Dr El Mountassir is a Senior Lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering and Director for Research in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Her research focuses on developing novel technologies using biological and biochemical processes that can alter the hydraulic and mechanical behaviour of soils and rocks. Over the last ten year the team at Strathclyde have been developing microbially induced calcite precipitation as a technique for rock grouting, soil stabiliation, well sealing and concrete repair. More recently she has been leading investigations into the potential use of fungi and their hyphal networks in ground improvement applications.
I teach CL217 Soil mechanics and the Graduate Apprenticship module EO206 (Soils & Water 2), both to second year students.
My research is largely experimental and focuses on understanding the hydraulic and mechanical behaviour of soils and rocks. I am particularly interested in the potential use of biological processes in geotechnical engineering. I am currently developing novel grouting technologies including microbially induced calcite precipitation as a technique for sealing fine aperture fractures and silica sol as a low viscosity grout. I am also investigating the possible deployment of fungi within ground engineering applications.
- Applied Clay Science (Journal)
- Peer reviewer
- Invited speaker Cheltenham Science Festival 2022
- Calcite Biomineralisation for the Repair of Damaged Concrete
- Internal Examiner PhD Viva
- Invited talk at Dundee Root Medal Workshop 2021
- Invited talk at Nature-Inspire solutions for the Built Environment
More professional activities
- DTP 2224 University of Strathclyde | Hughes-Buchanan, Adam
- El Mountassir, Grainne (Principal Investigator) Ward, Andrew (Co-investigator) Hughes-Buchanan, Adam (Research Co-investigator)
- 01-Jan-2022 - 01-Jan-2026
- UKRI FLF - Soil-mycelia systems for slope stabilisation
- El Mountassir, Grainne (Principal Investigator)
- 01-Jan-2021 - 30-Jan-2025
- Doctoral Training Partnership 2020-2021 University of Strathclyde | Brittain, Rory
- Dobson, Kate (Principal Investigator) El Mountassir, Grainne (Co-investigator) Phirani, Jyoti (Co-investigator) Pytharouli, Stella (Co-investigator) Brittain, Rory (Research Co-investigator)
- 01-Jan-2021 - 01-Jan-2024
- Doctoral Training Partnership 2020-2021 University of Strathclyde | Eriksen, Jason
- El Mountassir, Grainne (Principal Investigator) Lunn, Rebecca (Co-investigator) Eriksen, Jason (Research Co-investigator)
- 01-Jan-2021 - 01-Jan-2024
- Mobile X-ray/MRI/PET cells to image 4D fluid flow in porous media
- Minto, James (Principal Investigator) Pagano, Arianna Gea (Co-investigator) El Mountassir, Grainne (Co-investigator)
- This is a modular and configurable system that enables injection of liquids through porous media (such as sand packs, glass bead packs, and cylindrical rock cores), is compatible with X-ray, MRI and PET imaging, and is suitable for reactive flow experiments e.g. mineral precipitation, dissolution, and biofilm growth.
The main components of this equipment are:
1) Two dual piston isocratic injection pumps (Watrex DeltaChrom P102). Flows from 0.01 to 10 mL/min, 10 MPa max pressure, PEEK flow path for chemical compatability, no limit of injection volume, with pulse dampener.
2) Dual channel syringe pump (Chemyx Fusion 4000) offering pulseless and programmable injection/extraction at extremely low flow rates, volume limited by syringe volume, pressure limited by syringe type.
3) PEEK HPLC columns of various lengths and diameters (30mm length, 4.6mm internal diameter, 100 x 4.6, 250 x 4.6, 50 x 7.5). 10 MPa max pressure. Can be packed with loose sand or glass beads and imaged with X-ray/MRI/PET, but more suitable for X-rays due to their small size.
4) In-house designed and built 1" (25.4 mm) rock core holder. Max pressure 4 MPa at 25 °C. Can be imaged with X-ray/MRI/PET.
5) Digital pressure transducers continuously recording inlet pressure, outlet pressure, and confining fluid pressure (for rock core holders) allowing measurement of permeability.
6) Range of fittings, tubing, backpressure regulators, and sample injection options.
7) Computer for recording data and controlling pumps.
8) Mobile system intended to be moved to different imaging facilities.
- Biotechnology for Treatment and Repair of Concrete Nuclear Infrastructure
- Turner, Ronnie (Researcher) Lunn, Rebecca (Principal Investigator) El Mountassir, Grainne (Principal Investigator)
- Postdoctoral research project as part of the 'Transformative Science and Engineering for Nuclear Decommissioning' (TRANSCEND) research consortium. This project aims to develop new biotechnological methods for the treatment of damaged cement and concrete structures in the UK civil nuclear industry.
- 03-Jan-2018 - 03-Jan-2021
Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of Strathclyde
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