) in Pasadena, USA (conference link)

– June 2019: keynote lecture at the 7th International Symposium on Deformation Characteristics of Geomaterials (IS-Glasgow) in Scotland  (conference link)

– September 2019: invited plenary lecture at the 17th European Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ECSMGE) in Reykjavik, Iceland ( A pdf of the associated paper can be found here.

– September 2019: invited lecture at the conference of AIMETA, the Italian Association of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (conference link)


Cino Viggiani in between the two organizers of IS-Glasgow –: Erdin Ibraim (left) and Alessandro Tarantino (right).

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Grenoble Geomechanics Newsletter-no.27

This is the 27th 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. Enjoy


Journées du Laboratoire 2019” took place on the 3th & 4th of June at Golf de Charmeil and were organized by Floriana Anselmucci, Maria-Celeste Blasone, Thanos Papazouglou, Mireille Pfister and François Villette. The first day included 6 PhD presentations, a chocolate talk given by Madame Jouvenale (we learned about the different type of cacao and had the chance to taste some chocolates) and the general assembly. During the second day we had a short video done by the master students in which they introduced their work. After that, Edward Andò, Emmanuel Roubin and Olga Stamati gave a short introduction about the Python package “Software for the Practical Analysis of Materials” (SPAM). We concluded the “Journées du Laboratoire 2019” with Madame Etay, who talked about “La Mécanique et les femmes”.

Two PhD presentations from our team were included in the program:

  • FEM Modelling of the Behaviour of Rigid Monopile Foundation under Combined Loading” by Ritesh Gupta.

  • A brief introduction to probabilistic analysis of geotechnical engineering and a case study” by Xiangfeng Guo.


Visits and conferences

Eduard Puig Montellà has participated in the InterPore 11th Annual Meeting which took place in Valencia from May 6th to 10th 2019. He gave a talk on ”Pore-network – lattice Boltzmann method hybrid model for multiphase flow“

The “Granular Matter Across Scales” workshop was held in Leiden (Netherlands), 18 – 22 March 2019. Our group delivered the following talks:

  • Edward Andò gave a keynote lecture entitled “Experimental micro-mechanics of granular media with tomography: current capabilities and challenges”.
  • Félix Darve gave a keynote lecture entitled “Three DEM contributions to geomechanics basics”.

Some members of 3SR attended the invited session “Computational Models and Methods for Multiphysics Processes in Multiphase Porous Media” at the International Conference on Coupled Problems in Science and Engineering, in Sitges on June 3-5, 2019. Our group gave the following talks:

  • Concrete behaviour at high temperature: a combined numerical and experimental approach by the aid of neutron imaging” was presented by Stefano Dal Pont.

  • “A Hybrid multiphase model based on lattice Boltzmann method direct simulations” by Eduard Puig Montellà.


On May 23, Véronique Dansereau presented her work entitled “the deformation and drift of sea ice” at the 3SR seminars. She has been in post-doc in the team since March 2019, for a period of 12 months, to work on the subject of the variability of mechanical properties as part of a double scale squarred FEM modelling for clay rocks.

David Garcia gave a 3SR seminar about his research on numerical simulations of non spherical breakable grains.

Vincent Richefeu defended his HDR entitled “(Géo-)mécanique discrète” the 7th of June.


William Chèvremont(*), Bruno Chareyre and Hugues Bodiguel (*) published “Quantitative study of the rheology of frictional suspensions: Influence of friction coefficient in a large range of viscous numbers” in Physical Review Fluids.

(*) Laboratoire Rhéologie et Procédés

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Grenoble Geomechanics Newsletter-no.26

This is the 26th 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.

Honors and Awards

Bruno Chareyre and his team of Yade-MPI hackers participated in, and won, the Hackathon for High Performance Computing (HPC) 2018 organized by GENCI [1]. As highlighted here [2], 11 teams comprised of 70 total participants competed to optimize high performance scientific codes ranging from fluid Mechanics to bioinformatics. 3SR’s Yade-MPI Discrete Element Method (DEM) team was comprised of 6 PhD students and Post Docs [*] who gathered for 2 full days and 19828 core hours of dense hacking. At the end, our Grenoble based DEM team managed to exceed objectives by 300% by profiling the code, incorporating efficient MPI communications, and adding user friendly Yade GRICAD utilities. For more information, watch the GRICAD video [3] .




[*]Robert Caulk, William Chèvremont, Deepak Kunhappan, Jean Pourroy, François Kneib, Thomas Guntz


Visits and conferences

Eddy and Cino attended the Patterns in Geomechanics workshop (PIG 2019) in Sydney, Australia ( They gave two talks on “Experimental observations of emergence of shear bands at different scales” and “Localized compaction in Tuffeau de Maastricht”, respectively.

Cino spent the whole month of February 2019 as a visiting professor at the University of Sydney, with Itai Einav and his group of the Particles and grains laboratory ( While in Australia, Cino also visited colleagues at the University of Newcastle (, the Australian National University in Canberra (, and Monash University in Melbourne (


Maddi Etxegarai defended her thesis on January 21. Her PhD is entitled “Coupled hydro-mechanics of reservoir rocks studied by quantitative in-situ neutron imaging”, and was supervised by Erika Tudisco and Steve Hall at Lund University, Sweden, and Alessandro Tengattini and Cino Viggiani at 3SR.

In January 2019, Thanos Papazoglou has started a 10-month post-doc at 3SR. He will be working at the ANR project STOWENG (underground STOrage of reneWable ENergies
in low permeability Geomaterials), lead by Giulio Sciarra in Nantes.

On February 2019, Alessandro Tengattini has started a new (non permanent) position of “Joint UGA-ILL Research Scientist”. The “joint” means that his time (and salary) will be shared by UGA and ILL.

Katia Boschi is visiting us for two months in the framework of a collaboration with Prof. Claudio Giulio di Prisco at Politecnico di Milano. Katia is starting a PhD on numerical and analytical modeling of grout injection in granular materials, as part of a larger research project in Milano with industrial partner BASF. Indeed, grouting and jet-grouting are geotechnical consolidation techniques commonly employed to improve the mechanical behavior of soils. Although these techniques are common, the micro-mechanical processes taking place at the local level are not yet quantitatively and qualitatively understood and hence rightly modeled. This first stay in Grenoble aims at setting up preliminary models with the hydromechanical couplings available in Yade-DEM, under the guidance of Bruno Chareyre.

Seizo Tanaka and Kyosuke Yamamoto both from the University of Tsukuba presented their work on fluid-structure interaction and bridge vibration to the lab at the beginning of March.



The paper “Quantitative prediction of discrete element models on complex
loading paths” by Luc Sibille, Pascal Villard, Félix Darve and Rodaina
Aboul Hosn is now published online to be included in the next special
issue “Particle Methods in Geomechanics” of IJNAMG.


Recent results on the geogrid modeling in the Discrete Element Method framework are shown in the video of this newsletter. The discrete geogrid modeling was implemented in the YADE code using the cylinders and particle facets described respectively in the works of Bourrier, Kneib, Chareyre et al. (2013) and Effeindzourou, Chareyre, Thoeni et al. (2016). At the end of the video, there is a geogrid pull-out simulation using spheres as granular material. Results are obtained by Marcus Guadagnin Moravia.


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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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Grenoble Geomechanics Newsletter-no.24

This is the 24th 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. Enjoy

Visits and conferences

Ivan Deiros has participated in the Fourth International Conference on Railway Technology, Sitges, Spain, on September 3-7. He gave a talk on ”Modelling ballast wear: From DEM simulations to shearing at the contact scale“

Some members of 3SR attended the IS-B2G Symposia Atlanta 2018 on September 10-13, 2018. Our group gave the following talks:

  • Local macro-element model of rigid monopiles in sand” was presented by Ritesh Gupta

  • Gael Combe presented the work of Jeanne Doreau-Malioche entitled: “Grain- scale study of pile installation and subsequent axial loading cycles”.

  • Cino Viggiani gave a keynote lecture entitled: “Advances in 3D experimental geomechanics at the grain scale: can we measure fabrics?”

  • Floriana Anselmucci presented her work entitled: ” Quantifying micro-structural changes in sand due to plant root growth”.


Cino after an exhausting session in Atlanta

The ALERT Geomaterials Workshop 2018 was organized from the 1st to 3rd of October in Aussois, France. The following presentations were given by members of our team:

  • Neutron and x-ray imaging for capturing flow phenomena in geomaterials” by Alessando Tengattini.

  • Shear behaviour of carbonate rock/grout interfaces: application on offshore piles of wind turbines” by Eleni Stavropoulou.

Plus, some posters were presented:

  • Why does geomechanics need tube-shaped grains? DEM insight into grain crushing”, Marta Stasiak

  • Tensile and compressive failure of micro-concrete: from mechanical tests to FE meso-model with the help of x-ray tomography”, Olga Stamati

  • Multiscale model of partially saturated media based on a pore-network approach and lattice Boltzmann method”, Eduard Puig Montellà.

  • Characterization of Diffuse and Localized Deformation in a Porous Sandstone: A True-Triaxial Experimental Study”, Cyrille Couture.

  • Local macro-element model of rigid monopiles in sand”, Ritesh Gupta.

  • NeXT-Grenoble: The Neutron and X-ray Tomograph in Grenoble”, Alessando Tengattini.


Angela Casarella started her PhD on “Effect of varying temperature and degree of saturation on soils THM behaviour: application to energy geostructures ”, under the supervision of Alice Di Donna and Benjamin Loret.

Christos Papazoglou started his PhD in the team the 1st October. The title of the PhD is “A micromechanical study of the chemo-hydro-mechanical behavior of granular cemented materials”. He will be supervised by Alessandro Tengattini, Nicolas Lenoir and Cino Viggiani.

Floriana Anselmucci moved on the other side of the Atlantic and she will spend 6 months in GeorgiaTech to work with her co-advisor Chloé Arson.

Dorjan Dauti has defended on September 26. His PhD entitled “A 3D hydro-mechanical discrete element model for hydraulic fracturing in naturally fractured rock”, supervised by Stefano Dal Pont,
Benedikt Weber and Matthieu Briffaut.

Jeanne Doreau defended her thesis the 28th of September. Her PhD is entitled “Grain-scale investigation of sand-pile interface under axial loading conditions using x-ray tomography”, supervised by Gaël Combe and Cino Viggiani.

Jelke Dijkstra is visiting us from Chalmers University for three weeks between October and November.


Maria Delli Carpini sent us a nice video from her PhD that we want to share with you. Here there’s a brief description of her research:

Ground subsidence represents a significant and complex problem. Localized loss of ground support could be the cause of the collapse of the infrastructure. The geosynthetic reinforcement (GR) is an economic and effective solution to avoid this hazard. It can reduce the total and differential settlement problems. When the geosynthetic sheet is applied on the cohesive soil, it takes up the vertical loads and diffuses them in the form of tensile forces transferred by friction in the anchorage areas.

The developed numerical model enables to analyze the mechanism of the transfer of the load into a cohesive soil and the deformations into the geosynthetic sheet as well. The results are compared with experiments that have been previously conducted on a small scale model.


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