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Higher-order constitutive relations for granular materials: a multi-scale approach


The mechanical behaviour of granular materials subjected to large deformations is important in many problems in science and engineering. Current numerical simulation methods using zeroth-order constitutive relations give results that are dependent on the employed mesh size. This problem can be circumvented by using higher-order constitutive relations. However, current higher-order constitutive relations are heuristic, thus in many cases the results are still mesh-size dependent. Using an innovative multi-scale approach, I will constructively challenge current higher-order continuum theories from a fundamental perspective, namely by consideration of the underlying microstructure, in order to obtain mesh-independent solutions. In ICARUS, I will: 1) develop micromechanical expressions for three-dimensional higher-order strain and stress tensors for granular materials, 2) construct higher-order constitutive models within the thermodynamic framework, based on micromechanical analyses of DEM simulations, and 3) demonstrate their capabilities in solving “benchmark” geotechnical large-deformation problems. My investigation results in a computational simulation method that provides valuable insights in large-deformation engineering problems and thus will aid in assessing and reducing risks of natural hazards, with benefits for society. Under the guidance of Prof Kruyt, an internationally-recognised expert on micromechanics of granular materials, and of my high-level international steering committee, I will acquire deep knowledge on granular micromechanics and higher-order continuum theories. This lays a solid foundation for my scientific career. ICARUS paves the way for my ambition to become an outstanding independent researcher on multi-scale studies of granular materials, by significantly strengthening my scientific skills and track record, enhancing my mentoring and teaching capabilities and expanding my international scientific network.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/earth and related environmental sciences/physical geography/natural disaster
  • /social sciences/educational sciences/pedagogy/teaching

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

MSCA-IF-EF-ST - Standard EF


Drienerlolaan 5
7522 NB Enschede
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 187 572,48