DeeP MeLT News

November 2021: Dr. Arson receives the prestigious NSF BRITE Award

The NSF BRITE (Boosting Research Ideas for Transformative and Equitable Advances in Engineering) initiative aims to enable and create opportunities to advance scientific discoveries and new research using a variety of approaches that harness the national talent ecosystem of experienced faculty. Recognizing that a successful faculty research career is neither linear nor continuous, this BRITE solicitation seeks proposals that enable experienced researchers and scholars (tenured or equivalent) to forge new directions or to enter new fields by capitalizing or branching out of their established knowledge domains.
Dr. Arson's project is entitled "BRITE Pivot: Micro-Macro Modeling of Reactive Flow and Rock Weathering Enhanced by Artificial Intelligence" and will deploy Artificial Intelligence (AI) strategies to predict the spatiotemporal scales of thermo-hydro-chemo-mechanical (THCM) instabilities and automatically adapt the representation of the microstructure as localizations occur. This adaptive multi-scale modeling approach will help improve the safety and sustainability of long-term underground geological storage facilities and understanding of chemical weathering processes in the bedrock, which play a central role in nutrient supply, landslide hazards, and the global carbon cycle. Here is the public summary of the grant.

August 2021: A new DOE grant on modeling water-cleansing wetlands in extreme weather

Dr. Arson is part of an inter-disciplinary team of researchers who will study the influence of cycles of floods and droughts on the production of green house gases in riparian zones. The project engages experts in geomchemistry, biology and applied mechanics at Georgia Tech and in National Laboratories, and is funded by the Department of Energy (DOE). Here is the full story.

June 2021: Biot-Bazant conference: a new model of symposium in hybrid form

Dr. Arson is a co-organizer of the Biot-Bazant conference, a one-time fusion between the 2019 Concreep conference (postponed because of the pandemic), and the 2021 Biot conference on poromechanics. This three-minute video explains the concept of the hybrid Biot-Bazant conference, which will be held in June 2021 both remotely and physically, on the campus of Northwestern University.

November 2020: Floriana Anselmucci successfully defends her Ph.D. thesis

Floriana Anselmucci defended her Ph.D. entitled "Root-soil interaction: Effects on soil microstructure" in Grenoble (France) in front of a jury composed of Luc Sibille (L3SR, France, co-supervisor), Chloé Arson (Georgia Tech, co-supervisor), Laurent Oxarango (L3SR, France, Jury President), Jean-Yves Delenne (INRAE, France, reporter), Alessandro Tarantino (University of Stathclyde, UK, reporter), Barbara Mazzolai (Italian Institute of Technology, Italy), Glyn Bengough (University of Dundee, UK), Cino Viggiani (L3SR, France), Eddy Ando (L3SR, France). The presentation was in hybrid mode, with some of the members attending remotely and others, masked, in person. Floriana was commanded for her clear presentation, her mastery of the topic and the scientific maturity that she demonstrated during the questions. The Jury concluded that Floriana had acquired skills that are critical to a successful career in academia. We wish her the best!

October 2020: L. Fernando Patino-Ramirez successfully defends his Ph.D. thesis

L. Fernando Patino-Ramirez defended his Ph.D. thesis, entitled "Infrastructure network enhancement inspired by nature" in front of a committee constituted of Dr. C. Arson (Georgia Tech, CEE), Dr. B. Caicedo (Univ. Los Andes, Colombia), Dr. P. Chau (Georgia Tech, CSE), Dr. S. Dai (Georgia Tech, CEE), Dr. J.D. Frost (Georgia Tech, CEE) and Dr. G. Viggiani (L3SR, France). Fernando studied infrastructure at three scales: cavity section, tunnel alignment and infrastructure network. He demonstrated the limits of classic cavity expansion theories for practical problems at shallow depth through experimentatation with CT scanning and machine learning algorithms. He collaborated with biologists to understand why leaf venations and slime mold networks are effective and resilient, and found that biological network dynamics can be used to save considerable amounts of time and effort in designing adaptable networks. Fernando will start a post-doctoral position at Imperial College London (U.K.) in January 2021.

October 2020: Koochul Ji successfully defends his Ph.D. thesis

Koochul Ji defended his Ph.D. thesis, entitled "Numerical modeling of mechanical recovery in damaged concrete repaired by epoxy at molecular and metric scales" in front of a committee constituted of Dr. C. Arson (Georgia Tech, CEE), Dr. S. Burns (Georgia Tech, CEE), Dr. Kim Kurtis (Georgia Tech, CEE), Dr. Olivier Pierron (Georgia Tech, ME) and Dr. L. Stewart (Georgia Tech, CEE). The defense was totally online - a difficult exercise! Koochul used Molecular Dynamics and the Finite Element Method to predict the stiffness and strength of concrete repaired by epoxy depostion. Starting with a fundamental study of the forces that link the concrete and the epoxy at molecular scale, he concluded his thesis with recommendations for pre-stressed steel reinforced concrete reparation in the field. Koochul will start an engineer position at Samsung (South Korea) in March 2021.

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 now a post-doctoral researcher at Northwestern University.

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.