DFG-Supported Research Unit Takes A Close Look At Soil

June 03, 1998

At its spring meeting, the Grants Committee of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) decided to fund six new research units. In these units several researchers - usually based at the same university - cooperate to solve a shared scientific problem. Research units are set up when a small, but highly significant scientific theme requires interdisciplinary cooperation. The programme is designed to help establish new lines of research work which as yet have not, or only insufficiently, been pursued in Germany.

To ensure that new structures like high-rise buildings and bridges are erected on solid ground building engineers like to draw on experience. The historical example of the Leaning Tower of Pisa shows that this approach is not always successful. In the research unit Modelling cohesive friction materials engineers and physicists in Stuttgart now want to embark on a scientific investigation into the load-bearing capacity of different types of soil and other granular materials such as concrete. Their aim is to develop models permitting to predict, among other things, subsoil stability even before ground-breaking.

The six new research units will now begin their activities. The DFG will fund their work by providing a total of about DM 7.3 million for an initial period of two years. Another DM 3.1 million were tentatively budgeted for the third year. As a rule, the total term of such programmes is six years.

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

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