Dr A.P.S. Selvadurai is currently William Scott Professor and James McGill Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics, McGill University, Montréal, Canada. He was born in Sri Lanka and received his undergraduate education in civil engineering at Brighton Polytechnic, U.K. and pursued graduate studies in Soil Mechanics at Imperial College of Science and Technology, London University and Applied Mechanics at Stanford University.
In 1971 he obtained his PhD degree in Theoretical Mechanics form the University of Nottingham, under the tutelage of the world renowned continuum mechanicist Professor A.J.M. Spencer FRS, for research in the area of "Second-Order Elasticity Theory", dealing with non-linear mechanics of elastic materials experiencing moderately large deformations. In 1986 he was awarded the first ever research degree of DSc in Theoretical Mechanics also from the University of Nottingham, for his research into Mathematical Modelling of Problems in Geomechanics and Elastomechanics. He joined the Department of Civil Engineering at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada in 1975 as Assistant Professor, became Professor in 1981 and Head of the Department from 1982 to 1991.
In 1993, he was invited by McGill University to become Chair of the Department of Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics, a position he held till 1997. He has held Visiting Professorships at the Division of Theoretical Mechanics, University of Nottingham, U.K, The Laboratoire 3S, Université Joseph Fourier, Grenoble, France, The Department of Civil Engineering, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, The Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China, The School of Civil Engineering, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, and Departement de Genie Civil, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland.
In 1998, he received the prestigious Humboldt Senior Scientist Award of the Humboldt Foundation of Germany, given to Internationally acclaimed Scientists and Engineers. In 2000, he was awarded the prestigious Killam Research Fellowship of the Canada Council for the Arts. This is one of Canada's most distinguished research awards, given in recognition of an outstanding research record combined with proposals for continuing research. In 2003 he received the prestigious Max Planck Research Prize in the Engineering Sciences. He was the first civil engineer to receive the Killam Research Fellowship and the only Canadian engineer to receive the Max Planck, Humboldt and Killam Research Awards. In 2001 he was awarded the Inaugural John Booker Medal of the International Association for Computer Methods and Advances in Geomechanics.
His research work spans a number of areas specifically related to continuum mechanics, theoretical, computational and experimental geomechanics, and applied mathematics. Specific topics of his research include, mechanics of elastic media undergoing large deformations, fracture mechanics, micromechanics of inclusions and defects, poroelasticity, coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical processes in deformable media, mechanics inhomogeneous media, interfaces in geomechanics, fragmentation of brittle geomaterials and transport in porous media. His current research activities combine theoretical, computational and experimental approaches for the study of coupled thermohydro- mechanical processes in geomechanics. He has published extensively in journals devoted to applied mechanics, geomechanics and applied mathematics and computational mechanics. He has authored, co-authored or Edited 15 books and Special Issues of International Journals with peer review. He is also the author of texts devoted to Elastic Analysis of Soil-Foundation Interaction (Elsevier, 1979), Elasticity and Geomechanics (with R.O. Davis) (Cambridge University Press, 1996) and Partial Differential Equations in Mechanics Vols. 1&2 (Springer-Verlag, 2000), Plasticity and Geomechanics (with R.O. Davis) (Cambridge University Press, 2002). He serves in the Editorial Boards of Nine leading International Journals devoted to Geomechanics, Applied Mechanics, Computational Mechanics and Applied Mathematics. He is a Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada, American Academy of Mechanics, Canadian Society for Civil Engineering, The Institute for Mathematics and its Applications and the Canadian Academy of Engineering.
The Role of Geomechanics and Modelling in High Level Nuclear Waste Management
The disposal of heat emitting nuclear fuel waste in a manner that will not pose a threat to human health and the environment continues to be a problem of concern to many countries that have used nuclear power for energy production. In certain instances, the spent fuel has accumulated for over four decades and is kept at the reactor sites. There is general consensus that disposal of such waste is best achieved through deep geological disposal and monitored storage. The construction of such underground disposal schemes requires a knowledge of how the natural geological rock and the engineered geological barriers will behave under the action of groundwater movements, thermal loads and other environmental effects for lifetime that are beyond the range of human experience in engineered activities. This lecture will discuss certain issues related to technologies that have been proposed for deep geological disposal of heat-emitting nuclear fuel waste.
Modelling of advective Transport of Earth-Borne Contaminants
Earth-borne contaminants can include toxic and hazardous materials that can be introduced into the geo-environment as a result of the use of pesticides, emissions and leakage from waste storage lagoons derived from mineral processing, hazardous materials storage sites and other human activities that involve events such as gasoline spills and leaks. When such materials enter the earth environment their migration involves complex process governed by the nature of the contaminant, the nature of the geological material and the presence of ground water. The three dominant processes that lead to the contaminant movement include the advective transport by virtue of ground water flow, diffusive transport as a result of decay of the concentration and attenuation resulting from the entrapment of the contaminant in the geological medium. The advective transport process is the most dominant that is governed by the flow characteristics of the ground water. This process dictates the strength and rate at which the contaminant can migrate within the geomaterial. This lecture will illustrate the mathematical principles underlying the advective transport process and illustrate simple mathematical solutions that can be used to enhance the decision making process in the absence of firm data on the physical properties governing the transport process.