ISSMGE Bulletin: Volume 1, Issue 1 March 2007

TC Activity
TC 2: Physical Modelling in Geotechnics

Physical modelling has provided many opportunities for validating theories proposed to describe processes and mechanisms in soil mechanics. Experiments have included 1g lab-floor tests as well as those carried out in pressure chambers, on shaking tables and in geotechnical centrifuges. In consequence, TC2 was one of the first ISSMGE TCs formed (1981) and has now boasted the 6th such specialty conference, held under its aegis.

page1_image1The 6th International Conference in Physical Modelling in Geotechnics’ took place in August 2006 in Hong Kong at the HKUST under the leadership of TC2 core member and former Secretary Prof. Charles Ng.
320 participants from 31 member societies took part in the proceedings that lasted 3 days. These have been recorded within the printed and electronic proceedings [1]. 342 abstracts were submitted and, after a reviewing process, 229 papers were accepted together with 8 keynote and 1 state-of-the-art paper.

[1] Physical Modelling in Geotechnics – 6th ICPMG ’06. 2006 Eds C.W.W. Ng, L.M. Zhang, Y.H. Wang. Vols. 1 & 2. 1608 pp. Taylor & Francis. ISBN
10 Set: 0-415-41586-1

TC2 will be present at the following conferences & workshops in 2007 & 2008:
– ISOPE07 in Lisbon, 1-6 July 2007,
– XIV ECSMFE “Spirit of Krebs Ovesen session – challenges in geotechnical engineering”, in Madrid, 23 Sept 2007
– 13 ARC 2007: special session: “Physical modelling for infra-structure development”, Kolkata, India, 12 Dec 2007
– Eurofuge 2008, at City University in London, May 2008
– Universidad de los Andes: Mid July 2007, contact Dr Bernardo Caicedo
– IIT Bombay, India: December 2007, contact Dr BVS Viswanathan

TC2 has set ambitious goals for the working groups (more details on

Data exchange and archiving: Paul Schaminée, Bruce Kutter, Paul van Laak, Christophe Gaudin
– To establish standards for saving, exchanging and archiving model test data, to allow easy viewing, manipulation and comparison of test data within the physical modelling community and users, to allow sharing of post-processing software within and between institutes based on data archived in a standard form.
– A standard format for storage and archiving model test data will be adopted, supported by a manual and appropriate software to facilitate to use of this standard – both storage and post-processing, which will be disseminated via the web.
– To work toward establishment and adoption of standards for saving, exchanging and archiving model test data, to allow easy viewing, manipulation and comparison of test data within the physical modeling community and users, to allow sharing of post- processing software within and between institutes based on data archived in a standard form.

Industry liaison: Christophe Gaudin, Ryan Phillips, Adam Bezuijen, Jacques Garnier, Jan Laue, Dave White
– To create and enhance industry-awareness of geotechnical physical modelling, to define standard procedures, levels of reporting and thresholds for data quality appropriate for model testing, to aid specification of testing.
– A short guide to physical modelling will be prepared to introduce potential industry users to the potential and track record of geotechnical physical modelling and circulated to a group of (potential) users in industry, linked by a loose ‘user group’.
– A set of guidelines and standards for specifying model test procedures and data quality will be published on the TC2 website.

Publications: Jiro Takemura, Andrew McNamara, Colin Leung, Osamu Kusakabe, Luc Thorel, Christophe Gaudin
– To maintain an up-to-date searchable database of literature related to physical modelling (building on the existing Cleopatre database held at LCPC), as well as a searchable web-based database of geotechnical physical modelling publications.
– To continue to support the International Journal of Physical Modelling in Geotechnics.

Scaling laws: Ryan Phillips, Jacques Garnier, Christophe Gaudin, Johnny Cheuk, Bruce Kutter, Trish Culligan, BVS Viswanathan, Jan Laue, Vincenzo Fioravante
– To create a reference(s) that describes the state-of-the-art understanding of the scaling laws in physical modelling, to assist researchers and practitioners conducting and interpreting physical modelling data and published in the IJPMG.

Teaching: Gopal Madabhushi, Charles Hird, Sarah Springman, Dave White, Charles Ng, Bernardo Caicedo
– To spread good practice of physical modelling in teaching, to compile relevant teaching materials for (i) undergraduate teaching, (ii) industry / postgraduate student / ‘masterclass’ on physical modelling, to collate links on the TC2 website.
– To promote educational as well as active industrial participation, active tele-participation of audiences during live tests at participating physical modelling centres.

Reported by Sarah Springman, Chair TC2 “Physical Modelling in Geotechnics”.