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2018 PGS Workshop & 16th G.A. Leonards Lecture

April 27, 2018 - 5:00 p.m.
Hiler Theater, Wilmeth Active Learning Center, Purdue Memorial Mall
West Lafayette, IN

Protecting Sensitive Structures from Tunneling in Urban Environments

Video of Lecture | Lecture Slides

Eduardo Alonso

Eduardo Alonso, Ph.D.

Professor of Geotechnical Engineering
Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
Barcelona, Spain

Numerical analysis of tunneling excavation by modern earth pressure balance shield (EPBS) machines is typically a part of design documents. Accurate predictions can only be achieved by model verification, often under green field conditions, which is only possible during actual construction. This means that there is a high risk of a poor prediction performance. Moreover, tunnel-induced deformations depend heavily on the skills and experience of the machine operators and supervisors, which is hardly parametrized. In the presence of sensitive historic buildings, additional protection beyond a faultless tunnel excavation becomes a necessary precaution.

The lecture will illustrate these comments by discussing a recent experience concerning the protection of two world heritage “art nouveau (modernism)” buildings against the construction of a nearby tunnel for the high-speed train connection between Barcelona and Paris. The decision was to build a stiff and deep pile wall separating the tunnel and the building foundations.

A simplified close-form solution to analyze the tunnel-wall-soil interaction will be presented. The solution allows the identification of a few dimensionless coefficients controlling the problem. The theoretical background offered by the theoretical solution allows an ordered discussion of the effect of alternative design decisions. A comparison between measured ground displacements and predictions shows the difficulty of achieving accurate predictions.

Introduction by Antonio Bobet, Purdue University

Eduardo Alonso has been Professor of Geotechnical Engineering at the Civil Engineering School of UPC since 1986. He is a past Dean of the School and a past Vice-Rector for research at UPC.

His main research interests include the stochastic analysis of soil heterogeneity, unsaturated soil mechanics, rockfill mechanics, dam engineering, coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical analysis and some chemo-mechanical interactions.

He has maintained a special interest in landslide phenomena, a subject that involves the disciplines of engineering geology, rock mechanics and soil mechanics. Recently he has contributed to the development of a computational technique, the Material Point Method, capable of addressing the static and dynamic aspects of landslide instability. He is known for his contributions to develop unsaturated soil mechanics and his involvement in a variety of Geotechnical Engineering cases, particularly those involving catastrophic failures. He has acted as a geotechnical consultant in several countries.

He is member of the Royal Academy of Engineering of Spain and he is the immediate past Editor of ICE journal Géotechnique. Past honorary lectures include Coulomb, Buchanan, Sowers, Croce, Heim, Kezdi, Rocha, BGA Touring lectures and Rankine.

Presented in conjunction with the 16th Purdue Geotechnical Society Workshop - "Urban Geotechnics"

2018 Workshop Program | Event Photos

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