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Lu and Frost Receive Geo-Shanghai International Conference Best Paper Award

Georgia Tech Savannah-based Geosystems Engineering PhD candidate Ye Lu and her advisor, Dr. David Frost, professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, received the Best Paper on Soil Behavior and Geo-Micromechanics Award at the recent Geo-Shanghai 2010 International Conference. The conference, held every four years in Shanghai, took place June 3-5 and was sponsored by the Chinese Institution of Soil Mechanics & Geotechnical Engineering and the Shanghai Society of Civil Engineering. The conference was organized by Tongji University. The conference proceedings were published by ASCE through the Geo-Institute Geotechnical Special Publication series.

The title of their award-winning paper is “Three-Dimensional Discrete Element Modeling of Triaxial Compression of Sands” and builds on unique optical microscopy based experimental studies conducted by Frosts research group over the past few years that enables them to reconstruct high-resolution digital soil structures using a combined image montage and serial sectioning technique implemented in their lab. Starting with either unsheared or sheared specimens of sand under various boundary load conditions, they used a resin-impregnation technique to fix the soil structure and then employ a differential pressure polishing and brightfield optical microscopy method to capture high resolution optical images. The GeoShanghai paper written by Lu and Frost describes how the discrete element model code PFC3D was used to perform numerical simulations of the actual physical experiments. Subsequent processing of the simulation results allowed the evolution of void ratio as well as coordination number within the numerical specimens to be evaluated for specimens prepared using different initial microstructures.

Ye Lu is a PhD candidate in Geosystems Engineering. She holds a BS in Civil Engineering from Tongji University and MS degrees in Civil Engineering from both the University of Massachusetts Lowell and Georgia Tech. Lu’s research is focused on discrete element modeling and characterization of digital particulate microstructures under both triaxial and biaxial loading conditions. A particularly unique aspect of her work is the ability to study large volumes of particulates at high resolution.

Dr. David Frost serves as a professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering and also holds administrative roles as a vice provost of Georgia Tech and director of the Savannah Campus. His research focuses on the use of imaging and information systems to study soil behavior under static and dynamic conditions at multiple scales influenced by earthquakes and other extreme events. He recently was co-leader of the NSF sponsored GEER team that conducted reconnaissance in Chile following the March 27, 2010 M8.8 earthquake.