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Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IAPP | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-IAPP | Award Amount: 801.97K | Year: 2013

Vegetation acts as a reinforcement for slopes due to the penetration of roots into the ground. Roots penetration is a time dependent phenomenon that is strongly connected to the hydrogeological condition of the slope and that interacts with soil properties. Roots reinforcement of soil is well documented and numerous formulae exist in literature. The reinforcement action is provided by roots penetrating below a potential slip surface and stiffening the slope. Roots contribution to stability depends both on roots tensile strength and on roots pull-out resistance. Both aspects have already been investigated and some models and formulae already exist which enable a qualitative evaluation of such contribution. Anyway no sophisticated software exists for the prediction of the three-dimensional numerical analysis of slope stabilized with vegetation. Existing software provides simple limit equilibrium analyses and is limited to plane problems. This research project joins together scientific expertise and numerical know-how to implement latestadvances in slope reinforcement with vegetation into commercial software. The resulting software will enable three-dimensional reinforced slope modeling. It will provide realistic soil-root interaction and root constitutive models. It will take into account roots growth with time and it will consider variations of the watertable and unsaturated conditions.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-ITN | Award Amount: 4.32M | Year: 2012

Landslides and debris flows are serious geo-hazards common to countries with mountainous terrains. The high speed and the enormity of debris mass make debris flows one of the most dangerous natural hazards. Debris flows are often triggered by landslides partially or completely mobilizing into debris flows. Globally, landslides cause billions of dollars in damage and thousands of deaths and injuries each year. The numerous devastating events worldwide have made us aware of the complexity of landslides and debris flows and our insufficient knowledge to make reliable predictions. Traditional tools for prediction and design are based on limit equilibrium analysis for landslides and shallow water model with Finite Difference solver for debris flows. Usually soil and debris are modelled as single phase materials with constant material properties. That the simple models are unable to account for the complex behaviour of landslides and debris flows, which can be best described as multiphase and multiscale, is well known to researchers and stakeholders. Obviously there is an urgent need for better understanding of the triggering mechanisms, for reliable prediction of runout dynamics, deposition pattern and impact forces and for rational design of stabilization and protection structures. The last decade saw rapid developments in advanced constitutive models, experimental techniques in laboratory and in-situ, mechanics of multiphase media, localized deformation analysis, Discrete Element Method (DEM), advanced Finite Element Method (FEM) and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). Training in these subjects has been rather sporadic and scattered in various disciplines. By integrating these advances into a coherent research network we expect to achieve the breakthrough in the research on landslides and debris flows, i.e. a consistent physical model with robust numerical scheme to provide reliable prediction and rational design of protection measures for landslides and debris flows.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-ITN-2008 | Award Amount: 3.24M | Year: 2009

The overarching aim of the PARDEM project is to provide high quality training to a group of young researchers to work within and to further develop the multidisciplinary field of DEM computational simulation of granular processes. Granular materials are estimated to constitute over 75% of all raw material feedstock to industry. They also present many challenges for innovation and fundamental science to solve problems in areas as diverse as natural disasters and industrial material handling which incur extensive economic losses. The Discrete Element Method (DEM) is a promising supradisciplinary facility providing both visual and quantitative details of the dynamics of particle assemblies. Although the method is established in academia, immature quantitative prediction capabilities and lack of DEM experts due to its rapid development hinder its use as an industrial engineering tool in Europe. To overcome this state a consortium of 6 industry and 5 academic partners is formed which engages the three key stakeholder groups (industrial users, DEM software developers and universities), vital for transforming DEM from a largely scientific tool into a widely adopted industrial tool and delivering increased competitiveness to the EU economy with significantly reduced development times of more efficient processes. The programme will provide for each fellow: a) in-depth training by research at the host site and on industrial secondments; b) sound multidisciplinary and intersectoral scientific training and understanding of industrial environments via courses and secondments; c) a programme of complementary skills training and network events to develop the researchers competencies and career options. The resulting new generation of DEM experts will speak a common language avoiding costly misunderstandings in commercial interactions of the three groups and drive the DEM technology to a level which will change the way equipment and granular processes are designed in EUROPE.

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