Servicio de Información Comunitario sobre Investigación y Desarrollo - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - AMGISS (Advanced modelling of ground improvement on soft soils)

The aim of AMGISS RTN was to develop advanced numerical modelling techniques for analysing the complex behaviour of ground improvement systems on soft soils. The work included pioneering development of advanced material models for describing time-dependent behaviour of soft natural soils, and the creation of unique datasets through advanced laboratory testing of natural and reconstituted soils for validation of the models. This involved development of new laboratory testing techniques and instrumentation, and major developments in physical model testing using drum centrifuges. The soil models developed have the potential to become standard in future numerical analyses for geotechnical design in industry. The need to the need to develop techniques for modelling installation effects resulted in the development of a new numerical analysis method for large deformations problems (such as installation of ground improvement and piles), called the material point method. The computational platform for the numerical analyses was provided by PLAXIS. Further development of this innovative methods be a major theme in a new Marie Curie Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways project GEO-INSTALL (PIAP-GA-2009-230638) due to start in June 2009.

In term of modelling real soil-structure interaction, the project has initiated a real shift from 2D numerical modelling with simple soil models to enhanced 2D and 3D analyses with advanced soil models which are more representative of real soil behaviour. The benefits of 3D simulations were proven through numerical analyses of instrumented field structures, such as Klagenfurt stadium, for which data was provided by the network's industrial partner Keller. The other instrumented tests structures simulated with the new models included e.g. Murro and Haarajoki test embankments, the Tower of Pisa and some Class A predictions associated with real geotechnical projects. Based on these simulations, and numerical benchmark studies, recommendations for design methods were proposed.

The philosophy of the training and ToK activities of the network was to consider the scientific and engineering community at large, given of the over 50 individuals involved in the activities of at the core partners, only 10 were funded by the European Commission. Most training within the network was done at individual level, implemented by structured training at the home institutions, complemented by short visits and secondments (involving core partners, and associated academic and industrial partners), external training courses, workshops and conferences. In addition, three targeted training events were organised at network level, including scientific communication, entrepreneurship and getting research funding. An important part of the network-wide training activities were the annual workshop / schools, which in the final year was replaced with an international conference. The Second International Workshop on Geotechnics of Soft Soils (please see online) was attended by 130 people of which about third were from industry, and the proceedings were published as a book. Furthermore, the work by the network inspired three ERs to start a spin-off company (please see online). As result, 13 doctoral theses and 1 licentiate thesis were completed at the core partners related to the network's training and ToK activities.

There were a number of meetings, short visits and secondments between the academic partners and associated industrial partners, most notably Plaxis, Keller and NGI. Dissemination of the results to industry was also accomplished by the involvement the AMGISS network in the courses on Computational Geotechnics run by Plaxis geared towards industry, and involvement / organisation of industry-focussed seminars. The results were also disseminated through presentations in international conferences, workshops and other scientific meetings, and through activities of the technical committees of the international society, and through publications in leading international journals and conferences.

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United Kingdom
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