Itai Einav recognised for his "Visions for the Future"
26 September 2007
"Soil Mechanics: Breaking Ground" by Itai Einav has been published in a special, triennial issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, entitled Visions of the Future by Young Scientists: Chemistry and Engineering.
Itai has been developing a revolutionary new approach to soil mechanics - which can be easily transferred to any field of granular or particle mechanics. This innovative approach is called breakage mechanics. The potential of this has been recognised by the Royal Society, who invited Itai to be one of the few non-UK researchers to make a contribution to its special edition.
Itai's inspiration for breakage mechanics was originally as a new way of approaching how to model the crushing behaviour of materials such as tiny particles of sand. But this new theory has many more wide ranging applications such as earthquakes, pharmaceutical production, and minerals handling.
In a second paper to be published by the Royal Society, Itai explains how this new theory parallels the important work of Alan Griffith, often regarded as the father of fracture mechanics.
The School of Civil Engineering congratulates Itai on being honoured through the publications of his significant findings in the Royal Society.
Some upcoming papers of Itai include:
- Einav, I. 2007 Soil Mechanics - Breaking ground. Phil Trans A, (doi: 10.1098/rsta.2007.0009).
- Einav, I. 2007 Breakage mechanics. Part I--theory. J. Mech. Phys. Solids. 55, 1274-1297 (doi:10.1016/j.jmps.2006.11.003).
- Einav, I. 2007 Breakage mechanics. Part II--modelling granular materials. J. Mech. Phys. Solids. 55, 1298-1320 (doi:10.1016/j.jmps.2006.11.004)
- Einav, I. 2007 Fracture propagation in brittle granular matter. Proc. R. Soc. A 463, 3021-3035 (doi:10.1098/rspa.2007.1898).
In soil mechanics, student's models are classified as simple models that teach us unexplained elements of behaviour; an example is the Cam clay constitutive models of critical state soil mechanics (CSSM). 'Engineer's models' are models that elaborate the theory to fit more behavioural trends; this is usually done by adding fitting parameters to the student's models. Can currently unexplained behavioural trends of soil be explained without adding fitting parameters to CSSM models, by developing alternative student's models based on modern theories?
Here I apply an alternative theory to CSSM, called 'breakage mechanics', and develop a simple student's model for sand. Its unique and distinctive feature is the use of an energy balance equation that connects grain size reduction to consumption of energy, which enables to predict how grain size distribution (gsd) evolves—an unprecedented capability in constitutive modelling. With only four parameters, the model is physically clarifying what CSSM cannot for sand: the dependency of yielding and critical state on the initial gsd and void ratio.
About Itai Einav:
Born in Jerusalem (Israel), Itai Einav studied civil engineering at the Technion, Haifa, where he graduated with a BSc in 1998 and a PhD in 2002. He then moved to the University of Western Australia, COFS, Perth, to become a Research Associate, then Research Fellow, and then Senior Research Fellow. During this time, he received an Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Australian Research Council (ARC) and was awarded an MTS Visiting Professorship from the University of Minnesota. In 2005, after 3 years in Perth, he moved to the other side of the continent to become a Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney, in the School of Civil Engineering. Soon, he discovered an attraction to breakage and received another grant from the ARC to study this topic. Aged 35, his main scientific interests include theoretical granular mechanics and physics, applied (onshore and offshore) geotechnics and characterization of random materials. Recreations include travelling (above and below water level), kayaking and surviving the gym.
About The Royal Society:
The Royal Society is the world's oldest scientific academy in continuous existence, and has been at the forefront of enquiry and discovery since its foundation in 1660.
The backbone of the Society is its Fellowship of the most eminent scientists of the day, elected by peer review for life and entitled to use FRS after their name. There are currently more than 60 Nobel Laureates amongst the Society's approximately 1400 Fellows and Foreign Members.
Throughout its history, the Society has promoted excellence in science through its Fellowship and Foreign Membership, which has included Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Ernest Rutherford, Albert Einstein, Dorothy Hodgkin, Francis Crick, James Watson and Stephen Hawking.
The Society is independent of government, as it has been throughout its existence, by virtue of its Royal Charters. In 1663, The Royal Society of London for the Improvement of Natural Knowledge was granted its Arms and adopted the motto "Nullius in verba", an expression of its enduring commitment to empirical evidence as the basis of knowledge about the natural world.
The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, or Phil. Trans., is a scientific journal published by the Royal Society. Begun in 1665, it is the oldest scientific journal printed in the English-speaking world and the second oldest in the world, after the French Journal des sçavans. It is still published, making it the world's longest running scientific journal.