PhD position: Numerical modeling of fracturing of a clay-rich rock under gas overpressure

The Cigeo project is the French plan for a deep disposal center for radioactive waste. The excavation operations induce a network of fractures around the repository structures, which are to be built in the framework of the Cigeo project within the Callovo-Oxfordian claystone (COx) considered as a potential host geological formation.

The proposed research program concerns two main tasks; experimental and numerical. Further information on this position can be found in the attached file.

The applicant must hold a Master degree or equivalent in the field of solid mechanics or civil engineering. Interested applicants are invited to send a CV, a cover letter and their transcripts to François Hild ( and Darius Seyedi ( by 27 March 2020.

2 Assistant Professor positions at University of Twente

Applications are welcomed for two Assistant Professor positions of Computational Multiscale Mechanics and Geomechanics. Focus of the first position is on the development of advanced open-source computational tools for the investigation of particulate materials. The second position is dedicated to the multiscale and multiphase modelling of soils, for material characterisation, prediction, improvement. 

For more information and applications follow the links below:

– Computational Multiscale Mechanics (Deadline 1 April 2020):!/1110934/assistant-professor-computational-multiscale-mechanics

– Geomechanics (Deadline 15 April 2020):!/1127291/assistant-professor-geomechanics

Position at Technical University of Graz

Graz University of Technology, Faculty of Civil Engineering Sciences, has an immediate opening for a fully funded position (40 hours a week) as tenure track professorship for women in the field Geotechnics / Tunnelling with in-depth knowledge of Data Science / Artificial Intelligence at the Institute of Rock Mechanics and Tunnelling. After fulfilment of the qualification agreement, the candidate will be appointed as associated professor (permanent position). 

Application deadline: 30 April 2020

Attached file.

The complete announcement is available under:

ALERT Workshop 2020 – Call for abstracts

The ALERT Workshop 2020 (31st Edition) will be held in Aussois from 28th to 30th September, 2020. 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, 2020. For any communication about your participation to the workshops, please contact the coordinators of the workshop sessions directly.

ALERT Geomaterials Workshop 2020

Session 1 “Forecasting landslide displacements”  – 28th September 2020

Coordinators: Sabatino Cuomo (UniSa), Jean Vaunat (CIMNE), Núria M. Pinyol (UPC)

Dear Colleagues,

the Workshop is organized in the framework of the agreement between ALERT Geomaterials and the international LARAM School (LAndslide Risk Assessment and Mitigation, University of Salerno).

Geomechanics-driven models will be presented, including issues like incrementally non-linear behaviour of soil, hydro-mechanical coupling, weathering process, rate- and thermal effects. These models are widely applied for slope analysis at local scale, especially for back-analysis of failures, individuation of the key factors for failure, investigation of triggering mechanisms, modelling of post-failure and tempo-spatial evolution of slopes. Contributions about small-strain approaches for cohesive soils, large-displacements approaches for slope failures evolving into flows, or landslide propagation analysis are welcome.

Engineering-oriented procedures will also presented in the context of landslide risk theory to provide relevant information for early-warning systems, urban planning maps, countermeasures against landslide movement and land control tools operational, both at slope scale and over wide areas.

The two classes of tools are really complementary and they should be ideally integrated to effectively tackle the forecasting of landslide displacements. And, in fact the Workshop aims at reinforcing the links between the scholars coming from ALERT and LARAM communities.

DEADLINE: 30th April 2020 to send title and abstract of presentations (only abstract respecting the format suggested by ALERT, can be accepted).

SUBMISSION: please send your abstract to:

Best regards, see you in Aussois

Sabatino, Jean and Nuria

Session 2 “ Machine Learning and Geomechanics ”  – 29th September 2020

Coordinators: Ioannis Stefanou (EC-Nantes) and Felix Darve (3SR)

Machine Learning (ML) is a promising ensemble of mathematical tools and methods that have already lead to astonishing results in science and technology.

The objective of this session is to demonstrate that machine learning can be used to bypass some of the current limitations of several experimental and numerical methods in the field of geomaterials, geomechanics and more generally in solid mechanics.

There is hope that this new approach may lead to more realistic, physics-based models with several applications in geo-energy resources (e.g. geothermal energy, oil and gaz extraction, …), in nuclear waste disposal, in CO2 sequestration, and in the prediction and prevention of natural risks (e.g. earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, rockfalls, snow avalanches, debris flows, …).

The session will consist of invited talks only. Renowned invited speakers will share their experience on ML showing the large perspectives of the method in solid mechanics and geomechanics.

Session 3 “Bridging the gap between experiments and modelling: from laboratory testing to material models prediction”  – 30th September

Coordinators: Béatrice Baudet ( (University College London, U.K.), Federica Cotecchia ( (Politecnico di Bari, Italy), Cristina Jommi ( (Politecnico di Milano, Italy) and ( (Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands)

At this point in time, when soil laboratory testing has advanced to the extent that we can determine the contact behaviour between two grains, while soils can be modelled at the microscale with realistic particle properties, it may be a good time to pause and ask: are we really aware of what aspects of the soil internal processes we are modelling? This day session attempts to address this. The morning is organized around sessions on laboratory testing providing evidence of a behavioural framework consolidated, natural and compacted soils, and assess how the different processes determine aspects of the behaviour. In the afternoon, examples of how some of that evidence is integrated in modelling are given. The morning and afternoon sessions will close with a 40-minute discussion.  

The sessions will be divided into: 1. Experimental evidence of physical processes in soils and their experimental characterisation, 2. Modelling micromechanical properties and processes with discrete mechanics, and 3. Continuum modelling of micromechanical processes with macromechanics. The modelling sessions should focus on models that actively account for experimental observations.

DEADLINE AND SUBMISSION: Abstracts are invited to be submitted to the organisers by 30th April 2020 (respecting the format suggested by ALERT). Authors of selected abstracts will be invited to give a presentation within the appropriate mini-session.    

Faculty position at Polytechnique Montreal – GÉOTECHNIQUE

Polytechnique Montréal is seeking applicants for a tenure-track position in geotechnical engineering. Research areas of interest include, but are not limited to:

– frozen ground engineering

– transportation geotechnics

– unsaturated soil mechanics

– energy foundations

Full description of the position and the required documents for the application can be found at the following link:

Attached file.

2 PhD positions at Navier Lab

Applications are welcomed for two PhD positions in Navier Laboratory (Ecole des Ponts ParisTech, Univ. Gustave Eiffel, CNRS) on geomechanical modeling for application to nuclear waste storage. The first topic aims at investigating the role of bound water on the THM couplings of claystone, the second topic is dedicated to fluid-induced cracking in fractured claystone. Candidates must hold a Master of Science or equivalent in mechanics and physics of (geo)-materials with a strong taste for numerical modeling.

More details in the attached document.

Ioannis Vardoulakis PhD Prize 2020

The Bureau of ALERT Geomaterials has decided to fund the Ioannis Vardoulakis PhD Prize 2020. Since 2016, the PhD prize is entitled Ioannis Vardoulakis PhD Prize to commemorate Prof. Vardoulakis and his contributions to research and teaching in the field of Geomechanics.

The participation to the prize is open to all the PhD students coming from institutions belonging to ALERT, that have discussed their PhD thesis in 2019. The deadline for the applications is 31st March, 2020.

The rules, agenda and further details are to be found on the Alert website:

French-Canadian PhD position on multiscale modeling of unsaturated granular materials

The University of Calgary, the University of La Rochelle and INRAE are pleased to invite applications for a PhD position (3 years) to model the mechanical behavior of granular materials subjected to cyclic hydraulic loading and to analyze the induced instabilities. This PhD project is part of the StabDigue project supported by the French Region Nouvelle Aquitaine on the analysis of both the stability and durability of dikes and retaining structures along the coastline. The PhD candidate will benefit from both a French-Canadian double PhD degree and the International Research Network Multi-Physics and Multi-scale Couplings in Geo-environmental Mechanics (GDRI CNRS GeoMech).

Further details in the attached Pdf.