I have about 37 years of experience in geomechanics founded on undergraduate degrees in mathematics and engineering science from Trinity College Dublin.
Catalyzed by industry experience in Ireland and Canada, I developed my interests in particulate systems during MS and PhD studies at Purdue University and have spent the subsequent 25 years trying to understand what granular materials are trying to tell us. I use both experimental and numerical methods to try and interrogate these fascinating materials as they interact with themselves and other man-made materials and systems.
Why Open Geomechanics
English clergyman William Pollard said: "Without change, there is no innovation, creativity or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable." Open Geomechanics represents just the type of change that is needed in communicating technical knowledge before private and society owned journals become the next victim in the litany of entities that failed to change. This list of seemingly once impenetrable entities includes newspapers, mega-bookstores and taxis amongst others. To share the Open Geomechanics innovation dream with like-minded colleagues from around the world is both exciting and motivating.
Statement of interests
I like to approach every topic from the perspective of questioning what has been done. I do not seek to explicitly prove that what was done in the past is wrong but rather, given the access that I have to ever changing hardware and software research tools, can I approach issues differently and assuming so, what new insights might that allow me to discover. Encouragingly, the answer is yes in many cases. Equally importantly, this provides the motivation to explore what new insights can be gained into a topic by approaching it from a new or different perspective. Frequently, these new perspectives, for me, are driven either by spatial or temporal scales. My research for the past 25 years has been largely funded by the US National Science Foundation with additional support from private industry (Tensar International, Propex Fabrics, Berkel & Company), other federal agencies (Department of Defense, US Geological Survey, Department of Education) and other public (Georgia Department of Transportation, Georgia Research Alliance) agencies. Despite the often fundamental nature of the research I do, I always try and seek to have the end result be of value to industry either in the form of hardware/software tools or improved understanding of behavior than eliminates uncertainty in constructed systems.