Update from Phil Robins

Members of the ISSMGE Technical Committee on Physical Modeling in Geotechnics (TC104) gathered to attend the virtual workshop on Frontiers for Hypergravity Experiments and Model Tests over two days late last year (7 and 9 December 2020). The Frontiers for Hypergravity Experiments and Model Tests workshop was sponsored by the University of California at Davis Center for Geotechnical Modeling with support from the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE) Technical Committee 104 (Physical Modeling in Geotechnics).

Over the last few decades the centrifuge has become an accepted and important tool for research in the area of geotechnical engineering. The behavior of geologic materials is governed to a large extent by self-weight, making scaled hyper gravity experiments and models so important to the field. Geotechnical engineering is not, however, the only research field where gravity plays an important role. The objectives of this workshop were:

  • To identify and make the case for new, underutilized, and emerging areas of research across engineering and the sciences that might benefit from the use of a centrifuge, and
  • To identify the facility and instrumentation needs for these new areas.

Participants came from around the world and from a wide range of engineering and science disciplines with the common connection that they are interested in topics in which gravity plays a role and hyper gravity experiments and/or modeling might advance the field. Invited speakers included individuals with prior centrifuge experience, as well as others who have interests in topics where gravity-driven physics are important.

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