To reconstruct complex microstructures of polycrystals and porous media by image analysis and computer-assisted modeling; To understand the role of microstructure and fabric on the mechanical behavior of geomaterials; To predict the influence of crack propagation and chemical weathering on the mechanical and physical properties of rocks, concrete and ceramics; To design self-propelled geotechnical probes inspired by burrowing organisms; To optimize the trajectory of these self-propelled probes and back-calculate soil properties from the data that they collect from sensors.
Issues Involved or Addressed
Why do rocks deform and break over time? Why do some rocks self-heal or self-damage, and others do not? Is it sustainable to repair cracks in geomaterials? How is the history of geomaterials encoded into microstructure and fabric? Why do some underground structures collapse and others stay stable? Can nature inspire the design of burrowing machines? What data needs to be processed by an Artificial Intelligence to optimize the trajectory of a burrowing robot?
Methods and Technologies
Academic Majors of Interest
Preferred Interests and Preparation
EE, CmpE, CS - Interest in programming, image analysis, and numerical simulation (MATLAB, ABAQUS, PFC3D). ME/CEE: background in solid mechanics required; geology, mechanics of materials and dynamics recommended. BIOL: Background or knowledge on biological systems, cultures growth and/or interest in growing them.
Meeting Schedule & Location
- Civil and Environmental Engineering