The main goal of the course is to provide PhD students and researchers with an overview of the current knowledge in Unsaturated Soil Mechanics as well as some insights into current issues and advanced topics. The course will be divided in lectures and practical sessions along five themes of one day long each:
- Fundamentals of Unsaturated Soil Mechanics. This one-day session will include presentation on the concepts of unsaturated soils response: phenomenology, controlling variables and constitutive models for several classes of materials.
- Experimental Techniques. Attendees will learn special techniques to perform hydraulic and mechanical tests under different controls of sample saturation, to characterize microstructure evolution during these processes and to measure the main controlling variables in the field. A session in the laboratory of the Department of Geotechnical Engineering and Geosciences is included in the afternoon.
- Numerical Methods. This day is split into one theoretical morning session devoted to the formulation and numerical implementation of equations for multiphase flow in deformable geomaterials and one practical afternoon session, where attendees will be tutored to solve user defined problems by using a Finite Element program.
- Some Advanced Topics and Current Issues. This one-day session aims at introducing attendees to current topics and issues in Unsaturated Soil Mechanics by presenting research works on theoretical and non-conventional applied subjects.
- Applications. The last day is devoted to the presentation of applications to real problems in civil, environmental and geo-energy engineering. It will be closed by an Invited Lecture given by a guest speaker.