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Dr Juan Bernal-Sanchez

Biography Dr Juan Bernal Sanchez completed his first degree with the class medal in Civil Engineering at Universidad Politecnica de Cartagena (Spain) in 2013. Meanwhile, he worked as an intern student at the department of metallic structures on the process of amending and adapting the Spanish code according to the Eurocode 3 (UNE EN 1993-1). After a 2-year period studying at Edinburgh Napier University, he completed a MEng specialised in Geotechnics, Structure and Transport. He was awarded with the class medal and won the prize granted by the Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) in recognition for his dissertation project. He has recently completed a PhD in Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering at Edinburgh Napier University.

Since 2018, Dr Juan Bernal Sanchez has worked at Edinburgh Napier University as an Associate Lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering and since 2019 he has been heavily involved in the preparation and delivery of the Graduate Apprenticeship Programme in Civil Engineering. He has participated in a wide range of modules including Construction Surveying, Principles of Civil Engineering, Engineering Materials and the Work Based Learning, specifically organised for the GA students. He has also participated in international projects with other European universities whilst working on ICEW, or teaching Soil Mechanics at Shanghai Normal University.

Dr Juan Bernal Sanchez research involves advanced laboratory testing and numerical modelling on the area of soil mechanics. The title of his PhD is "Cyclic performance of rubber-soil mixtures to enhance seismic protection". The aim of his project seeks to enhance the resistance of soil foundations against seismic events with the introduction of a mixture composed of recycled rubber tyres combined with sand particles. His research has been published widely in international journals and conference proceedings. He has been granted with various prizes for his investigation: best oral presentation at the 14th BGA Young Geotechnical Engineers’ Symposium (2016), 2nd best presentation at Public Speaking Competition (2017), 2nd prize at Poster and Presentation Competition 2017 ICE Scottish Geotechnical Group. He was also granted with the Bhabha PhD Placement Programme (2018), being able to participate in a two months placement and thus enable the collaboration with the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore (India).
Research Interests “Cyclic performance of rubber-soil mixtures to enhance seismic protection”
The aim of this work is to improve existing building foundation by the inclusion of retrofitted elements consisting of mixtures of recycled rubber particles with soil materials. These mixtures, known as waste rubber-soil mixtures, provide a low cost, easy deployment technique that can mitigate seismic disturbances whilst reducing the amount of rubber tyres dumped in landfills. The project seeks to elucidate the interaction of what is effectively a mixture of highly compressible particles (rubber) with incompressible, brittle particles (sand) under the action of seismic motions. Thus earthquake protection can be provided to structures, which otherwise could not have been afforded due to the high cost of traditional seismic isolation systems.
Teaching and Learning I have worked as an Associate Lecturer in Civil Engineering at Edinburgh Napier University for the last year. During this time, I have assisted in the preparation of various modules related to the field including Soil Mechanics, Principles of Civil Engineering, Construction Surveying, Materials and Work Based Learning. I have also participated in the preparation of module exams as well as the marking process of the same.