EURAD Training on Multiphysical couplings in geomechanics - 22-24 January 2020, Liège, Belgium

The first GAS/HITEC Joint training course has been organized from 22 to 24 January 2020 at the Liège University in Belgium within the framework of EURAD as a Doctoral School entitled “Multiphysical Couplings in Geomechanics, a focus on thermal effect and gas transfer impact on the behaviour of geomaterials”. 

Topics and target audience
HITEC deals with thermal impact and GAS concerns gas transfer, both in the context of geological disposal of radioactive waste. This school allowed the attendees to improve their understanding of heat transfers, water and gas migration, stress and strain evolution in a repository. The school addressed both experimental and numerical investigations, at small (lab) and large (in situ) scale. These investigations involved geomaterials such as the host rock, either clayey or crystalline rock, but also bentonite which is typically used in engineered barriers for its sealing capacity. 
The school was organized firstly for people coming from institutions active in EURAD, including staff members from agencies as well as young researchers, involved or interested in the geomechanics field. The school also offered a limited number of places to people from institutions not participating to EURAD. The attendance was limited to 80 people. The number of registered participants was about 70.

Learning outcomes
At the end of the school, participants had a broad view of the state-of-the-art and of the challenges related to the GAS and HITEC WP research programme. They met a number of key researchers on THM and gas transport in the context of geological disposal, fostering information exchange and cooperation within the geomechanics community.
In particular, the attendees was able to:

  • Understand the basics of the thermo-hydro-mechanical (multi-physical) couplings in geomaterials;
  • Perceive the experimental evidences and figure out the physical processes at the laboratory scale and from in situ tests;
  • Capture the fundamentals on constitutive modelling of the relevant phenomena;
  • Identify the challenges in numerical modelling of these physical processes.

A second GAS/HITEC joint training course is planned in 2023 in order to highlight the main results of these WPs with respect to multiphysical coupling in geomechanics and their applications in the development and implementation of long-term solutions for radioactive waste management.