ESR1 Aleksandra Jakubczyk

Research project description

Experimental and Theoretical Investigation into the Behaviour of Unsaturated Soil

Fellow:                                ESR 1: Aleksandra Jakubczyk

Supervisor:                        Dr Xia Li, Prof. Hai-Sui Yu

Institution:                          Faculty of Engineering, Materials, Manufacturing & Structures Division, The University of Nottingham, UK


Landslides are activated by heavy rainfall or rapid snow melt and tend to worsen the effects of flooding that often accompanies these events. The potential slips surfaces may lie above or below the groundwater table. The distribution of unsaturated soils zone may affect the initiation of landslides. Nonetheless, the behavior of unsaturated soils has not been extensively researched. It is only last twenty years when unsaturated soil has become an interesting topic for geotechnical engineers.

To improve understanding in saturated and unsaturated soil behaviour of different types of geo-materials and to provide a comprehensive database for researchers within the MUMOLADE project, a set of reference materials have been identified. The reference materials chosen in the current research project are listed in table 1.

Table 1. List of reference materials


Reference material


Leighton Buzzard fraction E




Speswhite kaolin


In addition to the information on their properties collected from literature comprehensive laboratory testing are to be completed using GDS Triaxial Testing equipment with unsaturated upgrades.

Triaxial Testing SystemsUnsaturated Triaxial Testing

Collected laboratory data- base will be used to develop constitutive model. Laboratory input is needed to understand particle behaviour to propose improvement in constitutive model. Applicability of current constitutive modelling will be carried out. With co-operation of ESR3 micro- macro relationship will be established. Constitutive Model with particle- scale inputs will be developing in my research and will be available for numerical modelling of slopes and debris flows in WP2 and WP3.

ESR1 Aleksandra Jakubczyk