Latest news of the group...

November 2019: Koochul and Tingting win poster awards

The Fall 2019 geo-poster symposium was held at the Georgia Power building. The event gathered faculty and graduate students from the Georgia Tech geosystems group, and practitioners from the Atlanta area. Prizes were awarded for fundamental graduate research, applied graduate research and undergraduate research. In the fundamental research category, Koochul Ji got the best poster prize and Tinging Xu got a runner up. Congratulations to both!

October 2019: Xianda Shen defends his Ph.D. thesis

Xianda Shen defended his Ph.D. thesis, entitled "Micro-macro modeling of chemo-mechanical damage and healing in rocks" in front of a committee constituted of Dr. C. Arson (Georgia Tech, CEE), Dr. S. Burns (Georgia Tech, CEE), Dr. S. Dai (Georgia Tech, CEE), Dr. K. Ferrier (University of Wisconsin-Madison) and Dr. T. Zhu (Georgia Tech, ME). Xianda explored a variety of modeling techniques to relate the evolution of rock stiffness and strength with damage and healing to that of rock microstructure. He used innovative fabric tensor formulations and Eshelby's theory to better understand why complex crack patterns form in viscous rocks, why cracks heal, and how granite weathering produces soil. Xianda is starting a post-doctoral position at Northwestern University in January 2020.

August 2019: Arson gets an NSF/UKRI grant to explore the subsurface

Dr. Arson is the lead-PI of a grant entitled "Rapid deployment of multi-functional modular sensing systems in the soil," which was awarded by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the United Kingdom Research Innovation (UKRI), to the amount of $1.7 million. The initiative gathers an inter-disciplinary team of five professors at Georgia Tech (Arson and Frost in Civil and Environmental Engineering, Hammond in Bio-Medical Engineering, Chau in Computer Science Engineering and Goldman in Physics) and four Professors at Imperial College London (O'Sullivan in Civil Engineering, Dini and Reddyhoff in Mechanical Engineering and Holmes in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. The project aims to develop a multi-functional modular sensing system known as the Burrowing Robot with Integrated Sensing System (BRISS). Link to the full story.

January 2019: The DeeP MeLT in the EMI Newsletter

For the second time, the Research Group Profile of the DeeP MeLT was published in the newsletter of the ASCE Engineering Mechanics Institute. A nice way to spread the word about our expertise and projects and to build a scientific network! Link to the newsletter.

December 2018: Pei Wang successfully defends his Ph.D. thesis

Pei Wang defended his Ph.D. thesis, entitled "Micro-mechanical analysis of quasi-static particulate fragmentation applied to geomaterials" in front of a committee constituted of Dr. C. Arson (Georgia Tech, CEE), Dr. D. Frost (Georgia Tech, CEE), Dr. S. Dai (Georgia Tech, CEE), Dr. R. Neu (Georgia Tech, ME) and Dr. G. Viggiani (L3SR, France). Pei is an expert in DEM modeling of particle crushing and fracture propagation, who collaborates with experimentalists in soil mechanics and structural mechanics. Pei is now a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Hong-Kong.

July 2018: Wencheng Jin defends his Ph.D. thesis and gets two PhD awards

Wencheng Jin defended his Ph.D. thesis, entitled "Computational Modeling of the Transition from Damage to Fracture in Intrinsically Anisotropic Porous Media" in front of a committee constituted of Dr. C. Arson (Georgia Tech, CEE), Dr. D. Frost (Georgia Tech, CEE), Dr. G. Paulino (Georgia Tech, CEE), Dr. R. Neu (Georgia Tech, ME), Dr. J. White (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) and Dr. R. Borja (Stanford University). Wencheng's doctoral work was recognized by two prizes: the George F. Sowers Distinguished Graduate Student Award (from the Geosystems group at the Georgia Tech School of Civil and Environmental Engineering) and the Best CEE Ph.D. Thesis Award (from the Georgia Tech School of Civil and Environmental Engineering). Wencheng is now a post-doctoral researcher at Idaho National Laboratory. All the best to the rising star!

December 2017: Dr. Arson receives the CEE Inter-disciplinary Research Award

This prize, attributed every year, recognizes contributions through interdisciplinary research activities. The awards committee of Georgia Tech School of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) examines a nomination package that includes a description of achievements, grants and publications. Dr. Arson's group was recognized for contributions made in rock mechanics, structural engineering and material sciences, as well as dentistry and biology, energy geotechnology and public policy, and sociology.

May 2016: Cheng Zhu becomes a Doctor after getting an MSc award

Cheng Zhu defended his Ph.D. thesis, entitled "Microstructure-based modeling of damage and healing in salt rock with application to geological storage" in front of a committee constituted of Dr. C. Arson (Georgia Tech, CEE), Dr. D. Frost (Georgia Tech, CEE), Dr. S. Dai (Georgia Tech, CEE), Dr. C. Huber (Georgia Tech, EAS), and Dr. A. Pouya (Ecole des Ponts Paris Tech, France). In addition, Cheng is the recipient of the James S. Lai Distinguished Masters Student Award (from the Geosystems group in Georgia Tech School of Civil and Environmental Engineering). Congratulations to the young salt! After a one year post-doctoral position at the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Austin, Cheng became an Assistant Professor at Rowan University.

January 2016: Dr. Arson receives the prestigious NSF Early CAREER Award

The CAREER is the National Science Foundation's most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations. Dr. Arson's project is entitled: "Multiphysics Damage and Healing of Rocks for Performance Enhancement of Geo-Storage Systems - A Bottom-Up Research and Education Approach".
This Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program grant will enhance engineers' understanding of the formation and healing of rock fractures as it pertains to underground energy and waste storage systems, while providing undergraduate students from a diverse background with both research and international collaboration experiences. The safe storage of energy or waste products in underground rock formations relies on an understanding of the fractures that exist within the rock mass, and the fluid flow through the fracture system. Currently, engineers have an incomplete understanding of how microscopic theories of fracture formation and the healing of fractures can be used to develop models of rock mass behavior. Therefore, the objectives of this CAREER award are to: understand and predict changes in rock fractures; develop numerical models of fracture networks; formulate and assess innovative models of fracture damage and healing; and interpret rock deformation and fluid flow instabilities resulting from fracture damage and healing. In addition to preventing subsidence, borehole instabilities and contaminant leakage, the proposed models will be applicable for optimizing containment and shielding properties of geomaterials and assessing the environmental impact of energy geotechnologies. Research and education activities will be integrated to train undergraduate students in design and research, engage graduate students in mentoring and public deliberation, and foster long-term international collaborations. The PI will collaborate with a number of educational and outreach programs at Georgia Tech in order to assess the effectiveness of the activities and improve the participation of students, especially those from under-represented groups.

October 2015: Dr. Arson is selected to participate in the Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium, sponsored by the NAE

Dr. Arson was selected and sponsored by the National Academies of Engineering (NAE) to participate in the Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium held in Irvine, CA on October 25-28, 2015. The symposium is designed to recognize accomplishment, facilitate learning, and broaden collaboration of innovative practices in engineering education. Each year FOEE brings together a select group of outstanding U.S. engineering educators, nominated by their respective engineering deans and members of the academy, to actively participate in the Symposium and then return to their individual campuses to effect change.

September 2015: Dr. Arson talks about fracking on NPR

On 09/09, Dr. Arson gave a live interview NPR (WABE 90.1 FM) for the program "A Closer Look" hosted by R. Scott and D. O'Hayer: Future Of Fracking In Georgia Dependent On Several Issues

September 2015: Dr. Arson presents fracking to Middle School Students

On 09/04, Dr. Arson spent half a day in Memorial Middle School (Conyers, GA) to present the process of hydraulic fracturing to 6th-grade students. The presentation was followed by discussions about the environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing and the future of non conventional gas extraction in Georgia.

August 2015: Engineering Research Center for Bio-Mediated and Bio-Inspired Geotechnics (CBBG)

Arizona State University, Georgia Tech, New Mexico State Univesity and the University of California Davis were awarded a grant to support the Engineering Research Center for Bio-Mediated and Bio-Inspired Geotechnics (CBBG) by the National Science Foundation. This prestigious grant will provide support to the four institutions for five years. The DeeP MeLT, which is part of the center, will work on the modeling of flow network formation and on bio-inspired design of interwoven flow network applied to subsurface utility systems. Dr. Arson is also responsible for the cross-cutting thrust on numerical bio-THCM modeling for the CBBG.

July 2014: Hao Xu successfully defends his PhD thesis

Hao Xu officially graduated on December 12, after defending his Ph.D. thesis on "Theoretical and Numerical Modeling of Anisotropic Damage in Rock for Energy Geomechanics" in July. The Ph.D. committee included Dr. C. Arson (Georgia Tech, CEE), Dr. S. Busetii (ConocoPhillips, Computational Geomechanics group in Houston, TX), Dr. F.M. Chester (Texas A&M University, Geosciences), Dr. D. Frost (Georgia Tech, CEE), Dr. C. Huber (Georgia Tech, EAS), and Dr. J.C. Santamarina (Georgia Tech, CEE). The jury was impressed by the quality of the work and asked many questions that will inspire us for future research. big moment for the entire group and for our families. Congratulations and good luck to you, Hao! After a short post-doctoral position at Princeton University, Hao became a post-doctoral researcher at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

May 2014: Professor Pouya's inspirational visit to Georgia Tech

Prof. A. Pouya and Mr. C. Zhu - FEM modeling of fatigue induced by cyclic loading in salt rock

Dr. Ahmad Pouya, Professor of rock mechanics at Ecole des Ponts Paris Tech (France) and researcher at Navier Laboratory [website], spent the last week of May with the DeeP MeLT. Prof Pouya gave a lecture entitled "Ellipsoidal anisotropy in linear elasticity: approximation models and analytical solutions" in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Georgia Tech.

The Deep MeLT benefitted from Prof. Pouya's most valuable expertise to collaborate on salt rock mechanics (Mr. Cheng Zhu), numerical modeling of fracture propagation by XFEM and joint elements (Mr. Hao Xu), theoretical and numerical modeling of fragmentation (Mr. Esmaeel Bakhtiary). While the group is using Prof. Pouya's POROFIS Finite Element program for research, Dr. Arson is planning to use Prof. Pouya's DISROC Finite Element program to teach her new course on tunneling and mining in Fall 2014. A most inspirational scholarly experience, with the most sympathetic and patient academician! Thank you Professor Pouya!

February 2014: Dr. Arson is offered an adjunct faculty position in the School of Earch and Atmospheric Sciences

Dr. Arson is now and Adjunct Professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. A confirmation of the interest of the DeeP MeLT for rock mechanics at all scales! Many thanks to all the colleagues and students who supported Dr. Arson's application. This is an honor, en encouragement and a responsibility!

December 2012: The DeeP MeLT in EMI Newsletter!

In December 2012, a Research Group Profile presenting the DeeP MeLT was published in the monthly newsletter of the ASCE Engineering Mechanics Institute. The full story.