Dr Elisabeth Bowman

Department of Civil and Structural Engineering

Reader in Geomechanics

CIV Lis Bowman
e.bowman@sheffield.ac.uk
+44 114 222 5747

Full contact details

Dr Elisabeth Bowman
Department of Civil and Structural Engineering
Room C109d
Sir Frederick Mappin Building (Broad Lane Building)
Mappin Street
Sheffield
S1 3JD
Profile

My work aims to understand how landslides, high speed debris flows and rock avalanches behave, so we can protect lives and infrastructure from their impact.

Dr Elisabeth Bowman


Elisabeth (Lis) Bowman completed her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at the University of Cambridge and spent several years in consulting practice. She received her PhD in 2002 researching the mechanics of creep and ageing in freshly disturbed granular materials.

She then spent three years as a Royal Academy of Engineering Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Cambridge exploring the mechanics of large and catastrophic landslides via physical modelling, after which she joined the academic staff at the University in Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand.

There she gained valuable field experience in investigating landslide and earthquake behaviour as well as continuing with experimental research and numerical modelling of slope stability / landslide mechanics.

Lis joined our Department in 2013. Her research is aimed at understanding particulate-scale mechanisms of geomaterials under deformation, including roles of particle size segregation, creep and fracture that produce important and sometimes puzzling geotechnical phenomena. Questions being addressed:

  • What is the role of particle breakage in the runout of large rock avalanches?
  • How does particle size segregation and pore pressure influence the velocity and run out of debris flows? How does this affect barrier design?
  • How can seepage induced internal erosion of fine particles be characterized towards increased safety of hydraulic structures such as dams and levees?
  • Why and how do granular soils “age” (increase in strength and stiffness with time)?

The investigative tools she uses in her research include physical modelling, transparent soil, high speed imaging, PIV and PTV techniques, centrifuge, flume and element testing and field mapping.


Research Themes

Hazards

Infrastructure

Research interests
  • Physical modelling of geotechnical problems using centrifuge experimental facilities
  • Transparent soils and non-intrusive physical modelling
  • Foundation engineering (such as monopile foundations for offshore wind turbines)
  • Resilience of infrastructure such as slopes, embankments, flood defences etc. to climate change
  • Soil reinforcement though mechanically stabilised soils.
  • Creep of granular soils leading to observed ageing effects
  • Mechanisms behind the extraordinary spreading of large and catastrophic rock avalanches, including static-dynamic behaviour of rock breakage
  • Mechanics of the motion of debris flows with a view to better modelling of their runout behaviour
  • Behaviour of granular flows within geotechnical centrifuge physical model experiments
  • Internal erosion of susceptible soils (such as glacial tills), which may lead to internal instability in embankment dams, levees and canals
  • Local deformation modes of model geosynthetic reinforced soil walls under seismic loading
Publications

Journal articles

Chapters

Conference proceedings papers

  • Bowman E, Kaitna R, McArdell B, McElwaine J, Sanvitale N, Take WA, Taylor-Noonan A & Zhao Y (2021) The Rosetta Stone Project – Integrating experimental results on debris flow mechanics across the scales: first results. 13th International Symposium on Landslides RIS download Bibtex download
  • Crawford-Flett KA, Eldridge JJ, Bowman E & Gordon C (2019) Interpretation of internal erosion susceptibility in a New Zealand canal embankment. ANCOLD Website 2019 Proceedings. https://www.ancold.org.au/?product=2019-interpretation-of-internal-erosion-susceptibility-in-a-new-z, 9 October 2019 - 12 October 2019. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Sanvitale N, Bowman E & Cabrera MA (2019) Small scale impact on rigid barrier using transparent debris-flow models. Debris-Flow Hazards Mitigation: Mechanics, Monitoring, Modeling, and Assessment - Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Debris-Flow Hazards Mitigation (pp 1035-1042) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Sanvitale N, Williams GB & Bowman ET (2019) Experimental investigation of granular flow erosion via photoelastic method. 17th European Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, ECSMGE 2019 - Proceedings, Vol. 2019-September RIS download Bibtex download
  • Sanvitale N, Bowman E & Black J (2018) Viewing Fluid Flow Inside a Granular Medium. proceedings of the 26th Annual Meeting of the European Working Group on Internal Erosion (EWG‐IE), Vol. 1(1) (pp 91-97), 10 September 2018 - 13 September 2018. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Gollin D & Bowman E (2017) Capturing of the internal mechanics of liquid-granular flows comprised of polydisperse spherical particles. EPJ Web of Conferences, Vol. 140 (pp 14006-14006) View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Yusa M, Bowman ET & Cubrinovski M (2017) Observation of microstructure of silty sand obtained from gelpush sampler and reconstituted sample. EPJ Web of Conferences, Vol. 140 (pp 12017-12017) View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Take WA, Bowman ET & Yune CY (2017) General report: Slope stability in engineering practice. ICSMGE 2017 - 19th International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, Vol. 2017-September (pp 2083-2086) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Rait K & Bowman E (2016) Influences of strain rate and shear rate on the propagation of large scale rock avalanches (pp 1707-1714) View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Gollin D, Bowman ET & Shepley P (2015) Granular temperature measurements of uniform granular flows. DEFORMATION CHARACTERISTICS OF GEOMATERIALS, Vol. 6 (pp 647-654) View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Bowman E, Loh K & Cubrinovski M (2015) The influence of surcharging on deformation of 1g models of GRS walls under seismic excitation. Proceedings of 6th International Conference on Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering, 1 November 2015 - 4 November 2015. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Hunter RP & Bowman ET (2015) Visualisation of internal erosion of a granular material via a new transparent soil permeameter. Geotechnical Engineering for Infrastructure and Development - Proceedings of the XVI European Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, ECSMGE 2015, Vol. 4 (pp 1965-1970) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Gollin D, Bowman E & Shepley P (2015) Methods for the physical measurement of collisional particle flows. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, Vol. 26(1) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Sanvitale N & Bowman E (2014) Towards measurement of “granular temperature” inside a flowing unsteady saturated granular medium (pp 1553-1558) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Bowman ET & Susmel L (2014) The Theory of Critical Distances to Model the Short- to Long-crack Transition in Geological Materials Subjected to Mode I Static Loading. Procedia Materials Science, Vol. 3 (pp 562-567) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Bowman ET, Sanvitale N & Bird JJ (2014) Looking inside a debris flow. Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 16 (pp EGU2014-12056). Vienna, 28 April 2014 - 2 May 2014. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Bowman ET (2014) Mechanisms of large rock avalanche propagation. Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 16 (pp EGU2014-12282). Vienna, 28 April 2014 - 2 May 2014. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Bird JJ & Bowman ET (2014) A comparison of internal and external flow behaviour of laboratory-scale debris flows. Physical Modelling in Geotechnics - Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Physical Modelling in Geotechnics 2014, ICPMG 2014, Vol. 2 (pp 1171-1177). Perth, 14 January 2014 - 17 January 2014. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Yusa M & Bowman ET (2013) Measurement and change in microstructure of loose silty sand due to ageing. 18th Southeast Asia Geotechnical Conference (18SEAGC) “Challenges in Sustainable Geotechnical Infras. Singapore, 29 May 2013 - 31 May 2013. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Bowman ET & Fannin RJ (2013) General report of TC 208: Slope stability in engineering practice. 18th International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering: Challenges and Innovations in Geotechnics, ICSMGE 2013, Vol. 3 (pp 2137-2144) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Yusa M & Bowman ET (2013) Quantification of time-dependent microstructural change of a silty sand under load. AIP Conference Proceedings, Vol. 1542 (pp 293-296) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Rait KL, Bowman ET & Lambert C (2012) Modelling the shearing behaviour of sturzstrom. Landslides and Engineered Slopes: Protecting Society through Improved Understanding - Proceedings of the 11th International and 2nd North American Symposium on Landslides and Engineered Slopes, 2012 (pp 883-888) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Tatarniuk C & Bowman ET (2012) Case study of a road embankment failure mitigated using deep soil mixing. Geotechnical Special Publication(228 GSP) (pp 471-482) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Tatarniuk CM & Bowman ET (2012) Two dimensional numerical modelling of landslide stabilizing deep soil mixed columns. Landslides and Engineered Slopes: Protecting Society through Improved Understanding - Proceedings of the 11th International and 2nd North American Symposium on Landslides and Engineered Slopes, 2012, Vol. 2 (pp 1653-1758) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Davies MCR, Pender MJ, Orense RP, Wotherspoon L, Cubrinovski M & Bowman ET (2011) GEOTECHNICAL IMPLICATIONS OF THE M 7.1 AND M 6.3 CANTERBURY EARTHQUAKES OF 4 SEPTEMBER 2010 AND 22 FEBRUARY 2011. Geotechnical Engineering for Disaster Mitigation and Rehabilitation and Highway Engineering 2011 RIS download Bibtex download
  • Rait KL, Bowman ET & Hann C (2011) Removing the Coriolis effect from centrifuge model data of high-speed rock avalanche spreading. Computer Methods for Geomechanics: Frontiers and New Applications, Vol. 1 (pp 483-488) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kailey P, Bowman E & Massey C (2010) Field investigation of small debris flow events in New Zealand mountain catchments. Auckland: CRC Press.. Geologically Active: Proceedings of the 11th IAEG Congress. Auckland, New Zealand, 5 September 2010 - 10 September 2010. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Davies MCR, Bowman ET & White DJ (2010) Physical modelling of natural hazards. PHYSICAL MODELLING IN GEOTECHNICS, VOLS. 1 AND 2 (pp 3-22) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Sanvitale N, Genevois R & Bowman ET (2010) Optical investigation through a flowing saturated granular material. PHYSICAL MODELLING IN GEOTECHNICS, VOLS 1 AND 2 (pp 1277-1282) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Davies MCR, Bowman ET & White DJ (2010) Physical modelling of natural hazards. Physical Modelling in Geotechnics - Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Physical Modelling in Geotechnics 2010, ICPMG 2010, Vol. 1 (pp 3-22) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Rait KL & Bowman ET (2010) Dynamic fragmentation in rock avalanches: A numerical model of micromechanical behaviour. Numerical Methods in Geotechnical Engineering - Proceedings of the 7th European Conference on Numerical Methods in Geotechnical Engineering (pp 435-440) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Sanvitale N, Genevois R & Bowman ET (2010) Optical investigation through a flowing saturated granular material. Physical Modelling in Geotechnics - Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Physical Modelling in Geotechnics 2010, ICPMG 2010, Vol. 2 (pp 1279-1284) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Bowman ET & Sanvitale N (2009) The role of particle size in the flow behaviour of saturated granular materials. Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering: The Academia and Practice of Geotechnical Engineering, Vol. 1 (pp 470-473) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Bowman E & Davies TRH (2008) The recognition and identification of debris flow hazards for proposed development sites in New Zealand. Proceedings of the 18 NZGS Geotechnical Symposium on Soil-Structure Interaction. Auckland, 4 September 2008 - 6 September 2008. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Bowman ET, Imre B, Laue J & Springman SM (2007) Geotechnical centrifuge modelling of debris flows. International Conference on Debris-Flow Hazards Mitigation: Mechanics, Prediction, and Assessment, Proceedings (pp 229-239) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Bowman ET, Laue J, Imre B, Zweidler A & Springman SM (2006) Debris flows in a geotechnical centrifuge. Physical Modelling in Geotechnics, 6th ICPMG'06 - Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Physical Modelling in Geotechnics, Vol. 1-2 (pp 311-316) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Bowman ET (2006) A note on the micromechanics of long runout rock avalanches. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Geomechanics and Geotechnics of Particulate Media - Geomechanics and Geotechnics of Particulate Media (pp 409-414) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Rombi J, Pooley EJ & Bowman ET (2006) Factors influencing granular debris flow behaviour: An experimental investigation. Physical Modelling in Geotechnics, 6th ICPMG'06 - Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Physical Modelling in Geotechnics, Vol. 1-2 (pp 379-384) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Bowman ET & Soga K (2005) The influence of particle shape on the stress-strain and creep response of a fine silica sand. Powders and Grains 2005 - Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Micromechanics of Granular Media, Vol. 2 (pp 1325-1328) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Bowman ET & Soga K (2002) Time effects in creep of sands. Constitutive and Centrifuge Modelling: Two Extremes (pp 259-265) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Cheng YP, White DJ, Bowman ET, Bolton MD & Soga K (2001) The observation of soil microstructure under load. Powders and Grains 2001 (pp 69-72) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Williams G, Banks V, Bowman E, Cooper A, Jones L, Kirkham M, Morgan D & Shepley P () Integrating monitoring techniques for a buried sinkhole in an urban environment. Proceedings Of The 16th Multidisciplinary Conference On Sinkholes And The Engineering And Environmental Impacts Of Karst, 12 April 2021 - 16 April 2021. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Cabrera M () Effects of viscosity in granular flows simulated in a centrifugal acceleration field (pp 1075-1080) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Gaber F () A new apparatus to examine the role of seepage flow on internal instability of model soil (pp 377-382) RIS download Bibtex download
Research group

Geotechnical Engineering

Geotechnical centrifuges

Earthquake Engineering Group

Grants

Particle-Scale Investigation of Seepage Induced Geotechnical Instablility

Awareness is growing that seepage forces imparted on individual particles can preferentially erode the smaller particles in sandy soils. There can be significant internal erosion of the soil under scenarios that are considered safe according to the classical continuum calculations used in engineering practice; this phenomenon is called internal instability.


The Rosetta Stone Network: Physical testing towards a common unstanding of debris flow

This project aims to create a “Rosetta Stone” of communication between the disciplines through physical tests undertaken with common material characteristics, informed by monitored field events, leading to improved numerical models.

Potential PhD offerings

Unfortunately I am not seeking any PhD Students at this time, however please contact me if you are interested in doing a project in my area of research.