Prof. Waldemar Świdziński

Director of the Institute of Hydro-Engineering, Polish Academy of Sciences in Gdańsk, Geomechanical Department

Professor Waldemar Świdziński has been working at the Institute of Hydro-Engineering, Polish Academy of Sciences in Gdańsk, Geomechanical Department since 1981. At the Institute he obtained his PhD in Soil Mechanics in 1988. After that, he got a Postdoc position in the Geotechnical Laboratory at Delft Technical University, the Netherlands, where he spent over one year. Furthermore, he was awarded D.Sc. at the Technical University of Gdańsk in 2007 and became a Professor of the Institute in the same year. For many years he had been the head of the Geomechanical Department. Since 2016 he is a Director of the Institute. His main scientific interest is focused on mechanics of soil compaction and liquefaction, modeling the response of soil subjected to monotonic or cyclic loadings including earthquakes, stability analyses, dynamic analyses, experimental soil mechanics, as well as large scale modeling of groundwater flow and pollution transport. Prof. Świdziński obtained essential experimental, numerical and practical geotechnical engineering experience. Since 1984 to date, he is an expert for Tailings Storage Facility belonging to KGHM Polska Miedź S.A., one of the largest facilities of this type in the world, being an essential inspiration for many research problems. Throughout the years he has published more than 100 papers, 20 of which in well recognized, peer-review international journals.

Liquefaction is one of the most spectacular phenomena of soil behaviour during which granular soil changes its properties from solid to liquid-like type.  Due to its disastrous character, it has been a subject of investigations carried out by various researchers from many countries over many years. Although the basic factors governing the liquefaction phenomenon are quite well recognised, there are still some gaps requiring further studies and analyses. One of them is related to the degree of saturation of soils, which may be prone to liquefaction. For many years it was believed that one of compulsory conditions for soils to liquefy is  full saturation. Recent investigations have shown that it may not be necessarily true. The second aspect, which requires further investigations, regards the content of fines fraction in the granular composition of the soil susceptible to the liquefaction process. Furthermore, the last but not least, a following question should be answered: may some types of rock undergo liquefaction as well? In the course of the presentation, some fundamental issues describing the liquefaction phenomenon, based on the results of experimental investigations carried out in various geotechnical laboratory devices (simple shear, standard, cyclic and true triaxial apparatuses) will be shown and discussed. Moreover, the proposed theoretical description of pore water generation during monotonic and cyclic loading for fully saturated as well as partially saturated granular soils will be presented.