First day session of the ALERT workshop 2019 “Upscaling in Geotechnical Engineering”

Dear all,

We would like to invite you to participate to the first day session of the ALERT workshop 2019 ” Upscaling in Geotechnical Engineering“, which wants to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Roberto Nova. He was one of the founders of our community and participated enthusiastically in its development over the years, with a number of innovative contributions spanning over scales in the field of Geomechanics and Geoengineering. 

This session will take place on Monday September 30, and will include some invited lectures to open a lively discussion on multiscale modelling in Geomechanics.
A detailed description of the session is given below and can be found here:

To submit an abstract, please send it directly to the coordinators of the session: (;;,

Best regards,
Claudio, Cristina and Claudio

ALERT Workshop 2019 – Call for abstracts

The ALERT Workshop 2019 (30th Edition) will be held in Aussois from 30th September to 2nd October, 2019. Abstracts can be submitted to the three sessions. Please submit your abstracts by email directly to the coordinators using the Workshop abstract form (doc). If you wish to publish your presentation after the Workshop on the ALERT website, do not forget to agree by ticking the corresponding box in the abstract form.

Since time for the presentations is limited, only a part of the submitted abstracts can be chosen for the oral presentations. Therefore, we invite you to submit your abstract as soon as possible. The presentation can also be submitted as a poster. The abstracts of the posters will be published in a separate booklet (ISSN registered).

The deadline for the abstract submission is April 30, 2019. For any communication about your participation to the workshops, please contact the coordinators of the workshop sessions directly.

ALERT Geomaterials Workshop 2019

Session 1 “Upscaling in Geotechnical Engineering”  – 30th September 2019

(session in honor of the 70th Anniversary of Roberto Nova),


Claudio di Prisco ( and Cristina Jommi ( (Politecnico di Milano, Italy), Claudio Tamagnini (Università di Perugia, Italy,


The session celebrates the 70th Anniversary of Roberto Nova, one of the founders of ALERT Geomaterials and a pioneer in several branches of theoretical modeling of the mechanical behavior of geomaterials and geotechnical structures.

The aim of the workshop is to present some of the most recent developments in geotechnical modelling, with particular emphasis on upscaling procedures to obtain fundamental insight on both the behavior of materials at the macroscale and of geotechnical systems at the megascale.

The session will include (i) constitutive modelling of the hydro-chemo mechanical behavior of granular bonded/structured/cemented soils, (ii) stability conditions for geomaterials and controllability theory, from localised to diffuse mode of failures, (iii) discrete element model analyses, and (iv) soil-structure interaction problems including macro-element theory.

ALERT Workshop session 2 – 1st October 2019:

The mechanics of root-soil systems: from microscopic to macroscopic approaches


Evelyne Kolb (PMMH & Sorbonne Université,, Luc Sibille (3SR & Université Grenoble Alpes,


The interactions between plant root networks and soils is a wide issue involving many communities from agronomy, soil science, biophysics to soil mechanics and civil engineering. Under non-stressful biological and chemical conditions, the root growth trajectory depends strongly on the mechanical strength of the soil and on the presence of obstacles at the root scale, as root apices must exert a growth pressure to overcome the resistance to deformation of the surrounding soil. Zones of high mechanical resistance are one of the most common physical limitations to soil exploration by roots, limiting the accessibility of the plant to water and nutrients. In turn, soil micro-structure is affected by the root development. Soil particles may be dragged by the root and, more generally, local soil deformations are induced by the root growth. The transfers of water between the soil and the plant as well as the root exudates and production of mucilage change locally the soil properties and modify the distribution of the aqueous phase in the porous network.  In addition, the mechanical properties of the soil are highly dependent on the root architecture, as the hierarchical structure formed by roots traps the soil and increases its resistance to shear, reinforcing the stability of slopes or limiting the erosion at river banks.

The objective of this session is to gather people around the mechanics of root-soil systems at different scales and with various experimental techniques, modelling or theoretical approaches: at the field scale to assess the contribution of plant roots to the mechanical stability of soil layers, at the scale of the root system for characterizing, simulating and imaging the whole root architecture and the reorganizations of the soil produced by the root growth, at the scale of the root apex to understand the mechanical feedback between a slender growing object and grains and pores of the soil matrix with given packing fractions and textures.

The session will consist of invited talks, nevertheless a slot will be kept for some flash talks (typically 4 min and 2 slides per speaker) providing an overview of the various research fields in the root-soil interaction. Proposals for communications as flash talks are welcome.

Session 3 “Computational methods in snow and avalanche release mechanics”  -2nd October 2019

Coordinators : Johan Gaume (SLF Davos, Switzerland, ), Pascal Hagenmuller (CEN, Météo-France , France, ), François Nicot (IRSTEA, France, ), Guillaume Chambon (IRSTEA, France, )


This session aims at providing a thorough review of the current knowledge in snow and avalanche mechanics, spanning different scales from the snow microstructure to the slope scale associated with engineering issues.

Our present understanding of the mechanical processes leading to failure initiation and crack propagation in snow has significantly increased over the past decade, mostly by considering fracture mechanical approaches and micro-mechanical models. However, simulating snowpack instability at the slope-scale still remains extremely challenging, mostly due to the crucial importance of the snow microstructure. In this context, the objective of this session will be to present the current state of available methods applied at the different scales of interest, and to gather scientists developing numerical models to address snow and avalanche release mechanics. We plan to invite speakers having a large variety of backgrounds, from snow science, to fracture mechanics and numerical methods. The link between snow avalanches and landslides will be considered.

Open Geomechanics is open and ready to receive submissions

Open Geomechanics — a peer reviewed, non-profit, open-access journal in geomechanics run by geomechanics researchers — is open and inviting publications.

High quality research submissions (in any geomechanics related topics such as analytical, numerical or experimental studies) or case studies, negative results, as well reproducibility studies are welcome.

If you believe that the large publishing houses are exploiting their positions of power, and believe in free and open communication of scientific results, please support this young journal in its early  days and submit your next paper to us.

10th ALERT Olek Zienkiewicz Winterschool 2018. 5th-9th of November, Bari, Italy

The 10th ALERT Olek Zienkiewicz Winterschool 2018: Natural versus compacted clayey soils: from micro to macro behaviour and modelling  will be held from the 5th to the 9th of November 2018 in Bari, Italy.

The Winterschool is organised by the Alliance of Laboratories in Europe for Education, Research and Technology (ALERT), the Politecnico di Bari and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. It will focus on the hydro-mechanics of clayey soils, either natural, or compacted, and provide knowledge about their genesis and consequent features at the micro to meso-scale, and about how their macro-response varies with the micro to meso-features.

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ALERT Olek Zienkiewicz Winterschool 2018

The 10th ALERT Olek Zienkiewicz Winterschool 2018 on Natural versus compacted clayey soils: from micro to macro behaviour and modelling will be held from 5th to 9th of November 2018 in Bari, Italy. The school is organised by The Alliance of Laboratories in Europe for Education, Research and Technology (ALERT), the Politecnico di Bari and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya.

For more information see the attachment and visit the site web or contact:


ALERT Poster session 2018

The ALERT Poster session will be held during the ALERT Workshop in October 1-3, 2018 in Aussois. Those who are interested are asked to submit their abstracts (both word/openoffice and pdf files are required) by email to the coordinators Nadia Benahmed ( and Antoine Wautier ( using the attached abstract form (Template). The deadline for the abstracts submission is September 1, 2018. No abstract will be accepted after this date.