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Bio-inspired geotechnical engineering: Principles, current work, opportunities and challenges

Martinez, A and Dejong, J and Akin, I and Aleali, A and Arson, C and Atkinson, J and Bandini, P and Baser, T and Borela, R and Boulanger, R and Burrall, M and Chen, Y and Collins, C and Cortes, D and Dai, S and Dejong, T and Del Dottore, E and Dorgan, K and Fragaszy, R and Frost, JD and Full, R and Ghayoomi, M and Goldman, DI and Gravish, N and Guzman, IL and Hambleton, J and Hawkes, E and Helms, M and Hu, D and Huang, L and Huang, S and Hunt, C and Irschick, D and Lin, HT and Lingwall, B and Marr, A and Mazzolai, B and McInroe, B and Murthy, T and O'Hara, K and Porter, M and Sadek, S and Sanchez, M and Santamarina, C and Shao, L and Sharp, J and Stuart, H and Stutz, HH and Summers, A and Tao, J and Tolley, M and Treers, L and Turnbull, K and Valdes, R and Van Paassen, L and Viggiani, G and Wilson, D and Wu, W and Yu, X and Zheng, J (2021) Bio-inspired geotechnical engineering: Principles, current work, opportunities and challenges. In: ICE .

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1680/jgeot.20.P.170


A broad diversity of biological organisms and systems interact with soil in ways that facilitate their growth and survival. These interactions are made possible by strategies that enable organisms to accomplish functions that can be analogous to those required in geotechnical engineering systems. Examples include anchorage in soft and weak ground, penetration into hard and stiff subsurface materials and movement in loose sand. Since the biological strategies have been 'vetted' by the process of natural selection, and the functions they accomplish are governed by the same physical laws in both the natural and engineered environments, they represent a unique source of principles and design ideas for addressing geotechnical challenges. Prior to implementation as engineering solutions, however, the differences in spatial and temporal scales and material properties between the biological environment and engineered system must be addressed. Current bio-inspired geotechnics research is addressing topics such as soil excavation and penetration, soil-structure interface shearing, load transfer between foundation and anchorage elements and soils, and mass and thermal transport, having gained inspiration from organisms such as worms, clams, ants, termites, fish, snakes and plant roots. This work highlights the potential benefits to both geotechnical engineering through new or improved solutions and biology through understanding of mechanisms as a result of cross-disciplinary interactions and collaborations. © 2021 Published with permission by the ICE under the CC-BY 4.0 license.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: ICE
Publisher: ICE Publishing
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to ICE Publishing
Keywords: anchors & anchorages; in situ testing; penetrometers; piles & piling
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Civil Engineering
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2021 10:25
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2021 10:25
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/70645

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