Methodologies: High Performance Computing, Multi-scale and Large-scale, Multiphysics

Estéfan Garcia

Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Prof. Garcia’s primary research interests are in the realm of granular materials and granular systems. Granular and particulate materials represent some of the most commonly manipulated materials in our society. A fundamental understanding of their behavior at the scale of individual grains or particles has wide-ranging benefits in several fields including civil engineering, geology, additive manufacturing, and planetary exploration. Prof. Garcia uses advanced numerical modeling techniques that can simulate large-strain behavior while also capturing directly the fundamental discontinuous nature of granular systems. His simulations rely on high-performance computing to simulate the interactions of millions of grains within a particle assemblage as the entire mass undergoes large-strain deformation due to phenomena such as earthquake surface fault rupture and trapdoor displacement. This approach allows us to model phenomena at the near-surface such as liquefaction or larger-scale phenomena such as tectonic deformations. The focus on individual particles elucidates the influence of depositional history and soil fabric on the deformation behavior of soils. This line of research advances understanding of how ground surface deformations can impact infrastructure and ultimately aims to improve the resiliency of infrastructure against geologic hazards.

X-ray tomography scan of an intact naturally deposited shoal sample with individual grains labelled and colorized.