About Dr Fernando Alonso-Marroquin

My main interest is to develop theoretical and numerical methods to improve the understanding of synergetic systems –systems where the whole is larger than the sum of its part. I am passionate about the use of maths to understand how synergetic systems evolve, particularly on the interaction of the parts they consist of. My interest is also on using high-end technologies to develop modelling tools for systems with strongly interacting components. My current focus is on fundamental research that will increase our understanding of how synergetic systems operate. It involves the development of mathematical equations for numerical simulations and systems’ control. It aims to help us understand large-scale behaviours by looking at small-scale studies of individuals and their behaviours and interactions under normal an extreme circumstances.

In the last years I have been using numerical methods to answer the question of how systems of heterogeneous individuals self-organize to optimize global outputs: Some examples are the minimization of shaking in fault zones, the improvement of evacuation rates in pedestrian dynamics, the optimizing of efficiency in financial markets, and the maximization of composting rates in biological systems.

I enjoy working in numerical simulations, but I strive to ensure that the work produced by my mind cannot be replaced by the CPU of a computer. That is why I sometimes prefer analytical calculations. After developed an analytical model for the electronic structure of the fullerenes molecules, I moved from Quantum Physics back to Newtonian Mechanics. In 1998–2000 I completed my doctorate in mathematical engineering at the University Carlos III of Madrid. In Madrid I learned about asymptotic and numerical methods for solving engineering problems. In 2000­–2004 I acquired my PhD in Computational Physics at the University of Stuttgart, Germany. In Stuttgart I focussed on the study of ratcheting and incremental response of granular soils, using particle-based simulations. In 2004-2005 I participated in the European project "Degradation and Instabilities of Geomaterials Applied to Hazard Mitigation". Motivated by the understanding of natural failures such as earthquakes and landslides, I worked with the connection between micromechanics and the continuum theories. In 2005 I arrived in Australia and joined the Earth Systems Science Computational Centre group, where I developed the method of spheropolygons to simulate granular systems with complex morphologies. Currently I am Senior Lecturer in The University of Sydney.

Selected publications

  • SA Galindo-Torres, F. Alonso-Marroquin, Y. Wang D. Pedroso and JD Munoz Castano, Molecular Dynamics simulation of complex particles in 3D and the study of friction due to non-convexity 3D, Phys. Rev. E 79 060301(R) (2009)
  • F. Alonso-Marroquin and Y. Wang, An efficient algorithm for granular dynamics simulation with complex-shaped objects. Granular Matter (2009) 11:317–329 (2009)
  • Y. Wang and F Alonso-Marroquin. A Finite Deformation Method for Discrete Modeling: Particle rotation and parameter calibration . Granular Matter 11:331–343 (2009)
  • F. Alonso-Marroquin, Spheropolygons: A new method to simulate conservative and dissipative interactions between 2D complex-shaped rigid bodies Europhysics Letters 83 14001(2008).
  • Pena, A. Lizcano, F. Alonso-Marroquin and H. J. Herrmann Biaxial test simulations using a packing of polygonal particles Int. J. Numer. Anal. Meth. Geomech.32(2) 143-160 (2008)
  • F. Alonso-Marroquin, I. Vardoulakis, H. J. Herrmann, D. Weatherley and P. Mora. The effect of rolling on dissipation in fault gouges Phys. Rev. E.74 (1) 031306 (2006)
  • R. Garcia-Rojo, F. Alonso-Marroquin and H.J.Herrmann, Characterization of the material response in granular ratcheting, Phys. Rev. E, 041302 (2005)
  • F. Alonso-Marroquin, S. Luding, H. J. Herrmann and I. Vardoulakis Role of the anisotropy in the elastoplastic response of a polygonal packing Phys. Rev. E 71, 051304 (2005)
  • F. Alonso-Marroquin and H. J. Herrmann, Ratcheting of granular materials Phys. Rev. Lett. 92, 054301 (2004)
  • F. Alonso-Marroquin and H. J. Herrmann, Calculation of the incremental stress-strain relation of a polygonal packing. Physical Review E, 66, 021301 (2002)