Ms. Ruth Harley (PG)
School of Planning Architecture and Civil Engineering
David Keir Building, Stranmillis Rd., BT9 5AG
Tel (+44) (0) 28 9097 4027
MEng Civil Engineering, graduated July 2012
Greg Doran Scholarship 2012
Progressive deformation of glacial till due to viscoplastic straining and pore pressure dynamics
My PhD started in October 2012, looking at the progressive failure of slopes in large cuttings in glacial till; funded by Roads Service and Translink. This involves long-term monitoring of research sites, and a lab programme replicating on-site stress conditions in a stress path cell whilst subjecting samples to pore water pressure variations. The lab and field testing will feed into field scale models of the research sites using GeoStudio SIGMA/W (finite element load-deformation analysis software) using an elasto-viscoplastic constitutive soil model. The three strands of study will lead to a more accurate method of predicting progressive failure of cut slopes in glacial till. This will aid Roads Service and Translink in managing their geotechnical assets.
Dr. D. Hughes, Dr. V. Sivakumar, Prof. S.L. Barbour
I have also become involved in an EPSRC funded project iSMART, Infrastructure Slopes sustainable Management And Resilience Assessment. This offers a unique opportunity to unite 6 academic institutions within the UK and coalesce their field, lab and computing facilities, with a large cohort of PhD students and experiences stakeholder community. The partners in the proposal individually are responsible for the instrumentation of 15 cut slopes and embankments, and this coalition of computing facilities will allow us to investigate the uncertainties and knowledge gaps in the development of numerical models. For further details please see http://www.ismartproject.org/
Harley, R., Carse, L., Hughes. D., Lynch, K., Barbour, S.L. 2013. An evaluation of strain softening of glacial tills as a result of pore pressure dynamics. GeoMontreal 2013, 66th Canadian Geotechnical Conference Proceedings.
Lynch, K., Hughes, D., McKinley, J., Bell, A., Harley, R. 2013. Using Geotechnical and LIDAR spatial monitoring to determine key environmental slope instability thresholds of a Jurassic coastal landslide: Straidkilly Point, Northern Ireland, UK. GeoMontreal 2013, 66th Canadian Geotechnical Conference Proceedings.
Sonebi, M., Hughes, D., Harley, R., Lynch, K. 2012. Characterisation of the Performance of Sustainable Grout Containing Bentonite for Geotechnical Applications. The International conference on sustainable built environment for now and the future, Vietnam.
Lynch, K., Hughes, D., Mckinley, J., Bell, A., Harley, R., Graham, C. 2013. Evolving techniques for monitoring geotechnical risk on the Antrim Coast Road. Plant and Civil Engineer, 2013, 42-43.
Hughes, D., McKinley, J., Donohue, S., Lynch K., Bell, A., Graham, C., Harley, R. 2013. Geotechnical monitoring using a combination of LIDAR, real-time dGPS, and electrical tomography to assess geotechnical risk of a coastal landslide. The 6th international conference on structural health monitoring of intelligent infrastructure, Hong Kong.
Abstracts Submitted 2014/2015
Harley, R., Sivakumar, V., Hughes, D., Lynch, K., Barbour, S.L. (2014). Progressive deformation of glacial till due to viscoplastic straining and pore pressure variation. GeoRegina 2014, 67th Canadian Geotechnical Conference Proceedings.
Harley, R., Carse, L., Hughes, D., Sivakumar, V., Barbour, S.L., Donohue, S. (2015). Comparison of small strain stiffness in glacial till cuttings using geophysical methods, barometric loading response and laboratory data. XVI European Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering proceedings, Edinburgh, UK.
Hughes, D., McKinley, J., Donohue, S., Lynch, K., Bell, A., Harley, R., Hughes, E. (2015). Monitoring the stability of infrastructure slopes in Northern Ireland, using a combination of LiDAR, real-time dGPS, pore water pressures and electrical tomography. XVI European Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering proceedings, Edinburgh, UK.
Lynch, K., Hughes, D., Harley, R., Barbour, S.L. (2014). An alternative method of installing piezometers to measure the pore water pressure dynamics of a highly active coastal landslide: Straidkilly Point, Northern Ireland. GeoRegina 2014, 67th Canadian Geotechnical Conference Proceedings.
Poster titled “The development of progressive strains due to pore pressure dynamics in cuttings of glacial till” presented at the Geotechnique Symposium Print, Institution of Civil Engineers, 1 Great George Street, London in June 2013.
Poster titled "Predicting long term impacts of variations in climate and vegetation on slope stability” showcasing current research projects at QUB in March 2013; presented by Dr. D. Hughes.
Presented research to the Geotechnical Asset Owners Forum in July 2013, titled “An evaluation of strain softening of glacial tills as a result of pore pressure dynamics”.
Presentation from GeoMontreal Conference 2013.
Currently at QUB I’ve become involved in a number of Societies/ Groups:
- Committee Member of Athena SWAN, Queen’s Gender Initiative (2012-2014)
- Established Engineers Without Borders (EWB) UK – Belfast Branch
- President of EWB-UK – Belfast Branch (2012-2014)
- Training and Development Coordinator for EWB Northern Ireland (2013-2014)
- Committee member of the School Postgraduate Research Committee (2012-2014)
- Member of QUB’s postgrad forum (2013-2014)
- Committee member on ICE Graduates and Students Committee – Student Relations (2013-2014)
- STEM Ambassador
During my undergraduate degree I was also on the following committees:
- Committee Member of Engineering Society (2008-2009)
- Undergraduate Class representative (2007-2012)
- Chairperson of Staff Student Consultative Committee for School of Civil Engineering (2011-2012)
- Member of Northern Ireland Geotechnical Group (2011-2012)
- Graduate member of ICE
- Member of Belfast Geologist’s Society