Grain Days 2022

The Australian Association for Granular Media (ANAGRAM) is delighted to host Grain Days 2022. This will be a two day event, bringing together researchers in the broad field of granular materials. The event will be held on 1415 November 2022 in Melbourne (Victoria).


Please register for Grain Days here by 6th November 2022. If you are not already a member of ANAGRAM, please note that it is a requirement of attendance to join this association. Join by emailing our Treasurer


(password protected)

Lecture 1: Grainsize dynamics: mixing, segregation, crushing and their heterarchy — Itai Einav

Lecture 2: Bridging the scales in modelling failure of granular materials — Giang D. Nguyen

Lecture 3: Soil desiccation cracking and its influence on continuum behaviour — Jayantha Kodikara

Lecture 4: 3D connections in granular systems: degrees, dynamics and divisions — Antoinette Tordesillas


(Rescheduling and new information are shown in green)

The two-day event aims to connect the broad research community in granular mechanics from around Australia, and will be hosted at The University of Melbourne on the 14th and 15th of November, at 234 Queensberry St, Carlton, VIC 3053, Lecture Theatre 219, with an optional tour to the Australian Synchrotron in the afternoon of the 15th of November.

Doctoral School (14 Nov 22, Day 1

The first day of the event will be a doctoral school on theoretical methods in granular media, delivered across three lectures about

More details about each lecture can be found in the "Doctoral School" section below.

Annual General Meeting (AGM) (14 Nov 22, Day 1)

The next AGM will be on the 15th of November 2022 for all ANAGRAM members. If you would like to join the committee, please apply. Nominations must be made in writing, signed by two members of the association and accompanied by the written consent of the candidate (which may be endorsed on the form of the nomination), and must be delivered to the secretary of the association at least 7 days before the date fixed for the holding of the annual general meeting at which the election is to take place.

Research Forum (15 Nov 22, Day 2)

The research forum is intended to be an opportunity for ANAGRAM members, especially PhD students and young researchers, to showcase their work to the broader granular mechanics community. The day will commence with a round of short 3 minutes thesis presentations, followed by a poster session where the presenters will have an opportunity to interact with the audience, yes, face to face, health advise allowing.

Australian Synchrotron Tour (Optional) (15 Nov 22, afternoon Day 2 )

Grain Days 2022 will conclude with a tour of the Australian Synchrotron (2:00pm to 4:00pm). A bus will be provided between the venues (about 1 hour trip each way), departing 1:00pm from The University of Melbourne, and around 4:00pm from the Australian Synchrotron, stopping at Southern Cross station for Skybus (bus to Tullamarine or Avalon airport) in its way back.


234 Queensberry St, Carlton, VIC 3053 (Days 1 & 2) 

Located south of the University of Melbourne's Parkville Campus, with easy access from the city through public transport (train, trams, bicycle lanes and on foot if staying nearby).  Grain Days will run on the 2nd Floor, Lecture Theatre 219 (Kwong Lee Down Building 219). 

There are a number of cafes and restaurants for lunch breaks, click here to see some of them on a map, and a number of options for accommodation nearby as well.

University Square Car Park

800 Blackburn Rd, Clayton VIC 3168 (Day 2 afternoon - bus provided

A bus will depart from the conference venue at 1:00pm sharp for a tour at the Australian Synchrotron in Clayton (VIC), scheduled to start at 2:00pm, and return departing by no later than 4:00pm from Clayton all the way back to the conference venue, stopping near the city for those who are taking Skybus to the airport. 

The Australian Synchrotron has accepted up to 40 delegates for this tour. Please read the Visitor Safety Information document (safety, attire, housekeeping) before signing up. The starting point for the tour will be the NCSS Reception.

Location of the Doctoral School and Research Forum

Getting from the Venue to the airport


Doctoral School + AGM (14 Nov 22, Day 1)

Research Forum + Aust Synchrotron  (15 Nov 22, Day 2)


Lecture 1: Grainsize dynamics: mixing, segregation, crushing and their heterarchy — Itai Einav

This Lecture will introduce the field of “grainsize dynamics” – the mechanics dealing with the evolution of particle size distributions in space and time, and their governing forces. Typical forces in grainsize dynamics include mixing, segregation, crushing, attrition, agglomeration and thermal expansion. The Lecture will focus on the first three forces. After introducing the stochastic particle scale physics that control each of these mixing, segregation and crushing dynamics, the Lecture will next show how the effects of these stochastic mechanisms could be theoretically upscaled to frame enriched continuum models. A discussion will follow on why “open-system” dynamics by mixing and segregation do not lend themselves for hierarchical approach that artificially identifies scales and treat them separately. Although the physics of grain crushing can be understood using a “closed-system” idealisation, when coupled with mixing and segregation, the modelling of grain crushing also requires an open-system description within a heterarchical approach that does not separate scales (yet benefits from non-hierarchical organisational rules).  Although this Lecture will focus on particle size, it will end with a discussion as to how much of the presented philosophy may be adapted for other shape descriptors such as grain shapes and their alignment.

Lecture 2: Bridging the scales in modelling failure of granular materialsGiang D. Nguyen

Constitutive models in principle reflect our understanding of the physical world, in the forms of rules that can be learned from experiments and simulations. They should have the properties and responses that are expected as results from mapping what can be observed and measured to a much more abstract form. Details are usually lost in such mapping processes, given there are usually too much that can be observed or measured and too few that a constitutive model can accommodate to keep it simple (enough) for practical applications. Often, curves that experiments or simulations give us are used to form rules for models, ignoring the underlying mechanisms and/or lower scale properties and responses that should be considered in the first place. The talk will focus on such mapping processes and associated struggles to keep a balance between what experiments can generate and what a model can take to maximise its performance while not overloading the computing power, especially when going to large scales. Mechanisms behind the observable curves are addressed and considered as priorities in formulating constitutive models, analysing experimental results and correlating them with theory. In conjunction with this are approaches and examples that can be potentially used to connect responses at different scales in constitutive modelling of granular materials in particular and geomaterials in general.

Lecture 3: Soil desiccation cracking and its influence on continuum behaviourJayantha Kodikara

Clay soils crack when they dry, even without observed strain. How does this happen? What controls the desiccation cracking of soils? When slurry soil dries, most cracking occurs when the soil is fully saturated. How do we explain this?  Is the desiccation cracks important only when they visibly open? Is it possible micro desiccation cracks can influence continuum behaviour during drying even for sandy materials?  What may happen when soil undergoes wetting and drying cycles?  Using experimental evidence and theoretical reasoning, these questions will be examined provoking your thoughts in this seminar. 

Lecture 4: 3D connections in granular systems: degrees, dynamics and divisions — Antoinette Tordesillas

In real estate, the mantra has always been "location, location, location". But in complex systems "connection, connection, connection" is what matters.  In this talk, I share some of the adventures in continuum micromechanics that prompted us to look more closely at the discrete -- in particular the topology, dynamics, structure and functionality of connections in granular systems.  Like all good problems, this has raised more questions than answers.  Of particular interest are questions concerning the 3D connections in granular systems: degrees, dynamics and divisions.  We discuss these through the lens of complex networks, dynamical systems and machine learning.

Local organising committee

Wenbin Fei, Research Fellow, The University of Melbourne

Guillermo Narsilio, Professor, The University of Melbourne

Ha Bui, Associate Professor, Monash University

Anan Zhou, Associate Professor, RMIT

Da Chen, DECRA Research Fellow, The University of Melbourne