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Personal profile

Research Interests

Dr. Hambleton’s main research interests are in computational plasticity, geotechnical analysis, contact mechanics, soil-machine interaction, and the analysis of problems involving unsteady plastic flow. A major focal point of his work over the coming years is to advance the understanding of how soils are moved and shaped through interaction with man-made objects and machinery. The overarching goal of these activities is to develop rigorous, mechanics-based models for predicting soil deformation and the corresponding force requirements or reactions. From a theoretical perspective, problems involving soil-machine interaction pose a tremendous challenge due to the confluence of unsteady plastic flow, potentially three-dimensional deformation, contact interaction, material instabilities, and rate effects from inertial forces and hydromechanical coupling (for saturated or partially saturated soils). This work endeavors to discover new modelling paradigms to help establish accurate, robust, and efficient computational methods. From a practical viewpoint, the scale of operations involving soil-machine interaction across the face of the Earth is difficult to fathom. For housing excavations, mineral production, and road building alone, each individual moves several tons of earth each year when distributed evenly across the world’s population. Breakthroughs in understanding will therefore have profound long-term effects with respect to reducing costs and production times, as well as mitigating consumption and pollution.

Dr. Hambleton’s specific areas of interest include

•           plowing (ploughing) and cutting of soils and rocks in earthmoving operations,

•           installation processes for screw anchors and screw foundations,

•           penetration-based testing for in situ characterization of soil strength and deformability, and

•           soil-wheel interaction for off-road vehicles.

Education/Academic qualification

Civil Engineering (Geomechanics), PhD, University of Minnesota

… → 2010

Civil Engineering (Geomechanics), MS, University of Minnesota

… → 2006

Civil Engineering (Structural Engineering), BCE, University of Minnesota

… → 2005

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Soils Engineering & Materials Science
Wheels Engineering & Materials Science
limit analysis Earth & Environmental Sciences
Anchors Engineering & Materials Science
rockfall Earth & Environmental Sciences
anchor Earth & Environmental Sciences
Sand Engineering & Materials Science
plowing Earth & Environmental Sciences

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Grants 2017 2024

Civil engineering
geotechnical engineering
research program

Research Output 2005 2019

Strain rate
Optical character recognition

Drained capacity of a suction caisson in sand under inclined loading

Zhao, L., Gaudin, C., O'Loughlin, C. D., Hambleton, J. P., Cassidy, M. J. & Herduin, M., Feb 1 2019, In : Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering. 145, 2, 04018107.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Optimal Deformation Modes for Estimating Soil Properties

Nally, A., Shi, Z. & Hambleton, J. P., Jan 1 2019, In : Geotechnical Special Publication. 2019-March, GSP 310, p. 541-550 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article

soil property
shear test
Aspect ratio
inverse analysis

Simulation of the Cutting Process in Softening and Hardening Soils

Jin, Z. & Hambleton, J. P., Jan 1 2019, In : Geotechnical Special Publication. 2019-March, GSP 310, p. 11-19 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article

shear band
8 Citations (Scopus)

Anisotropic elastic, strength, and fracture properties of Marcellus shale

Jin, Z., Li, W., Jin, C., Hambleton, J. P. & Cusatis, G., Sep 1 2018, In : International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences. 109, p. 124-137 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

mechanical property
bedding plane
size effect