Current Projects

Project Title Numerical and analytical modelling of small footings in soft clay supported by stone columns
Summary While the behaviour of large groups of stone columns is somewhat understood, there exists a dearth of information regarding the behaviour of small groups of stone columns (as used to support footings). A series of finite element analyses conducted using advanced constitutive models have been used to examine the influence of key design parameters upon the settlement performance on small groups of stone columns. A simplified analytical method for the design of small column groups has also been developed.
Duration Sept. 2007 – Sept. 2011
NUIG Research Team Dr. Bryan McCabe (PI); Micheal Killeen (PhD student)
Other Collaborators Keller Foundations, Queens University Belfast, University of Sheffield, University of Strathclyde

Project Title Verification strength testing of stabilised organic soils
Summary Stabilisation by dry mixing has been shown to be a viable ground improvement option for organics clays/silts and peat. However, the relationship between the pull out (PORT) and push in (PIRT) resistances used to verify strength on site are only correlated empirically with stabilised strengths. In a scaled laboratory study, the factors influencing PORT and PIRT resistances, and curing time in particular, are examined with a view to developing a better understanding of the practical implications of test results.
Duration Oct. 2009 – Oct. 2012
NUIG Research Team Dr. Bryan McCabe (PI); Martin Timoney (PhD student)
Other Collaborators Keller Geotechnique

Project Title Cost effective sustainable construction technology for autonomous buildings
Summary The objective of this project is to design a cost effective sustainable construction technology, such as stabilised soil blocks, by replacing or reducing the amount of cement with alternative materials that are sourced locally and are a waste or by-product of another industry.
Duration Sept 2009 – Oct 2012
NUIG Research Team Dr. Jamie Goggins (PI); Dr. Bryan McCabe; Declan Gavigan (PhD student); Gerard Hynes (Chief Technician); Peter Fahy (Senior Technician); Colm Walsh (Senior Technician)

Project Title Real time capacity determination of DCIS piles
Summary Traditionally, the load capacity of piles is determined by performing static load tests which are time-consuming and expensive. As a result, contractors are seeking alternative methods for determining pile load capacity. This research projects aims to predict the load capacity of driven cast-in-situ (DCIS) piles based on measurements taken during pile installation. The DCIS piling rig is fitted with instrumentation which enables the driving resistance to be calculated. Using data from the cone penetration test (CPT), a relationship between the driving resistance and the load capacity will be developed. A number of load tests on instrumented DCIS piles will also be conducted in order to gain a better understanding of DCIS axial load behaviour in various ground conditions. The benefits of this research project include reduced costs and risk to the contractor.
Duration Aug 2010 – Aug 2013
NUIG Research Team Dr. Bryan McCabe (PI), Mr. Kevin Flynn (PhD student)
Other Collaborators Keller Foundations

Project Title Factors affecting the behaviour of pile groups
Summary The analysis of pile groups has been covered extensively in the literature over the past few decades from simple analytical approaches to more comprehensive analyses such as the boundary element or finite element methods. Pile to pile interaction has now been long established as causing additional settlements to occur at inner piles in pile groups. In this research, FEA with advanced constitutive models yare used to model the interaction of large groups with a view to developing simple design methods. The effect of the timing of the load testing in context of the consolidation process is considered in detail.
Duration Oct 2010 – Oct 2013
NUIG Research Team Dr. Bryan McCabe (PI), Mr. Brian Sheil (PhD student)
Other Collaborators Dr. Declan Phillips (UL)

Project Title Secondary settlements in soil improved by stone columns
Summary Research that has been carried out to date has dealt with stone columns and their effect on primary settlement. However, very little consideration has been given to how stone columns arrest long-term creep settlements. A finite element/calculation based numerical model will be developed to predict the long-term settlement improvement offered by stone column installation in soft cohesive soils. PLAXIS, a finite element program specific to geotechnical engineering, will be used to model the secondary settlement behaviour associated with stone column-supported foundations. Small-scale model experiments will be conducted in order to support and authenticate the finite element results and to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms of behaviour involved.
Duration Oct 2010 – Oct 2013
NUIG Research Team Dr. Bryan McCabe (PI), Mr. Brian Sexton (PhD student)

Recently Completed Projects

Project Title Microtunnelling
Summary This research involved the interpretation of jacking force and penetration rate data gathered in multiple microtunnel drives at eleven sites throughout Ireland, in clays, sand/gravel, limestone and sandstone. The interpretation has given important insights into the separation of friction and face pressure, soil types and consistency, lubrication and stoppages.
Duration Sept 2008 - Sept 2010
NUIG Research Team Dr. Bryan McCabe, Brien Curran (MEngSc student)
Other Collaborators Ward and Burke Construction

Project Title Investigation of the strength and durability performance of stabilised soil masonry blocks.
Summary The aim of this project is to show that stabilised soil blocks (SSBs) are cost-effective sustainable masonry units that have the potential to be used both in developing countries and Europe.
Duration January 2010 - January 2011
NUIG Research Team Dr. Jamie Goggins (PI); Gerard Hynes (Chief Technician); Peter Fahy (Senior Technician);

Project Title Research into the status of safety and health (risk education) within construction-related courses in third level institutions in Ireland
Summary This research project is carried out in conjunction with construction and management consultancy firm, Healy Kelly Turner & Townsend (HKT&T). This research will develop a profile of safety and health programme content, teaching methodologies and learning systems in construction-related courses. It will examine the weighting that safety and health is given in such safety-critical courses, in terms of credits/overall value. It will further draw up recommendations on the most appropriate ways of ensuring that risk education is included in content of all such safety-critical courses in higher education. The project team will also analyse the challenges and opportunities facing the three main stakeholders namely: Academia, Industry and the Professional Bodies, when considering its recommendations. The team will work together to identify the potential gaps between the needs and demands of Industry, the requirements of Professional Bodies and how third level institutions can bridge this gap in the supply of their graduates.
Duration January 2009 – January 2010
NUIG Research Team Dr. Jamie Goggins
Other Collaborators Healy Kelly Turner & Townsend