School of Engineering

Multi-Scale Testing

Multi-Scale Testing

Overview

We conduct a wide range of testing and observation work. We apply and develop technologies at various scales, from laboratory element scale to full-scale field tests.

We do this for purposes ranging from material parameter measurement through to validation and demonstration. Much of this work feeds into applications in our material description and numerical simulation work.

At small-scale our work includes the development of instruments for a range of purposes including:

  • determination of pore pressures in glacial tills
  • measurement of thermal conductivity of soils and testing
  • characterisation and analysis of structural textiles and polymeric composites

On larger scales, our work includes the development of electrokinetic geosynthetics for applications in the field of waste dewatering (ranging from sewage to tunnelling waste) in both laboratory-scale experiments and field trials.

Further full-scale testing and validation from site data is conducted in the:

  • study of the effects of climate change on slope stability
  • study of fabric, textile and composite structures
  • assessment of structural performance design qualification from field observation of extreme events

Projects

Staff: Multi-Scale Testing

Dr Colin Davie
Senior Lecturer in Civil Engineering, Director of Postgraduate Studies

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6458

Dr Gaetano Elia
Visiting Fellow

Email:

Professor Stephanie Glendinning
Professor of Civil Engineering

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6612

Professor Peter Gosling
Professor of Computational Structural Mechanics

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6422

Dr Jean Hall
Lecturer in Engineering Geology

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 8783

Dr Helen Mitrani
Lecturer in Civil Engineering

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7099

Dr Mohamed Rouainia
Reader in Computational Geomechanics

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 3608

Dr Vladimir Vinogradov
Lecturer in Structural Mechanics and Materials

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7684

Dr Sean Wilkinson
Reader in Structural Engineering

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 8876

Carbon Dioxide Characterisation

Carbon dioxide naturally occurs in soils, natural gas, peat and coal. If any of these absorb more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than they emit, they are known as carbon sinks.

Project leaders

  • Dr Jean Hall
  • Professor David Manning
  • Mr John Martin (Managing Director, TerraConsult Ltd)

Project Details

Project details

Partners: TerraConsult Ltd
Website: www.terraconsult.co.uk
Start/end dates: 2012-2015
Contact: 
John Martin

An accumulation of carbon dioxide in soils arises via a combination of biological and geological processes. Perturbation of the natural system can occur by human activities such as mining, groundwater abstraction/recharge, waste disposal and underground carbon sequestration.

Owing to the complexity of processes, the mechanics of soil respiration is poorly understood.

Working in partnership with TerraConsult Ltd, this project addresses the behaviour of carbon dioxide in soils with a primary focus on monitoring carbon dioxide in the ground gas environment.

The aim is to develop a widely-applicable conceptual model of carbon dioxide in the ground gas environment.

We will devise field sampling and monitoring methodologies that allow the detection and quantification of anthropogenic carbon dioxide. This will aid the understanding of the natural system.

Academic Staff

Academic staff

  • Dr Jean Hall
  • Professor David Manning

SHOCK (NOT) HORROR

This project uniquely unpicks the potential for radical change through the allegory of medical trauma.

Project leader

Dr Stephanie Glendinning

Project details

Sponsors: EPSRC
Partners: 
Dr Vanesa Castan Broto, UCL; Dr Emma Dewberry, Open University, ARUP, CIRIA, IBM, National Grid, Network Rail, RSSB, UCL, University of Manchester
Website: www.research.ncl.ac.uk/shock
Start/end dates: 
2011-2013
Contact: 
Dr Stephanie Glendenning

This project challenges infrastructure stakeholders to move out of their comfort zone, challenge the current organisation of infrastructure in silos, rethink the nature of shocks, and devise new and transformative ways of thinking about infrastructure.

Through a series of interviews, workshops and case study development, SHOCK aims to develop a concept of infrastructure resilience.

It does this by using shocks as a way of highlighting the interdependencies of existing infrastructure systems (identifying the weak points) and improving infrastructure by restoring it to a better state after the shock (rather than reinstating what was there before the shock).

Academic Staff

Academic staff

  • Dr Stephanie Glendinning

Researchers

Researchers

  • Dr Mark Powell
  • Dr Claire Walsh

Soil Stabilisation

This research focuses on investigating the material behaviour of stabilised soft alluvial soils to improve poor ground conditions regarding civil engineering. Sustainability is highly important in most industrial practices.

Project leader: Paul Sargent
Sponsors: St James's Investments, Bond Street, London
Start/end dates:
2010-2013
Contact:
Paul Sargent

Project Details

Project details

Numerous industrial by-products (IBP's) including fly ash and blast furnace slag will be assessed in terms of their applicability as soil binders; rather than the conventionally used CEM-I.

Alternative alkalis such as steel slag, sodium hydroxide and sodium silicate will be combined with IBP binders, to assess their ability to activate pozzolanic (strength-gaining) reactions with the soil.

State-of-the-art laboratory techniques including static/dynamic triaxial, compressive strength and compressibility testing will be conducted to accurately characterise stabilised soil mixtures.

The data obtained from testing will be utilised to numerically model the stress path behaviour and overall engineering performance of stabilised alluvial soil columns; particularly when incorporated within embankments that experience cyclic loading exhibited by road or rail traffic.

Academic Staff

Academic staff

  • Dr Stephanie Glendinning
  • Dr Mohamed Rouainia