ALERT Poster Session 2021

The ALERT Poster session will be held during the ALERT Workshop from September 27 to September 29, 2021 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 submission of the abstract is the September 10, 2021.

Registration for the ALERT Workshop & School 2021 is open!

Dear ALERT community,

I am pleased to inform you that the registration for the ALERT Geomaterials Workshop and School 2021 is now open! The preliminary program of the School is available here, and the one of the Workshop should soon be posted online.

As sanitary conditions are improving, it was decided to propose you two alternatives for your registration to the workshop and doctoral school: either you can come and participate in Aussois, or you can attend those remotely. Don’t worry, your choice can always be modified later on, as the sanitary conditions may change. As a reminder, the restrictions for entering France will depend on your country of departure and your vaccination status (more information here).

Please read the hints in the registration form! After filling the form and pressing the button “Register”, a window will open with your invoice. Please print the window with the invoice for your records! You will also get an email with the registration data afterwards. If you are an ALERT members, the corresponding representative of your ALERT institution will receive the registration data too.

Click here to register for the ALERT Workshop and School 2021.

The deadline for the registration is the September 17th! The accommodation in Aussois will be processed in the order of the registrations (see the hints in the registration form). Please note that the number of rooms in the CNRS “Centre Paul Langevin” is limited.
See also hints on how to get to Aussois.

Looking forward to (safely) meeting you in Aussois!

Presentations of the ALERT Doctoral School 2021

ALERT Doctoral School 2021
30th September to 2nd October 2021, Aussois, France (or online)

Constitutive Modelling in Geomaterials
Coordination: prof. Claudio Tamagnini [CT] and prof. David Mašín [DM]
Lecturers: prof. Ivo Herle [IH], prof. Cristina Jommi [CJ] and prof. Claudio di Prisco [CDP]


Irrespectively of fast development of approaches for the analysis and design in geomechanics based on the methods for discontinuum (such as discrete element method), analysis of continua based on mesh or fast developing particle-based meshless methods still represents major means of numerical analysis in geomechanics. At the very core of such an analysis is a constitutive model: mathematical relationship converting the peculiar behaviour of particulate material, governed by the interactions between individual particles, into the behaviour of continua. As such, a properly selected and calibrated constitutive model has a critical effect on the outcomes of geotechnical simulations.

This school aims to introduce the students into the broad field of constitutive modelling of particulate materials with special emphasis on the behaviour of soils: after the introduction consisting of summary of basic features of soil behaviour, they will be introduced into fundamentals of constitutive modelling, followed by more detailed description of various modelling approaches – from the basic elastic and elasto-plastic models to more advanced frameworks of hardening plasticity, bounding surface plasticity, generalised plasticity and hypoplasticity. The second day will be focused on various specific more-advanced topics, such as simulation of small strain stiffness and cyclic loading, modelling of unsaturated soils, meta-stable structure, breakage, thermal effects, chemical effects and time and rate dependence, including formulation of finite-deformation plasticity and macroelement modelling. The last day is devoted to steps needed for adoption of models in numerical analysis tools, namely to their implementation in finite element codes. Finally, in practical hands-on sessions, students will train calibration using real experimental data themselves, using both manual and automatic freely-available calibration tools.

Day 1

  • Basic features of soil behaviour and soil testing [CJ]
  • Fundamentals of constitutive modelling for soils [IH]
  • The theory of plasticity in constitutive modelling of rate-independent soils [CT]
  • Hypoplasticity and other incrementally non-linear modelling approaches [DM]

Day 2

  • Modelling non-linearity, small-strain stiffness and cyclic loading [DM]
  • General overview on modelling the coupled behaviour of unsaturated soils [SJ]
  • Meta-stable structure, breakage and thermal effects [DM]
  • Time and rate dependence [CDP]
  • Finite deformation plasticity [CT]

Day 3

  • Numerical implementation of constitutive models [CT]
  • Macroelement modelling [CDP, Luca Flessati]

Workshop and Doctoral School announcement

Dear ALERT community,

As sanitary conditions are improving, certainly thanks to the vaccination, we are confident that it will be possible to meet again in September 2021 in Aussois.

However, it cannot be ruled out that travel restrictions will still be in place at that time, particularly from outside the EU. The conditions for entering France will depend on your country of departure and your vaccination status ( ).

Therefore, for the first time in the history of ALERT, the decision was taken to organize the workshop and the doctoral school in hybrid mode in 2021. It means it will be possible to attend these events while being present in Aussois or remotely. This way, we hope to meet the expectations of both those eager to meet and those unwilling to travel.

In the coming weeks, you will be able to register and choosing one of these two options (which can be modified if necessary).

Keep staying safe, long life to ALERT-Geomaterials!

Website administration succession

Dear ALERT community,

After twenty months, it is time for me to leave my role as website administrator of ALERT.  In collaboration with the Director of ALERT, Frédéric Collin, it was a great honor for me to be your privileged contact and to bring you almost daily announcements related to the geomaterials field. I am happy my last announcement means the ALERT community can meet again in Aussois in September 2021. Despite the particular period we went through, I noticed many events were organized in our field. All of you who were involved in these events should be congratulated for this!

In total, with the open position announcements, I scheduled nearly 250 posts. Actually, my only regret is not staying long enough to beat my predecessor, Albert Argilaga Claramunt, who did an incredible job.

I also thank Bertrand François (ALERT PhD Prize Winner 2009) who was nice enough to forward me your emails when some of you confused us 😀  For those of you who never noticed that we were two different people, I am sure you won’t see the difference in the future. As I leave, there will always be an office in our name in Liège…

I am now handing over to my colleague Arthur Fanara who, I am convinced, will do this job with dedication.

Thanks to everyone and long life to ALERT-Geomaterials!

François Bertrand

Newsletter 2021 & Postponement of the deadline for the workshop

Dear ALERT members,

the COVID-19 pandemic is not over yet, and for us all moments of stress alternate with moments of hope. We can expect an improvement in the coming months with vaccination, but the pandemic has so often overturned all forecasts that, as of today, no certainty is allowed.

We all wish to meet again in Aussois at the end of September in order to share scientific discussions or simply a coffee (or a beer). The Bureau will let you know the final decision on the organisation mode by the end of June, but be sure that this year all our activities (including the three workshop sessions) will take place – in the worst case, remotely!

Please find attached our Spring 2021 Newsletter.

Following this confirmation of our willingness to organise all our activities in 2021, the deadline to send title and abstract of presentations for the Workshop 2021 has been extended to 20 June 2021.

ALERT Geomaterials Workshop 2021

From September 27 to September 29 (hopefully in Aussois, possibly online).

Session 1 “Forecasting landslide displacements”  

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: 20 June 2021 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 ”  

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” 

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 sand grains and coarse soils can be modelled at the microscale with realistic particle properties, it may be a good time to pause and ask: are we modelling real internal processes for either coarse or fine soils? This day session attempts to address this issue.

The sub-sessions will concern the laboratory testing providing evidence of a micro to macro behavioural framework. Both consolidated soils, either coarse or fine, whose structure developed through sedimentation and consolidation in saturated conditions and compacted soils, deposited and loaded in partially saturated conditions, are of interest. The afternoon sub-sessions will be focused on the modelling of micro- and macro-processes, including the differences between the micro-structure of consolidated and compacted soils, which will be emphasized with experimental data to serve as platform for the modelling. Examples of how some of that evidence is integrated in modelling should be provided. The morning and afternoon sessions will be centred around two invited lectures each, complemented by selected presentations. Extra discussion time will be scheduled.

Three sub-sessions are foreseen: 1. Experimental evidence of physical processes in soils and their experimental characterisation; 2. Modelling micromechanical properties and processes with discrete mechanics; 3. Continuum modelling of micromechanical processes with macromechanics. The modelling sessions should focus on models that actively account for experimental observations.

The organisers would like to invite you to participate in one of the sessions above in the form of a 20-minute presentation.

DEADLINE AND SUBMISSION: Abstracts are invited to be submitted to the organisers by 20 June 2021 (respecting the format suggested by ALERT). Authors of selected abstracts will be invited to give a presentation within the appropriate mini-session.