Engineers Australia

The NSW Research Award: Advanced research in Geotechnical Engineering


Ali Ghandeharioon: Analytical and Numerical Studying of Disturbance and Pore Pressure in Soft Cohesive Soils Associated with the Installation of Mandrel-driven Prefabricated Vertical Drains
This research investigates the installation of mandrel-driven PVDs and the associated disturbance in cohesive soils using a novel elliptical cavity expansion theory validated by laboratory experiments and numerical modelling. The pattern of the disturbed region surrounding the mandrels and the distribution of stresses in soils obtained from the analytical and numerical predictions are shown to be in agreement with the results of the laboratory tests. A number of case histories are also analysed to evaluate the associate soil disturbance during the installation of the mandrel-driven prefabricated vertical drains.

Oded Ben Nun: Confined comminution of granular materials: self-organisation, attractors and patterns
In this research a novel dynamical systems approach is used to study the micro-mechanics of confined comminution, the process of size reduction, of granular systems looking at the grain scale processes driving the evolution of grain crushing. This study examines the evolution of grain size distribution and contact force distribution in the context of self-organisation and attractors. A 2D model of grain crushing based on the discrete element method (DEM) is developed; which is aimed at identifying the physical conclusions that are beyond the details of any specific model.

Annan Zhou: Constitutive modelling of partially saturated soils
This research presents a new method to couple the hydraulic component with the mechanical component in a constitutive model for unsaturated soils. Generalised constitutive relations on coupled hydro-mechanical behaviour are introduced. These generalised constitutive relations are then incorporated into existing mechanical and hydraulic models for unsaturated soils. Numerical examples are presented to show the performance of the proposed model in predicting soil behaviour along drying and loading paths. Finally the model is validated against experimental data for different soils.

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