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Cornell University

Courses taught

Theoretical Geomechanics

Georgia Tech. Graduate: Ph.D. level.

This course provides an introduction to the theories of elasticity, plasticity, poro-mechanics, fluid flow in porous media and unsaturated soil mechanics. It covers analytical and numerical methods to solve and analyze boundary value problems in geomechanics. The material presented can be of general interest to students who are not majoring in geotechnical engineering, in particular, students interested in solid mechanics, groundwater hydraulics and Earth systems modeling. Topics include general theorems of elasticity, an introduction to poromechanics, fundamental principles of perfect plasticity, elastoplastic constitutive models for dry, saturated and unsaturated geomaterials, limit analysis for slope and foundation stability, iterative resolution procedures for non-linear behavior, and a practical introduction to the Finite Element Method (FEM). Applications focus on energy geotechnologies and climate change.

Syllabus of Spring 2023

Finite Element Method for Coupled Processes in Elastic Porous Media

Georgia Tech. Graduate: Ph.D. level.

The course explains the formulation of Finite Element Methods (FEM) for elastic porous media, with a special emphasis on coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical processes that occur in soils, rocks and cementitious materials. Applications will focus on climate change and energy storage. First, the course will present the basic principles of the FEM to solve one-dimensional problems of fluid flow and heat transfer in rigid host media, including the variational formulation, space discretization and time discretization. Next, thermo-mechanical and hydro-mechanical equations for two-phase porous media will be introduced after a discussion of the concept of Representative Elementary Volume (REV). 2D space discretization and numerical integration will be explained and applied through simulation and analysis of coupled problems of heat exchangers, consolidation and seepage. The last portion of the course will be dedicated to the effect of capillary pressure (or suction) on the hydro-mechanical properties of porous media. The strong and weak formulations of problems with porous solids filled with two fluids will be established and discussed under a variety of assumptions, e.g., miscible/immiscible fluids, compressible/incompressible solid. Issues of accuracy, convergence and stability will be discussed through case studies, e.g., evapo-transpiration, subsidence, slope stability, desiccation cracks.

Syllabus of Fall 2022

Computational Methods in Mechanics

Georgia Tech. Graduate: MSc./Ph.D. level.

This course presents a practical application of finite element method to problems in solid mechanics. Taking students from fundamental theory to real-world applications using commercial software, this course reviews theoretical bases of continuum mechanics, introduces the plasticity theory, presents constitutive models relevant to geomaterials and structural materials, explains the fundamental principles of the Finite Element Method (FEM), and applies fundamental concepts of mechanics to solve and analyze problems of civil engineering. Applications focus on – but are not limited to – geotechnical systems, structures and material design. The course is organized in five main modules that each blend theoretical principles and applications with the FEM: (1) Elements of continuum mechanics and elasticity; (2) The Finite Element Method in elasticity for 1D time-independent problems with one dependent variable; (3) Analytical and numerical solutions to eigenvalue and transient problems; (4) The FEM in elasticity for 2D with applications to structures, mass and heat transport; (5) Principles of plasticity, constitutive models in perfect plasticity and numerical applications for civil engineering.

Syllabus of Fall 2021

Tunneling and Mining: Mechanics and Engineering

Georgia Tech. Graduate: MSc./Ph.D. level.

The course focuses on the fundamental principles of tunnel and underground mining design. Background lectures will review basic rock physics and mechanics, fracture characterization, fluid flow in porous media and fracture networks. Emphasis is put on the following design issues: site geology and tunnel alignment, excavation plans, support techniques, drainage systems, long-term behavior. Applications will include the prediction of settlements and subsidence and the optimization of energy geotechnologies, e.g., heat and fluid extraction, mine excavation, Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES), nuclear waste disposal.

Syllabus of Spring 2017

Mechanics of Deformable Bodies

Georgia Tech. Undergraduate: junior level.

This class is also known as Mechanics of Materials. The objectives are to: Develop an ability to visualize and understand the fundamental behavior of structures and solids; Develop an understanding of assumptions and idealizations commonly used for analysis of structures and solids; Learn methods of computing stresses in several types of structural and machine components; Learn the fundamental approach for determining internal forces and stresses in indeterminate structures: use of equations of equilibrium, force-temperature-deformation relations, and expressions for the geometry of the deformations; Develop a basic knowledge of approaches to design of structural and machine components.

Syllabus of Fall 2022

Modern Structures

Cornell. Undergraduate: freshman level.

This course is built on the theme of emergency response to natural hazards (e.g., landslides, floods, wildfires) and security threats (e.g., wars, terrorist attacks). Various facets of civil engineering (e.g., structural design, geotechnical engineering, hydraulics, construction management, transportation) will be illustrated from case studies of structural collapse, environmental disasters, and network outage. Lectures will be organized as forensic investigations. Students will study evidence in groups, using a variety of tools to analyze the data, including hand calculation, computer programs and large language models (including ChatGPT). Groups will compare their interpretations via class discussions and test their hypotheses through hands-on experiments, for which students will prepare specimens, weld parts, build a masonry wall, and record displacement and load measures. By constructing several types of levers, students will be introduced to the fundamental principles of static equilibrium, discover how to calculate internal forces in structures and use these calculations to predict failure and design repairs. The interaction between the built and natural environments will be analyzed through the lens of granular media. Anchor systems will be 3D printed and tested for pullout resistance to highlight the importance of particulate flow in soil resistance, and flow nets will be drawn to interpret flash floods. Because post-disaster reconstruction requires communication, energy and transportation, the last part of the course will be dedicated to infrastructure network resilience and accessibility.

Syllabus of Fall 2023

Diversity, Inclusion and Equity in Civil and Enbironmental Engineering

Georgia Tech. Undergraduate and graduate levels

This course aims to expose students to issues of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) specific to Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE).While students have opportunities to receive training on matters of diversity and equity, there are few venues to apply and implement actionable items to improve DEI in the workplace. The course contents will vary from semester to semester depending on the current DEI issues encountered in society, on campus and in the CEE professional communities.To start, it is anticipated that the following topics will be covered: the viewpoint of U.S. CEE professional associations on DEI matters; equity in transportation and urban planning; environmental justice; accessibility of infrastructure for physically disabled persons; LGBTQ+ inclusion in CEE; venues for DEI engagement in the profession; campus DEI policies (and how to make a difference in the School of CEE). The class meets once a week, alternating between talks by invited speakers with expertise in one of the topics above, and roundtables during which students will debate on the issues presented by the speakers under a set of ground rules established by the instructor and the students at the beginning of the semester. Talks will be streamed online synchronously, open to the whole CEE community and recorded (if speakers agree).

Syllabus of Spring 2022