"The objective of the project is to develop and apply multi-scale modelling techniques for multi-physical processes in multi-phase geomaterials for the identification of evolving macroscopic properties due to their mechanical degradation (rocks, geomaterials). Multi-scale modelling of mechanical damage is the field of expertise of the applicant. The proposed work will focus on fluid transport through porous materials with evolving damage and damage-induced permeability evolution.
Geomechanics problems require the use of computational tools to guide engineers in developing solutions, resulting in models that have produced more realistic solutions. However, various issues hinder their use, including the experimental identification of the complex material parameters needed to utilize them. Geomaterials are subjected to various stimuli corresponding to different, yet coupled, physical phenomena, such as mechanical degradation, fluid transport, thermal or chemical effects. This requires identifying behavioural parameters and laws for all these processes as well as their interactions.
The expertise in coupled phenomena available at McGill University (Prof. Selvadurai) will be used in conjunction with multi-scale computational modelling tools to examine damage evolution relevant to large scale problems in environmental geomechanics and structural materials. By combining different physical phenomena using tools capable of modelling complex geomechanical problems with environmental impacts, the project will be multidisciplinary.
The long term developments targeted by the project are firmly founded on advances in computational modelling, with long term applications to environmental geosciences issues relevant, for instance, to deep geological storage of nuclear waste, CO2 sequestration, or groundwater-borne reactive pollutant dispersion in the geosphere being of immediate interest.
The corresponding developments will allow to feed long term research efforts upon return at ULB"
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