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Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2017-01-01 - 2020-12-31

Fracture of materials is problematic across many disciplines and scales, from large building collapses and costly preventative engineering fixes to the personal injuries caused by bone fracture. 80–90% of all structural failures occur as a result of fatigue and thus fracture mechanisms. Extensive testing of materials for fracture parameters before use in specific applications can be costly, wasteful and prohibitive when creating large structures. Computer models can be used to assess the probability and impact of fracture for a specific application and material, thus serving as a prediction tool. However, the models used are not accurate and reliable across multiple scales and across varying applications. Fracture across Scales and Materials, Processes and Disciplines (FRAMED) aims to develop a predictive modeling framework for fracture which will be applicable across multiple scales and materials, and across multiple disciplines and processes; the target audience for applications are designers in the engineering field. FRAMED will utilise the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (MSCA-RISE) scheme to create a multi-disciplinary consortium consisting of engineers, chemists, material scientists, physicists and applied mathematicians to create accurate and robust fracture models that can be used across a variety of scales, materials, processes and disciplines. We will enhance the research and development work to be undertaken, providing a solid foundation for long term international and inter-sectoral collaboration. High quality research and development work will be carried out via international and intersectoral secondments, facilitating the creation of professional networks and knowledge transfer.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2015-04-01 - 2019-03-31

This project aims to provide a step change in terms of our capacity to assess and predict risks due to geohazards (landslides and rock slides, earthquakes, floods). This is necessary in order to make built environments and infrastructures resilient to the increasing threat of natural hazards due to the expanding size of European cities and urban centres, increased use of infrastructure, and the effect of increased climatic variations. To achieve this we will bring together the complementary expertise of world leading academic groups in geotechnical, geoenvironmental and seismic engineering, soil and rock mechanics, seismology, hydrology, geology together with private Engineering software companies. The goals of this proposal are: i) to investigate the key physical-mechanical aspects of major geohazards (landslides, earthquakes, floods) with a multi-disciplinary approach in order to bridge the current gaps in knowledge and enable a stepchange in the current capabilities of risk assessment, prevention, and mitigation; ii) to generate new approaches to predicting geohazards by creating an international, interdisciplinary and intersectoral group which will combine existing knowledge to generate new research methodologies and applications by enabling knowledge exchange among researchers with expertise in complementary research fields; iii) to train several Early Stage Researches (ESRs) during their stay at the host Institution who will form the next generation of researchers for academic and industrial applications; iv) to improve the current normative standards and codes ruling geohazard prevention; v) to provide a competitive edge to European engineering software companies modelling geohazards.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2014-01-01 - 2018-12-31

Landslides are the major natural hazard in mountainous countries. The failure of slope is usually triggered by precipitation. Slope stability is dependent on the shear strength of the soil. Plants influence the stability of slopes in a number of ways and can be used to increase the slope stability. The plant canopy may cushion the impact of raindrops and reduce surface erosion. Plants draw water from ground through their roots and evaporate by their leaves. The evapotranspiration reduces the water content in soil and increases the soil strength against potential slope failures. Moreover, plant roots reinforce soils, resist erosion, and increase the infiltration of water into the soil. Some of these factors are difficult to quantify. This project aims at quantifying the effect of plants on the shear strength of soil. The problem will be investigated by experiments and numerical simulations.

Supervised Theses and Dissertations