Report of Ting-Wei's 2nd secondment @NGI

TING-WEI WU (ESR7) | @ NGI, OSLO, Norway (MAY-JUNE 2019)

Thanks to SLATE that provided financial support to make this stay possible, I could have a very nice working and learning experience in the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI) in May and June, 2019. In its world-famous geotechnical laboratory, I continued doing my seismic strengthening study on Ottawa Sand with an advanced triaxial apparatus.

I would like to thank Carl Harbitz for introducing me into the NGI community where I not only enjoyed work but also got the chance to join many activities. NGI has a very active and vigorous working environment and I received a lot of support from numerous people, in particular from Yusuke Suzuki who assisted me in changing the load cell and the top cap, demonstrated how to measure the shear modulus using bender elements, and created an adaptive control function to estimate the specimen’s stiffness during dynamic loadings to improve data quality. In spite of his own lab duties and tight schedule before the summer holidays, he spent a lot of extra time with me to solve problems and discuss techniques and theories every day. I am very grateful to his great expertise and supervision which made my stay successful. Helge Rolandsgard kindly showed me for the first time how to prepare a sample with NGI’s moist tamping technique, which was very impressively precise in controlling the height of the reconstituted specimen. I would also like to thank Thomas Vestgården who helped me with the determination of minimum and maximum dry unit weights of my Ottawa Sand samples using NGI’s in-house dry deposition and vibration methods. 

I conducted 26 triaxial tests in these two months and gave two presentations in June. I really appreciated the presence of many attendees who gave me knowledge input and suggestions to improve the testing procedure, especially from Amir Kaynia and Brian Carlton. In the geotechnical laboratory, I received a lot of advice from numerous experts, and also got the chance to learn from people who did different kinds of tests. As I was not an engineering student before, it was very interesting to know the perspectives from those hard-core civil engineers. Many thanks to the lab people (Santiago, James, Yubin, Monica, Tariq, Pasquale, Jenny…) who kindly demonstrated their testing procedures to me!

Aside from the NGI work, I really enjoyed my leisure life because it was my first time to go to Norway and I was very impressed by the splendid Norwegian culture. May and June were a very good timing to visit Norway because it was (mostly) warm and bright, and I also got the chance to celebrate Norway’s national holiday on May 17th watching the spectacular parades with people wearing their nicest traditional suits. On one weekend I visited the western coast of Norway and completed one of the items on my bucket list to sail inside the fjords of Norway. Such a touching moment to see the  fjords which existed only in my geology textbooks coming to life in front of my eyes! Besides, I joined many Norwegian courses in NGI (Takk! Helene, Steven og Sarah) and hanged out many times at lunch and on the weekends with friends (Cungang, Margarita, Victoria, and of course Mattias, Kate…). My impression and memory of Norway during this stay was priceless. 

To conclude, it was a very nice visit for me to spend two months in NGI. Last but not least, I would like to thank Morten Sjursen for providing the lab facilities to use. I conducted this two-months work at the Schmertmann Research Laboratory (SRL) in NGI with advanced equipment to focus on research-oriented projects. In return to my free-use of the facilities and the training and advising I received, it will be my pleasure to wrap up the results and make a publication in the near future to gain visualization of this work and this laboratory to the scientific society.  

  • Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI), Oslo, Norway


SLATE coordinator:
  • Carl Bonnevie Harbitz
  • Yusuke Suzuki
  • Brian Carlton
  • Maarten Vanneste
  • Morten Andreas Sjursen