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Research interests

My research activity spans across the length scales, from detailed material microstructure to in-situ conditions, from soils to structures;  at the same time, they have made important contributions in advanced soil mechanics laboratory testing and soil reinforcement.

My research interests have been pursued under three generic themes:

  • Advanced soil mechanics laboratory testing and equipment developments

I have acquired high expertise in using various soil mechanics apparatus by working in experimental research projects in Bristol, Grenoble, Lyon (MSc, PhD). I have developed innovative local axial strain measurement systems for triaxial, hollow cylinder torsional and cubical cell apparatus for pre-failure deformation (stiffness) and large strain characterisation of the behaviour of soils by continuous tests on single specimens. I have been invited to join the International Technical Committee of experts in Laboratory soil mechanics testing (TC101) in 2011, served as Secretary between 2013 and 2017 and I am currently the Vice-Chair, since Nov. 2017. The role of the TC101 is instrumental in promoting internationalco-operation between academics and practitioners, and exchange of information concerning research and developments in advanced laboratory geotechnical testing. TC101 activity is overseen by the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE).

  • Investigation of soil behaviour (testing and modelling) from micro to macro length scales

My interest in the micromechanical description of soils focuses on the following topics: seismic wave propagation through granular media under multiaxial stress conditions (joint Bristol/Imperial College London EPSRC research project, EP/G064180), time effects in sands (collaboration in progress with Dr. B. Cazacliu, IFSTTAR Nantes, France), and fibre reinforced soils (collaborations with Dr. K. Maeda, Nagoya Institute of Technology, Japan, University of Grenoble, Prof. Cino Viggiany, Dr Ando Edward).  The laboratory macro element testing concerned extensive studies on soil liquefaction under monotonic loading, mechanics of fibre reinforced soils and constitutive modelling developments. While determination of fibre orientation is recognised by peers as being new and innovative, the work on liquefaction prevention and fibre/matrix interaction mechanism opens new perspectives on the use of fibre technique for the reinforcement of soils.  This work includes an invited paper for a Special Issue on New Horizons in Earth Reinforcement, Geotextiles and Geomembranes Journal. Two new lines of research consider the behaviour of soils mixed with soft rubber inclusions and advanced investigations and characterisation of crushing of granular materials.

  • Structural dynamics of real buildings, including soil-structure interaction problems

This research area involves: the situ dynamic testing of existing buildings before and during demolition and seismic vulnerability assessment based on analytical developments (collaboration with the earthquake research team of ENTPE Lyon, France); phenomenological aspects of the dynamic interaction problem between soil and long inclusions through a physical shaking table set-up (EU FP7 international collaboration under SERIES programme); dynamic interaction between adjacent buildings (collaboration with Dr Nick Alexander); dynamic pile-soil-interaction in liquefiable soils (joint Bristol/Oxford EPSRC research project, EP/H015345).




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