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  1. Joana Fonseca
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portrait of Dr Joana Fonseca

Dr Joana Fonseca

Lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering

School of Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering, Civil Engineering

Contact Information

Contact

Visit Joana Fonseca

CG08, Tait Building

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Postal Address

City, University of London
Northampton Square
London
EC1V 0HB
United Kingdom

About

Background

Dr Joana Fonseca graduated in Civil Engineering from the IST -Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal. Following four years of working in industry, she went to Imperial College London to resume her academic studies, obtaining an MSc in Soil Mechanics. After working at AECOM for one year, Joana returned to Imperial College to undertake her doctoral research on the micromechanics of granular media, in particular the quantification of fabric evolution of a natural sand under shearing. She subsequently became a Research Associate at Imperial College's Department of Materials investigating the micro structural response of a semi-solid carbon steel; before moving to the Laboratoire 3SR in Grenoble, France, where she researched the grain-scale mechanisms that lead to failure in sandstones. In April 2013, Joana was appointed Lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering at City University.

Research Awards

2016 PI Multiscale modelling of shelly carbonate sands for foundation design of offshore structures (MuMShell) EPSRC

2012 CI Developing a rational basis for dam filter stability ICE

Research

Research expertise and interests:

Multiscale mechanics; Image-based geotechnics; Experimental geomechanics; Micro mechanisms of granular media response; Centrifuge Modelling; Localised deformation in soils, rocks and semi-solid alloys; Grain damage and breakage; Advanced techniques for characterisation of geomaterials (x-ray tomography, microscopy, image analysis and processing).

Microstructure evolution during CPTU in silt

Using backscattered electron images of polished thin sections prepared from frozen samples, this study contributes a better understanding of the mechanisms of grain reorientation following cone penetration and drainage patterns controlling the cone resistance. Collaboration with NTNU Trondheim.

Soil fabric and morphology of sands

This pioneering study presented a statistical distribution of fabric directional data for specimens of sand at different stages of shearing deformation. It made use of x-ray tomography and image processing techniques to quantify the internal structure using (i) directional parameters as particle, contact normal, branch vector and void orientations, (ii) scalar parameters and Coordination Number and Contact Index and (iii) the operational grading of the soil and the 3D shape of the constituent grains.

Mechanisms of inelastic deformation in sandstones

This study provides new insight in the failure of cohesive geomaterials by exploring micro-structure in a “fourth dimension” - time or, in other words, deformation. Laboratory techniques were successfully developed to allow in-situ scans of the full specimen to be carried out. This investigation has revealed striking patterns of microscale deformation in sandstones with different degrees of cementation.

Behaviour of semi-solid alloys

This study exploited the synergies between metal casting and soil mechanics. The micro-structural response of a semi-solid carbon steel to loading was quantified by analysis of time-resolved synchrotron radiographs. The evidence provided of the austenite grains rearranging as quasi-rigid bodies, transmitting shear and compressive forces across grain-grain contacts and causing shear-induced dilation, supports the hypothesis that the behaviour of a semi-solid steel can be interpreted using a granular mechanics approach.

Research Students

Name
Sadegh Nadimi
Attendance
2014 – 2017
Thesis Title
Multiscale modelling and characterisation of granular media
Further Information
First supervisor
Name
Lorenzo Di Pasquale
Further Information
Master student from Université Grenoble Alpes, project on investigation of particle breakage under 1D compression
Name
Deqiong Kong
Further Information
Postdoctoral Researcher

Publications

Chapters (4)

  1. Paniagua, P., Gylland, A.S., Nordal, S. and Fonseca, J. (2015). Microstructural study of the deformation zones around a penetrating cone tip in silty soil. (pp. 1593–1598). ISBN 978-1-138-02707-7.
  2. Fonseca, J., Reyes-Aldasoro, C.C., O'Sullivan, C. and Coop, M.R. (2015). Experimental investigation into the primary fabric of stress transmitting particles. (pp. 1019–1024). ISBN 978-1-138-02707-7.
  3. Li, Y.Q., Hu, Z.L., Fang, X. and Fonseca, J. (2015). Analysis of micro characteristics and influence factors of foundation pit failure. (pp. 565–570). ISBN 978-1-138-02707-7.
  4. Fonseca, J. (2010). Quantitative Description of Grain Contacts in a Locked Sand. In Reed, A.H. (Ed.), Advances in Computed Tomography for Geomaterials: GeoX 2010

Conference Papers and Proceedings (11)

  1. Nadimi, S., Divall, S., Fonseca, J., Goodey, R.J. and Taylor, R.N. (2016). An addendum for particle image velocimetry in centrifuge modelling. Eurofuge 2016: 3rd European Conference on Physical Modelling in Geotechnics 1-3 June, IFSTTAR, Nantes, France.
  2. Nadimi, S., Fonseca, J., Barreto, D. and Taylor, R.N. (2016). A new approach to investigate the particle size effects in centrifuge
    modelling.
    3rd European Conference on Physical Modelling in Geotechnics 1-3 June, IFSTTAR, Nantes, France.
  3. NADIMI, S., FONSECA, J. and TAYLOR, N. (2015). A microstructure-based finite element analysis of the response of sand. 6th International Symposium on Deformation of Geomaterials 15-18 November, Buenos Aires.
  4. FONSECA, J., REYES-ALDASORO, C.C. and WILS, L. (2015). Three-dimensional quantification of the morphology and intragranular void ratio of a shelly carbonate sand. 6th International Symposium on Deformation Characteristics of Geomaterials 15-18 November, Buenos Aires.
  5. Fonseca, J., Besuelle, P. and Viggiani, G. (2013). An experimental study of micro-scale deformation in a soft sandstone. Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Tomography of Materials and Structures (ICTMS2013) 1 July, Ghent, Belgium.
  6. O'Sullivan, C., Cavarreta, I., Fonseca, J. and Altuhafi, F. (2013). Quantitative Evaluation of Particle Morphology. Proceedings of the Workshop on Experimental Micromechanics for Geomaterials (ISSMGE TC101-TC105) 23 May, Hong-Kong.
  7. Fonseca, J., Besuelle, P. and Viggiani, G. (2013). Microstructure evolution on sandstones with different degrees of cementation. Proceedings of the Workshop on Experimental Micromechanics for Geomaterials (ISSMGE TC101-TC105) 23 May, Hong-Kong.
  8. Fonseca, J. (2009). Image segmentation techniques for granular materials. Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Micromechanics of Granular Media 13 July, Golden,Colorado, USA.
  9. Fonseca, J. and O'Sullivan, C. (2008). A re-evaluation of the Fourier descriptor approach to quantifying sand particle geometry. Proceedings of the 4th International Symposium on Deformation Characteristics of Geomaterials 22 September, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
  10. Fonseca, J., Karatza, Z., Bésuelle, P. and Viggiani, G. An experimental investigation on the deformation of Fontainebleau sandstone. 16th International Conference on Experimental Mechanics, Cambridge, UK .
  11. Nadimi, S., Fonseca, J., Besuelle, P. and Viggiani, G. A microstructural finite element analysis of cement damage on Fontainebleau Sandstone. 2nd International Conference on Tomography of Materials and Structures 2015 Quebec.

Journal Articles (13)

  1. Nadimi, S. and Fonseca, J. (2017). Single-Grain Virtualization for Contact Behavior Analysis on Sand. Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering .
  2. Paniagua, P., Fonseca, J., Gylland, A. and Nordal, S. (2017). Investigation of the change in soil fabric during cone penetration in silt using 2D measurements. Acta Geotechnica pp. 1–14. doi:10.1007/s11440-017-0559-8.
  3. Nadimi, S. and Fonseca, J. (2016). Enhancing soil sample preparation by thermal cycling. Geotechnique, 66(11), pp. 953–958. doi:10.1680/jgeot.15.T.033.
  4. Fonseca, J., Nadimi, S., Reyes-Aldasoro, C.C., O Sullivan, C. and Coop, M.R. (2016). Image-based investigation into the primary fabric of stress-transmitting particles in sand. Soils and Foundations, 56(5), pp. 818–834. doi:10.1016/j.sandf.2016.08.007.
  5. Fonseca, J., Sim, W., Shire, T. and O'Sullivan, C. (2015). Microstructural analysis of sands with varying degrees of internal stability. Géotechnique, 64(5), pp. 405–411. doi:10.1680/geot.13.T.014.
  6. Paniagua, P., Fonseca, J., Gylland, A.S. and Nordal, S. (2015). Microstructural study of deformation zones during cone penetration in silt at variable penetration rates. Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 52(12), pp. 2088–2098. doi:10.1139/cgj-2014-0498.
  7. Li, Y., Hu, Z., Weng, T., Fonseca, J. and Zhang, X. (2014). Experimental study on the vertical deformation of sand caused by cyclic withdrawal and recharging of groundwater. Engineering Geology, 183, pp. 247–253. doi:10.1016/j.enggeo.2014.08.020.
  8. Gourlay, C.M., O'Sullivan, C., Fonseca, J., Yuan, L., Kareh, K.M., Nagira, T. and Yasuda, H. (2014). Synchrotron radiography studies of shear-induced dilation in semisolid Al alloys and steels. JOM, 66(8), pp. 1415–1424. doi:10.1007/s11837-014-1029-5.
  9. Fonseca, J., O’Sullivan, C., Nagira, T., Yasuda, H. and Gourlay, C.M. (2013). In situ study of granular micromechanics in semi-solid carbon steels. Acta Materialia, 61(11), pp. 4169–4179. doi:10.1016/j.actamat.2013.03.043.
  10. Fonseca, J., O'Sullivan, C., Coop, M.R. and Lee, P.D. (2013). Quantifying the evolution of soil fabric during shearing using directional parameters. Geotechnique, 63(6), pp. 487–499. doi:10.1680/geot.12.P.003.
  11. Fonseca, J., O'Sullivan, C., Coop, M.R. and Lee, P.D. (2013). Quantifying the evolution of soil fabric during shearing using scalar parameters. Géotechnique, 63(10), pp. 818–829. doi:10.1680/geot.11.P.150.
  12. Fonseca, J., Bésuelle, P. and Viggiani, G. (2013). Micromechanisms of inelastic deformation in sandstones: An insight using x-ray micro-tomography. Geotechnique Letters, 3(April-June), pp. 78–83. doi:10.1680/geolett.13.034.
  13. Fonseca, J., O'Sullivan, C., Coop, M.R. and Lee, P.D. (2012). Non-invasive characterization of particle morphology of natural sands. Soils and Foundations, 52(4), pp. 712–722. doi:10.1016/j.sandf.2012.07.011.

Thesis/Dissertation

  1. Fonseca, J. The evolution of morphology and fabric of a sand during shearing - Imperial College London 2011. (PhD Thesis)

Education

Teaching:

CV2401 - Soil Mechanics
CV2405 - Design & Construction
CV3401 - Geotechnical Egineering
CVM412 - Major Project
ETM462 - MEng Design Project

Other Activities

Event/Conference

  1. The International Symposium on Geomechanics from Micro to Macro (IS-Cambridge 2014). Cambridge, UK (2014).
    Description: Dr Fonseca is co-organizer of this conference that covers the following topics: Micro and Macro Characterization, Micro‐Macro Relationships, Micro‐Macro Modelling and Engineering Applications.

Media Appearances (5)

  1. Reaching for the skies. https://www.city.ac.uk/news/2016/june/reaching-for-the-skies
  2. “Through engineering, we have the chance to change the world we live in.” Academics and alumna share. http://www.city.ac.uk/news/2015/june/through-engineering-we-have-the-chance-to-change-the-world-we-live-in
  3. How we are changing the world. http://www.city.ac.uk/start-here/how-we-are-changing-the-world
  4. . https://issuu.com/cityuniversitylondon/docs/city_news_issue_17
  5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYlYcD-XP9E.

Find us

City, University of London

Northampton Square

London EC1V 0HB

United Kingdom

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