Nottingham Transportation Engineering Centre
  • Print

To design infrastructure such as pavements, rail track and airfield pavements, a detailed knowledge of constituent material performance and an understanding of how the overall infrastructure behaves are required.

Constitutive modelling is an area that underpins much of the Nottingham Transportation Engineering Centre's design and performance prediction activities.

Design and Performance

Design and Performance



The Discrete Element Method (DEM) has been used to model the behaviour of crushable soils and aggregates and is now being applied to better understand the micromechanical behaviour of asphalt, while collaborative research with Delft University of Technology has resulted in the development and implementation of a non-linear elasto-visco-plastic constitutive model for bound and unbound materials.


However engineering understanding has also been applied to complex problems using simpler material models, notably to reflective cracking, top-down cracking, polymer grid reinforcement, stress absorbing membrane interlayers and, for rail track, sleeper settlement and differential settlement.

  • Expertise in the development of complex non-linear constitutive models for bound and unbound materials.
  • Permanent deformation, crack initiation and growth and damage accumulation.
  • Comprehensive experimental facilities for determination of constitutive model parameters.
  • Finite Element Analysis (FEA) of complex boundary value problems.
  • Discrete Element Modelling (DEM) to understand micromechanical behaviour.
  • Integration of complex material behaviour into design and performance predictions.


Value management of thin surfacings
Mechanical behaviour of stress absorbing membrane interlayers
Innovative Design of Railway trackbeds



Faculty of Engineering
The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD