GGS - Modelling forces and stresses in gigantic granular systems for coastal engineers

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Earth Science and Engineering

Abstract

The Research Team is based within the Applied Modelling and Computation Group (AMCG) at Imperial in the Department of Earth Science and Engineering. The industrial partners, Sogreah Consultants, and Baird & Associates, are world leaders in Coastal Engineering and have committed considerable financial support. This project exploits the VGW EPSRC project in which numerical models were developed.To meet this century's challenge of extensive and accelerating future coastal change, society will expect coastal engineers to design resilient structures to hold the line against flood and erosion where it is deemed necessary. The first choice construction material and design approach for such structures will often be to use armour layers of massive rocks or concrete units. Currently, designers do not understand the details of how they work, relying heavily on empirical methods. This project will reveal fundamental mechanisms that cause disintegration of these rubble mound coastal structures and breakwaters. With our further enhanced simulation tools we will re-create the construction process, examine inherent heterogeneity, explore unit shapes and their interaction with under-layer rock geometry, examine scale effects, and use vibration and other proxies for wave disturbance, all to study block motion, contact force and stress heterogeneity and risk of concrete unit breakages.The aims are to:(1) Promote a shift in design approach from empirical to scientifically-determined damage and breakage probabilities. This requires modelling the solid geometry together with both the static and transient dynamic stress states within gigantic granular systems of complex-shaped concrete units and rock armour used in coastal structures and breakwaters, during construction, when at rest and as perturbed by external forces. (2) Extend the stress and deformation analysis tools of our world-leading 3D FEMDEM modelling technology that combines the multi-body interaction and motion modelling (i.e. Discrete Element Model, DEM) with the ability to model internal deformation of arbitrary shape (Finite Element Model, FEM) to the point where they can be readily harnessed to deliver a more fundamental understanding of a wide range of environmental and industrial problems.The layers of concrete units and rocks targeted in this coastal research are an extreme case of particulate or granular media intensively studied by physicists, with solid-like behaviour dominating but potentially fluid-like behaviour possible, should they become unravelled in a storm. Scientists have long been able to see stresses in photo-elastically deformed grain pack experiments using any 2D grain shapes, but have had no such property or tool to interrogate our real-world 3D granular systems. This is all about to change following research by the PI and co-workers - the development of a generic 3D computer model based on FEMDEM developed under our VGW EPSRC grant. No other model (presented in the literature) handles multi-body dynamics of complex-shaped deformable particles with greater accuracy, capturing the stress components everywhere in time and space. This project will bring fresh modelling capability to both fundamental science and engineering applications of granular materials. Information about temporal and spatial heterogeneity of stress will become available to underpin the workings at the heart of our currently limited understanding of granular material behaviour that is so vexing the physicists.Applications of numerical models to loading and collapse of silos, mineral and powder processing/handling, avalanching, and geotechnics have all been attempted using DEM. Upgrading DEM to FEMDEM, taking account of deformability, dynamics and the angularity/complexity of particle shape in these multi-body systems will significantly improve simulations, extending applications to unprecedented fields such as biomechanics and nuclear systems, too numerous to list here.

Planned Impact

APPLICATION TO COASTAL STRUCTURES targets broader societal needs in times of increasing storminess, sea level rise, and a drive to exploit marine renewables: (a) to develop next generation numerical tools for structure and wave-structure technologies for coastal engineers - hence this addresses the mission of both Energy and Living With Environmental Change (LWEC) research programmes of EPSRC and (b) to provide Industry and Government with more accurate and robust science to innovate in design, help evaluate flood risk and ensure public confidence in the safety of coastal structures well into the 21st century. Rock and concrete unit armoured coastal structures, and structures to protect tidal energy harnessing lagoons, barrages and offshore wind and wave energy farms will use design methods born out of this project's research on granular solids and from fluid/granular structure numerical methods developed in later research phases. It is estimated that across Europe, the value of yearly coastal construction based on rubble mound methods is in excess of 1 billion Euros with breakwater asset values often exceeding 200m and a long-term annual UK flood defence spend requirement of 1b announce by EA (30.06.09). Dr Latham was heavily involved in the Rock Manual (2007) and has well established links with all key UK (and European) stakeholders in rubble structures. They include Government, Infrastructure and Client Organisations: DEFRA/EA, DTI, Local authorities, Network Rail; Consultants: Halcrow, WS Atkins, Royal Haskoning, High-Point Rendel; Contractors: Royal Boskalis Westminster, Van Oord UK, Nuttal; Materials Suppliers: concrete, aggregates, quarry companies e.g. CEMEX. Working with the world's leading unit designers, this project will position UK researchers at the heart of design innovations. With the international pace of numerical modelling, it is reasonable to suggest that within 5-10 years, coastal engineering research groups will use wave-structure numerical models to show realistic armour unit movement and stresses under simulated design wave climates. This may be expected to transfer into routine design practice, often replacing the need for flume models, within say 10-15 years. At key conferences, it will be possible through presentations and exhibits to engage designers and contractors, through visualisation of simulation results, to demonstrate the consequences of different construction practices that either improve or compromise performance in terms of interlocking, stability and dynamic tensile stress development. THE MODELLING TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH into developing further the FEMDEM software will impact on many researchers (PhD, Postdocs whether academic or industry led) of particle or blocky systems interactions, through the software's ability to tackle complex problems and its accessibility, compared with commercial tools. The range of environmental and industrial sectors to benefit from submodel enhancements to the FEMDEM codes already available on VGW are numerous, especially when taken together with the planned further coupling of solids FEMDEM with AMCG's generic fluids codes, FLUIDITY & ICOM. VGW was conceived with a focus on geoscience and geoengineering, but as the FEMDEM/fluids modelling technology becomes more versatile, the potential sectors for exploitation go much wider and include: resilience to extreme events (flood, avalanche), carbon capture, porous/fractured blocky rock-mass engineering, soil engineering, particulate processing, biomechanics and nuclear engineering. To ensure good engagement and communication, following the success of the VGW launch workshop, we will continue to run modelling technology hands-on workshops, use Encora (new European coastal network and Wiki) to promote a workshop and regular group meetings to link with other European Coastal research groups, publish journal and conference papers and webpages and include media relations, through the IC Press Office.

Publications

10 25 50

publication icon
Anastasaki E (2016) Numerical test for single concrete armour layer on breakwaters in Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Maritime Engineering

publication icon
García X (2011) A two-phase adaptive finite element method for solid-fluid coupling in complex geometries in International Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids

 
Description The GGS project was essentially a continuation of generic software capability development with an emphasis on coastal engineering - building on an earlier EPSRC grant called VGW. The generic capabilities of the advanced software, now called 'Solidity', are being applied widely for modelling mechanical systems of fluids interacting with fracturing and fragmenting and interacting solids, where Solidity handles the solids components. The range of applications is huge and currently covers research including: the deformation of artery walls during cardiac cycles - for research on artery wall ruptures in heart attacks; breakwater granular systems and coast protection structures under storm wave attack; catalyst support pellets in the production of hydrogen; understanding novel waterjet drilling mechanisms that could break rock and enable geothermal energy to be exploited, thermal cracking/spalling around deposition holes for nuclear waste storage....
Exploitation Route AMCG is a frontier respected group in Imperial College for inventing next generation software. Imperial has experience in creating routes to market. One recently licenced customised software product makes calls to Imperial's in-house advanced mechanics solver. It has been licensed to a multi-national materials and catalysis processing company. Other companies are likely to recognise the benefits of this software as it becomes apparent at academic/industry conferences. This business model for research software utilisation works well, while the core solvers tend to remain under constant development and being shared under opensource projects.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Agriculture, Food and Drink,Chemicals,Construction,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Energy,Environment,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology,Retail,Security and Diplomacy,Transport

URL http://solidityproject.com
 
Description Further discussions with coastal engineering companies are ongoing. They wish to carry out internal company evaluation of which important design questions the new technology can help to answer, now that practical simulation run-times of ~ a few days is achievable with the new parallelised code. A further update before final reporting will be included. Note: the findings have prompted the funding of a follow-up Impact Acceleration EPSRC project to help deliver impact. The follow-up project NBWPT, was successful in persuading Canadian company Baird Associates to renew direct industry funding of our collaboration by setting up a PhD in Ottawa to run in parallel with a newly funded EPSRC PhD project in our group (Mr Luis via Estrem) to further develop and use the new software tools at Imperial - See key findings We are currently in discussions with a coastal engineering consultancy on a contract to model their systems of interest with our software. We have signed a NDA so cannot discuss further.
First Year Of Impact 2018
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Construction,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology
Impact Types Economic

 
Description College Impact Acceleration Account - Internal Scheme
Amount £75,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/K503733/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2015 
End 12/2015
 
Description EPSRC/ICL Impact Acceleration Account 2017 - 2020 EP R511547
Amount £75,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP R511547 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2018 
End 12/2018
 
Description ESE Department EPSRC Quota Studentship
Amount £75,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2016 
End 09/2019
 
Description H2020 SURE Geothermal
Amount £350,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 654662 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 03/2016 
End 02/2020
 
Description Industry CASE Studentship
Amount £85,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2013 
End 06/2016
 
Description NERC-RATE Hydroframe
Amount £475,000 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/L000660/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2013 
End 09/2017
 
Description PhD studentship for Mr Lluis Via Estrem
Amount £81,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2016 
End 03/2020
 
Title DEMPlus particle packing software 
Description The Imperial College FEMDEM software (DEM Plus) combines the Finite Element Method (FEM) with the Discrete Element Method (DEM) to provide a unique capability to model not only flow and packing characteristics of irregularly shaped materials and objects but also to simulate a range of other performance features, such as the effects of thermal cycling and crushing strength. This combination of FEM and DEM provides business benefits because it enables the user to design more reliable practical products and accelerate product development cycles compared with existing simulation tools. This particular software can handle arbitrary object shapes (without having to simplify them to clusters of overlapping spheres or modified regular geometric shapes) and has the potential for further development to incorporate other performance parameters. DEM Plus works by solving the equations of motion and of continuum mechanics for rigid and deformable material models of particle behaviour using a transient dynamic multi-body explicit solver method known as the combined finite-discrete element method or FEMDEM. The advantages of this suite of computer tools include: • High accuracy model achieved by using actual particle shapes and solving a wide range of physical parameters. • Avoiding errors caused by clustered or clumped sphere approximations, which tend to introduce bumpy surface behaviours even on flat facetted objects. • High speed execution to improve productivity in solving industrial optimisation problems, • Versatile range of particle entry and coalescence options to represent industrial packing processes, • Large range of packing analysis statistics and visualisation options. (Including: porosity distribution, coordination number, contact force distribution, and orientation distribution). • Deformation and breakages of individual particles can be predicted through capability to generate static stress states within each particle of the packed particle skeleton. Existing, off-the-shelf software products specialising in FEM methods alone are unable to integrate contact searches (needed for finding all possible contacting bodies efficiently) and contact force interaction methods sufficiently to compete with DEM and FEMDEM based codes. This is particularly true when the FEMDEM codes are designed for large numbers of bodies and for applications in dynamic multi-body problems. Furthermore, existing DEM software products designed for particulate and bulk handling simulation mainly use clumped spheres which creates inaccuracies. DEM Plus, available from Imperial, overcomes these deficiencies. It has been developed during a period of over 12 years based on modelling work developed by the AMCG (Applied Modelling and Computational Group at Imperial College London). This has resulted in a highly efficient solver component which is combined with more specialised pre-processing and post-processing modules. The AMCG has developed additional related research software options that utilse the FEMDEM software solver and may be subject to future license agreements to industry including: • Code to provide plasticity behaviour, for example containers may behave plastically • A 3D fracture model which can be used to further understand the breakage of components such as catalyst support structures. • A thermal model which can simulate heat conduction within solids and heat transfer due to contact, hence further understand thermal effects. • An advanced adaptive mesh multipurpose fluid dynamics code that allows the fluid flows and pressure drops through packs to be simulated. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The DEM Plus software has been licensed to a multi-national materials and catalysis processing company that is leading in hydrogen gas production from methane steam-reforming processes. 
URL http://www.solidityproject.com
 
Title Solidity 
Description The 3D combined finite - discrete element method (FEMDEM) is a multi-body solids solver for transient dynamic problems. In this project, complex man-made or natural shapes forming a discrete particle are discretised into finite elements. Many advances were made to the code including particle entry into the computational domain with the new deposition code, POSITIT that is linked to Solidity (or with CAD). The generic solids solvers are being augmented with research into coupling the Solidity code so that it can be used together with other software to model coupled hydro-thermo-mechanical processes. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2014 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Coastal Engineers are evaluating the new wave proxy FEMDEM method, developed under a one year Acceleration Impact grant from EPSRC and ICL. It is hoped that it will become an alternative or complement to hydraulics testing. The technology is featuring in the ICE Breakwaters Conference "Innovation Spotlight" in Liverpool Sept 2017. A 4 year collaboration has begun with Baird and Ottawa University to validate and make the tools more useful for coastal engineers Catalyst Pellet Manufacturer is funding specific application of it - mentioned in collaborations with Imperial Innovations and Johnson Matthey Follow-up funding by EPSRC was secured in their IAA grant Imperial College Innovations and Research Office have performed Due Diligence and licensing of certain features of new software developments (DEM Plus) and Open Source materials are under negotiation . 
URL http://www.solidityproject.com
 
Title VBWPT 
Description The model captures the movement of armour units in a breakwater. Contact forces and stresses associated with every unit can be captured. In follow-up EPSRC project 'NBWPT', the movements associated with storm wave action can be modelled. Further research has been funded to make the software useful to practicing coastal engineeers to supplement and/or replace current empirical methods and physical scale modelling laboratory methods. 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Widespread interest by top consulting engineers such as CH2MHILL 
URL HTTP://www.VGeST.net
 
Description CUPB/ICL - Geothermal 
Organisation China University of Petroleum, Beijing
Country China 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I am Co-I on a project funded by Newton-Innovate UK scheme, called Smart GeoWells, now in its second of two years, led by Prof C Pain. Owing to that project, we (Prof Jackson, Pain and I) in ICL have submitted a new grant proposal on Enhanced Heat Recovery, to NERC under the Highlights scheme (March 2018), where I would lead on modelling key geomechanical processes to understand deep drilling and fracture flow.
Collaborator Contribution They have applied to their NSFC for a joint ICL/CUPB project funding this March 2018, on tackling problems of drilling in Hot dry rock geothermal and the problems with fracture stimulation and flow and its modelling to improve opportunities to extract geothermal 24/7 power. The two project proposals (NERC and NFSC) are slightly different but strongly alligned with further industry partners such as Sinopec Star supporting them with letters of support.
Impact Joint efforts in further proposal writing, see above. Smart-Geowells has publications associated with it (see PI C Pain). There have been several visits of CUPB to imperial (they have a PhD student based in ICL at present working on the Smart Geowells project), and reciprocal visits of ICL to Beijing in 2017.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Coastal Engineering Industrial Partners 
Organisation Artelia Group
Country France 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Numerical modelling expertise, training
Collaborator Contribution Access to model units, unit moulds, review of research outcomes, review of drafted publications and reports, steering committee activities, hosting meetings in Grenoble France and Ottawa Canada.
Impact Conference Papers Journal Papers Internal Research Report Follow on ICL EPSRC Pathway to Impact; Funding
Start Year 2009
 
Description Coastal Engineering Industrial Partners 
Organisation WF Baird & Associates
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Numerical modelling expertise, training
Collaborator Contribution Access to model units, unit moulds, review of research outcomes, review of drafted publications and reports, steering committee activities, hosting meetings in Grenoble France and Ottawa Canada.
Impact Conference Papers Journal Papers Internal Research Report Follow on ICL EPSRC Pathway to Impact; Funding
Start Year 2009
 
Description GZB Germany on SURE 
Organisation International Geothermal Centre
Country Germany 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution We collaborate on a European H2020 project (SURE) - we model the mechanisms of water jet drilling into rock. we recognise the new collaboration goes beyond the SURE project. We are in discussions about new research proposals that we are writing with the aim of further developing an ability to model the jetting of rock in in-situ conditions that GZB aim to perform in experiments within very sophisticated expensive apparatus.
Collaborator Contribution GZB perform the experiments that we aim to understand through modelling fluid solid coupling rock breakdown processes.
Impact very multi-diciplinary
Start Year 2016
 
Description ICL/Baird/UoOttawa/NRCC 
Organisation National Research Council - Ottawa
Country Canada 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Drs Latham and Xiang with new PhD (start Oct 2016) researcher Mr L. Via Estrem (EPSRC funded PhD studentship) to conduct further modelling development and code validation to create design tools for Coastal Engineers in a collaboration for 4 years. PhD student Via Estrem was on an exchange visit to Canada for October -November 2017 helping run experimental tests which he will later use in his code validation and numerical experiments for his PhD.
Collaborator Contribution The Canada team is sending two MSc students (April-May) to work with the ICL group to learn how to use our software to predict breakwater damage during storms. The team in Canada provide experimental facilities, Baird's consulting expertise in Coastal Structures design, and currently employ a PhD research student Mr S. Douglas. William Baird (CEO of Baird Associates and long time champion of Latham's FEMDEM approach, since support began in 2004) colleague Seth Logan of Baird and research partners at the University of Ottawa (Prof. Ioan Nistor) and the National Research Council of Canada are focusing mainly on hydraulic laboratory testing, flow analysis, flow simulation and are examining all possible applications of the generic tools developed by the Imperial College team.
Impact I presented the "Innovation Spotlight" talk at ICE Breakwaters Conference in Sept 2017, Liverpool UK. on A PHYSICS-BASED RUBBLE MOUND STABILITY SIMULATOR FOR ARMOUR LAYERS. The collaboration involves multiple disciplines - numerical simulation tool development, hydraulics, solid/fluid coupling mechanics, flume tank experimental design, novel sensor instrumentation, coastal structures.
Start Year 2015
 
Description ICL/Baird/UoOttawa/NRCC 
Organisation University of Ottawa
Country Canada 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Drs Latham and Xiang with new PhD (start Oct 2016) researcher Mr L. Via Estrem (EPSRC funded PhD studentship) to conduct further modelling development and code validation to create design tools for Coastal Engineers in a collaboration for 4 years. PhD student Via Estrem was on an exchange visit to Canada for October -November 2017 helping run experimental tests which he will later use in his code validation and numerical experiments for his PhD.
Collaborator Contribution The Canada team is sending two MSc students (April-May) to work with the ICL group to learn how to use our software to predict breakwater damage during storms. The team in Canada provide experimental facilities, Baird's consulting expertise in Coastal Structures design, and currently employ a PhD research student Mr S. Douglas. William Baird (CEO of Baird Associates and long time champion of Latham's FEMDEM approach, since support began in 2004) colleague Seth Logan of Baird and research partners at the University of Ottawa (Prof. Ioan Nistor) and the National Research Council of Canada are focusing mainly on hydraulic laboratory testing, flow analysis, flow simulation and are examining all possible applications of the generic tools developed by the Imperial College team.
Impact I presented the "Innovation Spotlight" talk at ICE Breakwaters Conference in Sept 2017, Liverpool UK. on A PHYSICS-BASED RUBBLE MOUND STABILITY SIMULATOR FOR ARMOUR LAYERS. The collaboration involves multiple disciplines - numerical simulation tool development, hydraulics, solid/fluid coupling mechanics, flume tank experimental design, novel sensor instrumentation, coastal structures.
Start Year 2015
 
Description ICL/Baird/UoOttawa/NRCC 
Organisation WF Baird & Associates
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Drs Latham and Xiang with new PhD (start Oct 2016) researcher Mr L. Via Estrem (EPSRC funded PhD studentship) to conduct further modelling development and code validation to create design tools for Coastal Engineers in a collaboration for 4 years. PhD student Via Estrem was on an exchange visit to Canada for October -November 2017 helping run experimental tests which he will later use in his code validation and numerical experiments for his PhD.
Collaborator Contribution The Canada team is sending two MSc students (April-May) to work with the ICL group to learn how to use our software to predict breakwater damage during storms. The team in Canada provide experimental facilities, Baird's consulting expertise in Coastal Structures design, and currently employ a PhD research student Mr S. Douglas. William Baird (CEO of Baird Associates and long time champion of Latham's FEMDEM approach, since support began in 2004) colleague Seth Logan of Baird and research partners at the University of Ottawa (Prof. Ioan Nistor) and the National Research Council of Canada are focusing mainly on hydraulic laboratory testing, flow analysis, flow simulation and are examining all possible applications of the generic tools developed by the Imperial College team.
Impact I presented the "Innovation Spotlight" talk at ICE Breakwaters Conference in Sept 2017, Liverpool UK. on A PHYSICS-BASED RUBBLE MOUND STABILITY SIMULATOR FOR ARMOUR LAYERS. The collaboration involves multiple disciplines - numerical simulation tool development, hydraulics, solid/fluid coupling mechanics, flume tank experimental design, novel sensor instrumentation, coastal structures.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Imperial College Innovations - DEMplus 
Organisation Imperial Innovations
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution DEMplus has been invented by our research group in AMCG, Earth Science and Eng Dept. and packaged as a complex shape packing software. Imperial Innovations are finalising the first licence sale agreement of DEMplus, at this time March 2018. The license is for Johnson Matthey. Training and software will be exchanged with JM in April.
Collaborator Contribution Imperial Innovations have performed the background research into markets and liaised in meetings with key interested industry parties, and prepared an offer brochure.They have backed this effort with £25K investment in useability improvements to be realised in 2018, during an IAA Impact Acceleration Grant (ICL/EPSRC) to further help take DEMplus to market and have it trialed by JM for industry use.
Impact The company most interested in exploiting the current software and helping to fund a future research project with us has been considering how to provide the resources within their company and a decision was due in end Feb and then mid March 2017. The decision of JM to buy the license was taken in late 2017.
Start Year 2015
 
Description SKB Swedish Radioactive Waste 
Organisation Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company
Country Sweden 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Its early days, but we propose to simulate scenarios of heating over time after the repository and waste is deposited and backfilled, especially the effect that water in the fractured host rock may have on spalling.
Collaborator Contribution SKB will provide data from the Aspo and Forsmark sites as appropriate
Impact The proposal is under review for final contract agreement. We provide models - they provide data from in-situ site measurements.
Start Year 2016
 
Title DEM Plus 
Description Software for complex shape packing was developed 
IP Reference  
Protection Copyrighted (e.g. software)
Year Protection Granted 2016
Licensed Yes
Impact The licensing terms have been agreed with Imperial Innovations. The software has been licensed to a multi-national materials and catalysis processing company.
 
Title open source software licence 
Description VGW, Version 1.0 (now named VGeST - Virtual Geoscience Simulation Tools) VGW was launched on March 30th 2009 with the Lesser General Public Licence LGPL 3.0 applicable to all modules in the Library. The simulation tools designed principally for academia but also for industry use can be accessed through the best known portal for OpenSource projects, "Sourceforge.net". Note in 2014, on Nov 12th there have been over 3600 downloads from all over the world since its launch in 2009. 
IP Reference  
Protection Protection not required
Year Protection Granted
Licensed Yes
Impact The core technology of 3D FEMDEM is now proven to deliver physically realistic results for complex problems. It is a "must have" research tool for US National Laboratories e.g. Los Alamos, and different offshoots of the methodology are now described at DEM conferences. Its wider use is somewhat challenged by the CPU demands which mean interesting real world and industry problems are often held back by impractically long run times, so a focus on parallelisation has resulted. Having now parallelised our code there is a strong case that use of the code first developed under the VGW project will find users beyond our current funders who are mainly Coastal Engineers, Oil, Gas and Nuclear Waste Repository Engineers and Catalyst Manufacturers, as well as a host of academic scientists around the world
 
Description  
IP Reference  
Protection Copyrighted (e.g. software)
Year Protection Granted
Licensed Yes
Impact The software has been licensed to a multi-national materials and catalysis processing company. This will eventually become known to a wider sector of industry and attract further licencees.
 
Title DEM Plus software 
Description The Imperial College FEMDEM software (DEM Plus) combines the Finite Element Method (FEM) with the Discrete Element Method (DEM) to provide a unique capability to model not only flow and packing characteristics of irregularly shaped materials and objects but also to simulate a range of other performance features, such as the effects of thermal cycling and crushing strength. This combination of FEM and DEM provides business benefits because it enables the user to design more reliable practical products and accelerate product development cycles compared with existing simulation tools. This particular software can handle arbitrary object shapes (without having to simplify them to clusters of overlapping spheres or modified regular geometric shapes) and has the potential for further development to incorporate other performance parameters. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact DEM plus software has been licensed to a multi-national materials and catalysis processing company. This top FTSE 100 company is world leader in hydrogen production from steam methane reforming processes. Research scientists from this company have indicated they will be attending the prestigious international conference on Discrete Element Methods, DEM8 to be held in Twente, Holland this July 21-26, where the researchers and inventors of DEM Plus will be presenting papers demonstrating its research and industrial potential. 
URL http://solidityproject.com
 
Title Solidity 
Description The 3D combined finite - discrete element method (FEMDEM) is a multi-body solids solver for transient dynamic problems. In this project, complex man-made or natural shapes forming a discrete particle are discretised into finite elements. Many advances were made to the code including particle entry into the computational domain with the new deposition code, POSITIT that is linked to Solidity (or with CAD). 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2014 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact Coastal Engineers are evaluating it for further funding Catalyst Manufacturers are funding application of it EPSRC has supported a follow-on Pathway to Impact project 
URL http://solidityproject.com
 
Description Conference Scientific Committee on and Invited to give Talk at the International COUFRAC conference in Wuhan - Nov 22-26 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Participating at his Conference had major significance for my group. Our group leads in coupled fracture models - the theme of this conference. I was invited to present a talk on the innovations in our modelling group.
I also presented the research of two of my PhD students, one being Dr Obeysekara - in two further talks.
Furthermore, I co-chaired sessions and introduced keynote speakers.
My ex student, Dr Qinghua Lei was awarded best paper and also presented 3 talks, one of which I was co-author on.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description ICE Breakwaters 2017 Liverpool - Innovation Spotlight 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The Innovation Spotlight - at the ICE Breakwaters 2017 Conf at liverpool - was presented as an invited talk on innovative big ideas that may well impact the Coastal Engineering Community, as the name suggests. "A PHYSICS-BASED RUBBLE MOUND STABILITY SIMULATOR FOR ARMOUR LAYERS" The talk and poster gained widespread interest. The paper, questions and answers have been documented in the Proceedings of the ICE Breakwaters Conference - Liverpool in Sept 2017, due for publication shortly.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.ice-conferences.com/coasts,-marine-structures-and-breakwaters-2017
 
Description Invited Talk - Turino, Italy 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact >100 rock mechanics specialists meet each year for this MIR conference in Torino. I was invited for 16 Feb 2017 Guest Speaker, 16th Conference on the Mechanics and Engineering of Rock, MIR, Torino, Italy, 'Modelling hydro-geomechanical behaviour of fractured and fracturing rock masses: application to tunnel excavation-induced damage'. European interest in Alpine tunnels is immense. There were many questions asked with much discussion and networking. I was also in Torino to be Chair of an exam board for a PhD in the Engineering Geology department of the University of Turino who had used our numerical models in his research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Invited Talk at NGL conference plus return Hosted Visit from SKB 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact After presenting my invited talk in Kalmar NGL Conference, SKB, Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company numerical modellers came to Imperial for two-day research exchange visit. We are in discussions regarding research collaboration projects that will be funded. The year 2017 saw great progress by PhD student Clement Joulin (Funded by the NERC RATE Hydroframe project - PI Rob Zimmerman) on adding thermal coupling into the Solidity FEMDEM Code. SKB have now agreed to a research project with my group at Imperial, for Clement Joulin to research for a six month period on effects of radioactive waste heating in deposition holes, the contract agreement is still being detailed as I write.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017
URL http://www.novaoskarshamn.se/documents/nova/documents/nova%20fou/ngl-konferens%202016/j-p%20latham_i...
 
Description Meeting in Ottawa in Dec 2015 to plan collaboration strategy with Baird and Associates 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The meeting discussed our formal collaboration aiming to bring the Imperial College Software into widespread use in Baird and the Coastal Engineering Community at large.
One PhD has begun in Ottawa University to perform the necessary validation experiments - Jan 2016.
One PhD project with selected student, has been funded by EPSRC (quota award) and will be supervised in AMCG ESE department of Imperial College London to begin in Autumn 2016.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description PhD student Qinghua Lei awarded the Top International Prize in Rock Mechanics: The Rocha Medal 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The award will be followed by the Rocha Medal Lecture given at the upcoming ISRM conference.
The award will be conferred at the 14th ISRM International Congress to be held from 13 to
18 September 2019, in Foz do Iguaçú, Brazil.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.isrm.net/gca/?id=288
 
Description Research Strategy Partner Meeting at International Conference on Coastal Engineering, ICCE, Santander 2012 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation workshop facilitator
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact An offline working group meeting was convened by JPL to coordinate an international effort to harness the unfolding potential of the GGS methods presented at the conference paper and poster sessions.

The Conference Venue was perfect to pull together potential collaborators from industry in UK, Canada and France to discuss with academics in Spain, France and Japan future research in coupling fluids models with solids models, that could follow up on this current GGS project.

A responsive mode EPSRC proposal: Fluid-structure modelling for coastal and ocean engineers, >£1m, was submitted in Sept 2012 by JPL, with all the people from that meeting being actively involved plus additional Chinese input. The proposal very narrowly missed selection for funding.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Signing MoU between Wuhan University, China and ICL 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact It was dicussed that a WHU-ICL Research Centre on High Performance Computing and its Application in Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering, was to be set up in Wuhan.


Wuhan Research Visitors (Two Associate Professors, 12 months and 6 month stay) have been academic visiors at ICL, working on research and joint publications using modelling methods developed in large part during the GGS project. (One key revised manuscript paper with ten co-authors is currently under review for Geofluids Journal)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Telephone call to Colorado S Mines and Arrangement of Special Session on Coastal Engineering at DEM6 Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The telephone call lead to the Conference Organiser agreeing to my organising a themed session on DEM modelling in Coastal Engineering applications

After all five talks on the Coastal Engineering theme, including my invited Keynote, widespread knowledge of the special challenges to modelling behaviour of coastal structures was imparted to an audience of international specialists in numerical methods especially DEM methods.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012,2013
URL http://csmspace.com/events/dem6/