Caltech Young Investigators Lecture
Abstract: Fluid-driven crack propagation concerns several areas of engineering, including structural, geotechnical, and petroleum engineering. The development of simulation tools for pressurized cracks propagating in realistic scenarios needs to tackle the complexity arising from the non-linear hydro-mechanical coupling of the fluid and the cracked solid in a suitable framework for large-scale applications.
In this lecture, I will introduce the governing equations of hydraulic fracture and discuss well-known propagation regimes where the problem can be treated analytically. I will then present a computational approach to model the hydro-mechanical coupling of the fracturing solid and the fluid flow inside the propagating cracks. Benchmarks in 2D and 3D demonstrate the capability of the computational framework to successfully deal with a priori unknown and arbitrarily intricate crack paths, and with the need for large-scale simulations.
Time permitting, I will describe other recent eorts in developing advanced next-generation computational algorithms for large-scale simulation of complex material response, including mechanical instabilities and material failure.
Bio: Bianca Giovanardi is a Postdoctoral Associate in Computational Solid Mechanics in the group of Prof. Raul Radovitzky at the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT. Her current research interests encompass next-generation computational models for failure analysis of solids under extreme loading in a variety of fields, including geophysics, aerospace, and defense. She earned her PhD in Computational Mathematics in 2017 from the Politecnico di Milano with a thesis proposing a novel method to simulate crack propagation in brittle materials. During her PhD, she was awarded a Roberto Rocca Doctoral Fellowship, which allowed her to spend six months at MIT developing high performance simulation tools for fluid-driven fracture propagation. When not coding or debugging, Bianca enjoys going on hikes, sailing and practicing water polo.
This lecture is part of the Young Investigators Lecture Series sponsored by the Caltech Division of Engineering & Applied Science.