iGrip-IIT Gandhinagar hosts a webinar on Geosynthetics technologies of Japanese high-speed bullet train “Shinkansen”

Gandhinagar: Initiative for Geotechnical Research and Innovative Practice (iGrip) at the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar (IITGN) organised a webinar on Development of Geosynthetics Reinforced-soil Structure for Japanese high-speed bullet train “Shinkansen”. It was the fifth webinar in the iGrip Webinar series with global experts on Geostructures.

Today’s lecture was delivered by Dr Kenji Watanabe, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Tokyo. Dr Watanabe specialises in design and construction of railway earth structures and Geosynthetic Reinforced-soil (GRS) structures and has worked with Railway Technical Research Institute (RTRI), Japan, and The French Institute of Science and Technology for Transport, Development and Networks (IFSTTAR).

At the beginning of the webinar, Dr Watanabe briefly introduced the history of the application of GRS structures and then elaborated on the three main elements of the structure (soil, rigid facing and geosynthetics). Explaining the technology and its advantages, Dr Kenji Watanabe said, “Japan has constructed Geosynthetic-Reinforced Soil Retaining Wall (GRS RW) with full-height rigid facing for a total length of more than 180 km at more than 1,100 sites mainly for railways in Japan. This technology is highly cost-effective with a high stability against heavy rains and severe earthquakes. It has been validated for the last 30 years in Japan.”

Based on several experiments and field observation, Japan has published “Design Standards for Railway Structures and Commentary (Earth Retaining Structure)” that follows the concept of performance-based design. In the end, he also introduced the recent research activities applying geosynthetics for the railway structure.

The webinar proved to be a great learning forum for students and professionals who are interested in the application of GRS structures for high-speed train projects. More than 500 students and professionals attended today’s webinar from across the country and abroad.

National High-Speed Railway Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) and IIT Gandhinagar have decided to jointly work on the technical developments related to Geosynthetics Reinforced-soil Structure in the upcoming and future projects of Bullet train in India. NHSRCL and IITGN have also invited other IITs to collaborate with their strengths. An e-workshop of all the IITs was also held on June 06, 2020, on the same lines.

More information about upcoming lectures will be available on the iGrip platform at https://igrip.iitgn.ac.in/.

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