Dr Katerina Tsiampousi conducts numerical and experimental research in the area of unsaturated soils, with applications on Energy Geotechnics and on Environmental Geotechnics.
Her interest on Energy Geotechnics incudes geological disposal of nuclear waste and ground source heating/cooling (GSHC) systems. In particular, she is interested in the thermo-hydro-mechanical (THM) behaviour of compacted bentonite (proposed to be used as engineered barrier in deep geological repositories) and of London clay (a soil relevant to GSHC systems in London). In addition to sophisticated numerical tools, Dr Tsiampousi is developing state-of-the-art experimental facilities with colleagues at the Geotechnics Laboratory, purposefully designed to control temperature in the range of 5 to 85oC and suction in the range of 30 to 300MPa. Her research on Energy Geotechnics is kindly supported by RWM Ltd, AMEC-Foster-Wheeler and Over Arup & Partners.
Her interest on Environmental Geotechnics focuses on the effect of climate on natural and man-made slopes (e.g. highway, railway and flood embankments, and cut slopes), and on Soil-Plant-Atmosphere Interaction (SPAI). Dr Tsiampousi participated, in collaboration with the University of Bari, in the modelling of landslides in the Southern Apennines, Italy, demonstrating that SPAI and the associated pore pressure variation is the triggering mechanism for first-time slope failures in the region. Further research in slopes cut in London clay highlighted the need for a long-term vegetation management, in order to achieve a balance between serviceability and ultimate limit states
CURRENT RESEARCH (PhD) STUDENTS
- MANTIKOS, VASILEIOS
October 2014 – present
Experimental investigation of the thermo-hydro-mechanical behaviour of bentonite buffers for nuclear waste disposal
Funded by a Skempton Scholarship and RWM Ltd
- GHIADISTRI, GIULIA
October 2015 – present
Numerical study of bentonite buffer homogenisation upon re-saturation
Funded by RWM Ltd & AMEC-Foster-Wheeler
- KIRKHAM, ANDREW
October 2016 – present
Temperature controlled oedometer testing
Funded by EPSRC DTG
- GUO, BENJAMIN
October 2016 – present
Reuse and Sustainability of flood defences
Funded by EPSRC CDT in Sustainable Engineering and GCG
- RUIZ LOPEZ, AGUSTIN
October 2017 – present
Numerical modelling of tunnelling near existing grey cast iron tunnels
Funded by EPSRC DTG
Selected recent presentations
- In April 2018 Katerina presented jointly with Jessica Yu their work on structural testing and analysis of grey cast iron segments in a half day seminar organised at Imperial College on "Effects of tunnelling on existing tunnels". The presentation slides can be accessed here.
- Katerina delivered a presentation on "Soil-atmosphere interaction in unsaturated cut slopes" in September 2016 at the 3rd European Conference on Unsaturated Soils E-UNSAT2016.
- In 2016 Katerina was invited by the Geotechnical Consulting Group GCG to deliver a presentation on "Unsaturated Soils in Energy and Environmental Geotechnics".
- Katerina presented her work on "Quantifying geotechical risk in unsaturated soil slopes" at the prestigious Pre-Rankine Seminar 2013.
main reserach findings: Modelling of unsaturated soils and numerical applications in boundary value problems
- Tsiampousi et al. (2017a) proposed an alternative approach to deriving the Governing Equations for coupled consolidation in unsaturated soils. The respective finite element equations are developed and used in the numerical analysis of boundary value problems in Tsiampousi et al. (2017b).
- Ghiadistri et al. (2018) developed a new constitutive model for expansive clays accounting for their double structure.
- Tsiampousi et al. (2013a) developed a 3-dimentional hysteretic soil-water retention curve (SWRC) and discussed its implementation in a finite element code in detail. The SWRC model can be used in conjunction with a non-linear Hvorlsev surface (Tsiampousi et al., 2013b) to improve modelling of unsaturated soils.
- Tsiampousi et al. (2013c) showed that the Factor of Safety against failure of slopes excavated in unsaturated soils does not generally reduce with time, an in saturated soils, but may increase, depending on the soil permeability.
main research findings: soil-atmosphere interaction in saturated and unsaturated soils
- Tsiampousi et al. (2017) present the whole life cycle of a cut slope in London clay under the effect of soil-atmosphere interaction, emphasising on its stability and serviceability.
- Soil-atmosphere interaction in unsaturated soils is discussed in Zdravkovic et al. (2018) and in Tsiampousi et al. (2016).
- The effect of soil-atmosphere interaction on the computed earth pressure at rest Ko was studied in Tsiampousi et al. (2014)
main research findings: novel exprimental apparatus and technique
- Mantikos et al. (2018) presented an original design for a suction-controlled oedometer, for suctions varying in the range from 30 to 300 MPa.
- A new temperature-controlled oedometer was developed by Kirkham et al. (2018), for temperatures ranging from 5 to 85o C.
- A novel method of controlling RH, based on the divided-flow method, and thus soil suction in the range from 30 to 300 MPa was developed by Mantikos et al. (2016).
Main research findings: grey cast iron tunnel linnings
The behaviour of bolted cast iron tunnelling segments and of their joints was studied by Tsiampousi et al. (2017), as part of a large research project on investigating the effects of tunnelling on existing tunnel. An overview of the project can be found in Standing et al. (2015).
D G TollP N HughesK Johnson, Durham University, 2018
R A StirlingC T DavieS Glendinning, Newcastle University, 2018
J A KnappettA G Bengough, University of Dundee, 2018
V SivakumarS Donohue, Queen's University of Belfast, 2018
S TripathyS W Rees, Cardiff University
Prof. F. Cottechia, University of Bari
On the modelling of soil-atmosphere interaction in cut and natural slopes; UNSAT 2018 keynote lecture, 7th International Conference on Unsaturated Soils; The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, 2018
Quantifying geotechnical risk in unsaturated cut slopes, British Geotechnical Association, Institute of Civil Engineers, Imperial College London, 2013
Research Student Supervision
Chen,S, Temperature-controlled interface shear box tests of a sand for pipeline design (Co-sup.: K. Tsiampousi), Taught MSc
Ghiadistri,G, Numerical study of bentonite buffer homogenisation upon re-saturation
Guo,B, Extending the life of existing flood embankments
Kirkham,AD, Thermal characterisation of bentonite buffers for deep geological disposal of nuclear waste
Mantikos,V, Experimental investigation of the thermo-hydro-mechanical behaviour of bentonite buffers for nuclear waste disposal
Ruiz Lopez,A, NUMERICAL MODELLING OF TUNNELLING NEAR EXISTING GREY CAST IRON TUNNELS