Project Details


This ERC 'Complexity-NET' project (led by CNR, Milano, Italy, and also involving Debrecen University, Hungary) aims to elucidate the complex interplay of local fracture events that lead to localisation of deformation and brittle behaviour in heterogeneous natural and synthetic materials. We use numerical and computational modelling, comparison with laboratory deformation data, including high resolution C-T scanning of the sample, natural geophysical signals and failure events in engineering structures. The funding is administered by EPSRC.

Layman's description

The aim of the project is to use state-of-the art theory and computation to work out how and why deformation localises prior to catastrophic failure, and to determine the extent to which this localising signal can be used to forecast failure in natural and man-made engineering materials, including earthquakes, landslides, snow avalanches, composites and aggregates.

Key findings

The nucleation point for catastrophic failure is impossible to predict from single model realisations in a random fuse network

Some statistical predictability can be found in stacked records, but this degrades with the scale of the model.

This implies catastrophic failure is much harder to predict for larger objects.
Effective start/end date1/01/1130/06/13


  • EPSRC: £125,128.00
  • EPSRC: £120,640.00


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