ALERT Geomaterials Workshop 2022

From September 26 to September 28 in Aussois, France.

Session 1: “Mechanics of Hard Soils – Soft Rocks

Coordinators: Claudia Vitone ( (Politecnico di Bari, Italy), Nadia Benahmed ( (INRAE, France),  Elma Charalampidou ( (Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh, UK).


In the last decades, our community has dedicated to Hard Soils – Soft Rocks (HSSR) some fundamental Conferences, such as “The Geotechnics of Structurally Complex Formations” in Capri (1977), “The Geotechnical Engineering of Hard Soils and Soft Rocks” in Athens (1993), “The Geotechnics of Hard Soils and Soft Rocks” in Naples (1998) and, finally, the 15th ECSMGE in Athens, which was devoted to “The Geotechnics of Hard Soils and Weak Rocks” in (2011). Although these helped advance our understanding of HSSR materials, there are still questions that remain unanswered more than ten years later. For example, are HSSR still part of the main challenging materials of the new millennium? Are we fully aware of the multi-physics and multi-scale complexity behind their engineering problematic responses? Can we effectively enter their grey area to predict effectively their engineering behaviour?

The “Mechanics of Hard Soils – Soft Rocks” session intends to address these three questions by: i) enucleating distinct and special features of HSSR; ii) reviewing the most recent experimental evidence; iii) summing up the modelling strategies functional to recognise and interpret their peculiarities.

The one-day session will mainly focus on: 1) experimental evidence of the physical characteristics and geomechanical effects of stress-history, bond- and suction-induced soil structures of HSSR; 2) constitutive and numerical modelling strategies, which are physics-inspired and experimentally-driven; 3) recent emblematic cases of successful and unsuccessful predictions of their engineering behaviour to future research addresses.

Call for abstract: Abstracts are invited to be submitted to the organisers by the 30th of April 2022. Authors of selected abstracts will be invited to give a 20-minute presentation within the appropriate session.

Session 2: “Robot-Ground Interaction

Coordinators: Raul Fuentes ( and Itai Einav (


The development of robots interacting with the ground has been steadily gaining traction in recent years. Initially focussing on robots and vehicles that moved over the ground, later research has also focussed on subterranean interaction using burrowing devices. In this workshop, we will concentrate in providing an general overview of the current research field.

The workshop has been divided into four main sessions covering different topics: 1) On the surface, 2) Burrowing, 3) Computational and 4) Granular dynamics. Each session will be delivered and moderated by two well-known invited speakers in the area. At the end of each session we will leave time to discuss and engage with the audience.

Session 3: “Multi-field approach of gravity-driven disasters in a global climate change context

Coordinators: F. Nicot ( (EDYTEM / USMB), F. Magnin ( (EDYTEM / CNRS-USMB), S. Lambert ( (UGA – INRAE), F. Calvetti ( (Politecnico Milano)


Analysis and modeling of mass-driven natural hazards in mountainous areas stand as a major challenge in order to protect people and infrastructures. This is all the more strategic since mountain ranges assume great importance for tourism and economical stakes. Because there are major road and rail links given up to property developers, but also dominated by strong natural hazards, it has become expedient to establish a protection strategy against natural risks. Such phenomena are thought to become more striking in the context of a global climate change, marked by an evolution in both temperature and precipitation distribution. In particular, ice melting is observed at high altitude levels, above 3000 meters of elevation, modifying therefore the mechanical behavior of the escarpments (partially, or not, snow covered) and mountain slopes.
In this very challenging context for human society, this session attempts to shed light on the scientific related issues, including multiphasic constitutive modeling with phase transition, field survey and observations, thermo-induced failure modeling of (soil and rock) slopes. The college of speakers will focus on most advanced knowledge in the field, and will promote vigorous cross-fertilized discussions between experts from different communities such as geomechanics, natural hazard sciences, geophysics and quantitative geomorphology.

5 thoughts on “ALERT Geomaterials Workshop 2022

  1. Pingback: ALERT Workshop 2022 – Call for abstracts for the three sessions | Alert Geomaterials

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  3. Pingback: Registration for the ALERT Workshop and School 2022 is OPEN! | Alert Geomaterials

    • Dear Yong,

      You can passively participate online (that means without asking any question) but you need to register first and specify that you want to participate “remotely”. In that case, once you are well registered and paid your fee, you will receive a zoom link at the beginning of the workshop.

      Kind regards,

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