RUB Research School

The Role of Microbially Induced Calcite Precipitation in the Liquefaction Mitigation of Sandy Soils

The Research Project

Soil liquefaction is a geotechnical phenomenon triggered by strong shaking from earthquakes or other ground vibrations causing significant loss of soil strength and stiffness. The phenomenon often leads to disastrous damages of buildings and infrastructure and many casualties. Liquefaction risk can be mitigated by various methods such as soil densification, groundwater control, and cement injection. However, these methods are costly, energy-consuming, and contribute significantly to greenhouse gas emissions. A promising alternative is microbially induced calcite precipitation (MICP), also known as biocementation, which is based on the use of urease-producing bacteria that catalyze calcite production to naturally and sustainably improve soil properties.

The effectiveness of MICP in increasing soil liquefaction resistance has been widely researched under controlled laboratory conditions, but the practical implementation of this soil treatment technique in the field is still limited by some unknowns. In my research project at RUB, I will mainly focus on the improvement of the liquefaction resistance of sandy soils through MICP by conducting large-scale experiments in our laboratory. The objective of this research is to investigate how the variety of initial soil and field conditions affect the MICP process and the liquefaction resistance of the treated soil using both experimental and numerical models. Our goal is to develop the model in a flexible way so that it can be used for a wide range of soil types and conditions in the future.

What I need the IRB for

As a first-year PhD student, I am seeking opportunities to expand my knowledge on my research topic in order to gain a clear understanding of the steps required during my research work.

Due to the high flexibility IRB provides, it will be a valuable reward for me to take advantage of a variety of international opportunities such as conferences or workshops and collaborating with prestigious institutions immediately without any financial concerns. In addition, the flexibility will enable me to seize opportunities as they arise and make the most of international research advances. It will also help me to plan my international activities based on my project progress and requirements.