Multi-scale Modeling of Transport Through Deformable Porous Materials
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    Multi-scale Modeling of Transport Through Deformable Porous Materials

    Investigators: Peter Pivonka1 and David Smith1

    Institutions:1School of Computer Science and Software Engineering, University of Western Australia, WA,


    Sponsor: Australian Research Council (ARC)

    Project ID: DP0988427

    Email contact:,



    Project Description:

    The estimation of macroscopic transport and deformation parameters is essential in engineering design. These have traditionally been estimated using phenomenological equations, rather than linked to fundamental mechanical, chemical, or electrical processes occurring within materials. Multi-scale modeling provides a methodology to systematically incorporate detailed information about processes occurring at smaller scales into governing equations at larger scales. In this research we will use new multi-scale modeling approaches and state-of-the-art experimental data to advance current understanding of transport behaviour through porous materials including biomaterials (bone), cement-based materials (concrete) and clays (liner systems).


    Summary of National/Community Benefit

    Understanding solute transport through porous materials is essential because it provides a technical basis for answering many important questions in society today--how can humans avoid 'brittle bones', how to design durable infrastructure, how to safely store wastes (e.g. hazardous and municipal). Solution of each of these problems requires innovation in model development, new method of analysis, and insightful interpretation of results. While theoretical developments of this project are general, in the sense that they are not restricted to particular engineering disciplines, the four chosen applications closely align with two major research priorities namely An Environmental Sustainable Australia and Promoting and Maintaining Good Health.







    Prof Lynda Bonewald -- Director of the Bone Biology Program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City -- is an expert in osteocyte research. She was among the first to propose the mechanosensing role of osteocytes in bone remodelling (as a measure of her standing, Lynda is Editor of the leading journal in the field, BONE). Her current research focus is on the role of sclerostin expression and movement.


    Assoc. Prof. Patrick Fox -- Dept of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Geodetic Science at the Ohio State University -- is mainly interests is in geotechnical engineering with emphasis on geoenvironmental engineering, flow through porous media, consolidation, geosynthetics, soft soils, retaining structures, and slope stability.


    Dr Luc Van Loon -- Group & Project Leader of the Diffusion Processes Group at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland (Laboratory for Waste Management, Department of Nuclear Energy and Safety, His main focus is on experimental investigation of radionuclide movement through different argillaceous materials (e.g. bentonite, opalinus clay, montmorillonite, illite, kaolinite).


    Dr. Leo Pel -- Senior Research Scientist of the Transport in Permeable Media Group at Eindhoven University (Dept of Applied Physics, His main focus is the study of transport and phase changes in porous materials (e.g., brick, mortar, sludge, concrete and clay). For measurement of ion transport in porous media NMR scanners are used.





    Research Outcomes:

    2008 (Year 1)

    2009 (Year 2)

    2010 (Year 3) 


    List of current students


    List of publications

    Journal papers

    Presentations at conferences (provide pdf or ppt files)




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Last updated: December 02 2009 08:35:28.