TC101 Newsletter

No. 3 - January 2017

  1. International Workshop: Advances in Laboratory Testing & Modelling of Soils and Shales, Swiss Alps, 18-20 January 2017
  2. ICSMGE Seoul 2017 and the 4th Bishop Lecture
  3. Presentation of laboratory facilities by TC101 members: Hokkaido University Soil Mechanics Laboratory
  4. TC101: other news and future events 

International Workshop

The International Workshop on “Advances in Laboratory Testing and Modelling of Soils and Shales” is organised by the Laboratory for Soil Mechanics (LMS) of Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, EPFL under the auspices of the ISSMGE Technical Committees: TC101 — Laboratory Stress Strength Testing of Geomaterials, TC106 — Unsaturated Soils, and TC308 — Energy Geotechnics. The Workshop is held in Villars-sur-Ollon, a village in the heart of the Swiss Alps, between 18th and 20th of January 2017. 

The Workshop’s organisers are delighted to welcome more than 100 participants (70% from academia and 30% industry) from 25 countries. It will feature: 6 Keynote speakers: Prof. Antonio Gens (Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya), Dr. Russell Ewy (Chevron Energy Technology Co.), Prof. Mario Manassero (Politecnico di Torino), Prof. Bernardo Caicedo (Universidad de Los Andes), Prof. Charles Ng (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology), Prof. Richard Wan (University of Calgary) and 6 Feature lecturers: Prof. Charles D. Shackelford (Colorado State University), Prof. Cristina Jommi (Delft University of Technology), Prof. Frank Wuttke (Kiel University), Prof. Feng Zhang (Nagoya Institute of Technology), Dr. Matthieu Vandamme (Ecole des Ponts ParisTech – Laboratoire Navier), Prof. Mahdia Hattab (University of Lorraine).  

Prof. Hervé di Benedetto will deliver the 3rd Bishop Lecture.

A detailed technical programme, including more than 50 presentations, is available here.  The online registration is open until 15th of January 2017. For any further information please contact Prof. Lyesse Laloui ( and Prof. Alessio Ferrari (, Co-Chairs of the Technical Program Committee ATMSS Workshop.

The 19th International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering Organizing Committee received around 830 abstracts from all the Member Societies of the ISSMGE of which 69 abstracts were submitted to the TC101.  Based on this number, it is provisionally assumed that a number of 4 technical sessions will be allocated for our TC. 90 minutes will be given for each technical session and the number of speakers will be decided once the full papers are submitted. 

Further information about the 19th ICSMGE can be found at this link. Please note that the registration is now open. 

4th Bishop Lecture
TC101 established Bishop Lecture in commemoration to late Professor Alan W. Bishop. The 4th Bishop Lecture is one of the 19th ICSMGE Honours Lectures and will be delivered by Prof. David Muir Wood.
Modelling and testing
All soil testing is performed in the context of an implicitly or explicitly assumed model for the soil.  The purpose of the testing may be to identify parameters for the calibration of the model, or to gather data which can be used to improve existing models either by exploring mechanisms of response or by deliberately attempting to refute the conjectures on which the model is founded.  The interface between modelling and testing is challenged by deficiencies of the testing and by deficiencies of the model.
     Soils are particulate materials and, although we may interpret them in terms of continuum quantities such as stress and strain, there will be stress concentrations at the particle scale so that local heterogeneity is to be expected - and is observed.  The soil sample is behaving as a system rather than a single element.  In addition to such inadvertent inhomogeneity, some testing configurations lead to inevitable inhomogeneity: simple shear requires local variations in normal stress to counter the absence of complementary shear stresses on the ends of the sample; torsional hollow cylinder tests have an inevitable radial variation of shear strain and hence of shear stress  and normal stress. Oedometer tests inevitably retain some variation of pore pressure and hence of effective stress through their thickness. Interpretation of the observed response on the assumption that the sample is deforming homogeneously carries some margin of error which should be understood and declared.
    On the other hand, models are inevitably deficient.  The more severe the deficiency the harder it becomes to calibrate the model against experimental data: think of the subjectivity and personal choice involved in trying to fit a standard elastic-perfectly plastic Mohr-Coulomb model to data showing a stiffness which reduces smoothly with deformation.  Every chosen set of parameters requires an associated narrative explaining the justification for that choice.
     Even for more elaborate (and supposedly more realistic) models, the conjectures on which they are based - such as the existence of yield surfaces, plastic potentials, elastic regions, critical states - are rarely subjected to testing regimes which deliberately set out to refute those conjectures.  The package is taken as an irreducible whole.
     Life is too short for routine testing to engage in serious attempts at refutation, but there has to be some rationale for the inclusion of some conjectures and the rejection of others.  One source comes from deliberately challenging tests.  Another comes from microstructural observations or microstructural modelling which may reveal aspects of response which cannot be ignored in the revision or replacement of existing models and lend themselves to upscaling and continuum description.
    A model is an appropriate simplification of reality.  No matter how extensive our testing of a model against laboratory data a subsequent application will certainly take it into an unknown region in which it is to be hoped that no unintended instabilities will appear.
David Muir Wood graduated from Cambridge University in 1970 and completed a PhD at Cambridge in 1974 under the supervision of Peter Wroth.  He has subsequently held academic posts at Cambridge, Glasgow, Bristol and Dundee Universities.
His research has ranged from laboratory testing of soils in triaxial, simple shear, true triaxial and hollow cylinder apparatus to development of constitutive models inspired by these experimental observations and physical and numerical modelling of boundary value problems on shaking table and geotechnical centrifuge. He is presently part of an interdisciplinary team studying the mechanical interaction of soil and plant roots.
He has written several books including Soil behaviour and critical state soil mechanics (1990), Geotechnical modelling (2004), Soil mechanics: a one-dimensional introduction (2009). He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Presentation of laboratory facilities by TC101 members

From now on, we aim to include in each Newsletter a short introduction of the laboratory facilities made by one of the TC101 members. We thank Dr Satoshi Nishimura for starting this lab tour series by presenting his laboratory at the Hokkaido University, Japan.
Hokkaido University Soil Mechanics Laboratory 
Dr Satoshi Nishimura, TC101 member

Hokkaido University (HU) Soil Mechanics Lab has been playing an important role in the TC101 (and former TC29) activities, hosting the very first Symposium on Deformation Characteristics of Geomaterial (IS-Sapporo) in 1994, and with Professor Satoru Shibuya (now at Kobe University) serving as TC secretary. It is a relatively small size group – with three academics and about 10 post-graduate students (plus half a dozen undergraduate students working on projects) – but boasts a number of advanced testing machines and a history of innovative research. The laboratory is crammed with modern-design triaxial, hollow cylinder, direct shear and special CRS oedometer machines, all driven with powerful and ultra-precise direct-drive motors with precision of 0.00001mm. Most of the apparatus are of original design, assembled in collaboration with local manufacturers and operated fully automatically with home-grown software. For this reason, any hardware addition and routine automation can be done with ease. Our laboratory contributed much to the small-strain stiffness movement in the 1990s-2000s, and it is still at the cutting edge of this ‘quintessentially TC101’ theme. It is also dedicated to some local engineering problems such as soil freezing, peats engineering and river dyke management. Through a variety of research topics, we have constantly presented innovations in laboratory stress-strain-strength testing (see the photos below). Out lab is moving to a brand-new building in the 2017. With a new, impeccably clean lab, we will be waiting for your friendly visits.

TC101: other news and future events
  • The 7th International Symposium on Deformation Characteristics of Geomaterials (ISDCG 2019) will take place between Wednesday 26 June and Friday 28 June 2019. Location: Technology and Innovation Centre (TIC) of the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK 
  • The next TC101 meeting will be organized in Seoul during the 19th ICSMGE. The exact date, time and location will be fixed soon.
  • Please note the new TC101 Twitter address: can post any information related to the TC101 activities.  
  • Please let us know of any event, success or technical information of general interest you would like to communicate and include in the next TC101 Newsletter by sending an e-mail to:
Various information on the TC101 activities can also be found on the ISSMGE and TC101 websites:

ISSMGE, TC101: Laboratory Stress Strain Strength Testing of Geomaterials
J. Koseki (Chair), L. Laloui (Vice Chair), E. Ibraim (Secretary)

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
University of Bristol · University Walk · Bristol, Bristol BS8 1TR · United Kingdom

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp