Emmanuel Roubin

Working at the Université Grenoble Alpes (UGA), France.
Affiliated to 3SR (UMR 5521) and IUT 1 GCCD



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Mesoscopic description of cementitious material

[Roubin et al., 2015] [Roubin et al., 2015] [Roubin, Talk WCCM 2014]

The main idea of this work is part of an approach that attempts to represent the quasi-brittle behavior of heterogeneous materials such as cementitious ones. The guideline followed fits in a sequenced multi-scale framework for which descriptions of the material are selected at a thin scale (mesoscopic or microscopic) and information is transferred to a larger scale (macroscopic). It shows how the explicit representation of heterogeneities offers interesting prospects on identification, understanding and modeling of macroscopic behaviors. In practice, from a simple description of each phases and interfaces behavior, a structural effect that leads to more complex macroscopic behavior is observed.

This work is therefore focusing on two main axes. On the one hand, the morphological representation of the heterogeneities is handle using the excursion sets theory. Randomly shaped inclusions, which geometrical and topological characteristics are analytically controlled, are produced by applying a threshold on realizations of correlated Random Fields.

Correlated Random Field
Excursion set
Excursion set

On the other hand, the FE implementation of both heterogeneity and local degradation behavior (micro-cracking) are dealt with by a double kinematics enhancement (weak and strong discontinuity) using the Embedded Finite Element Method. Finally, combining both axes of the problematic, the resulting model is tested by modeling cementitious materials at the meso-scale under uniaxial loadings mainly. It reveals an emergent macroscopic response that exhibits several features such as asymmetry of the tension-compression stress-strain relationship, cracks' patterns or historical-dependency, which are typical of concrete-like materials.

FE mesh
Crack opening for a simple Uniaxial tensile test
Crack opening for a simple Uniaxial compression test

Critical probability of percolation

[Roubin et al., arXiv]

We propose an analytical model to predict critical probability of percolation. It is based on the excursion set theory which allows us to consider N-dimensional bounded regions. Details are given for the 3D case and statistically Representative Volume Elements are calculated. Finally generalisation to the N-dimensional case is made.

Multi-scale analysis of fracture and reduced order models

[Oliver et al., 2015] [Roubin, Talk CMN 2015]

The work proposes a FE2 multiscale approach to computational modeling of material failure in concrete-like structures, made of cement/aggregate-type composite materials. Keeping the approach in a classical homogenization setting, a multiscale model is proposed, which naturally provides a microscopic lengthscale to be exported to the macrostructure. There, this length scale is used as regularization parameter in the context of the Continuum Strong Discontinuity Approach to material failure, and finite elements with embedded strong discontinuities (E-FEM). The resulting technique allows robust modeling of crack propagation at the structural scale, accounting for the mesostructure morphology, supplies proper energy dissipation and solutions independent of the finite element and RVE sizes. Application to a number of examples, in the range from light-aggregate concrete to regular concrete, shows the potentiality of the method.

Stabilization technics are used in order to address the commun numerical issues of highly localized strain fields. A double strain-injection scheme of weak and strong discontinuities along with a crack path field method [Oliver 2014] is used at the macroscopic scale.

Displacement field showing highly localized strains
Injection of weak and strong discontinuity kinematics
Crack path field and mesoscopic cell failure mechanisms

The reduced order part of the work addresses the problematic of reducing the computational time of multi-scale framework by solving, at each point of the structural scale, the Representative Volume Element (RVE) equilibrium problem using Reduce-Basis approximations. A specific methodology is proposed in order to tackle non-smooth fields. Therefore, the framework can find its applications into quasi-brittle heterogeneous materials, such as cementitious ones, and aims at performing crack propagation computations at a structural level.

The model is based on the Finite Element Method at both scales linked by weak coupling (FE2). The macro-strain acts as a loading parameter on the RVE whereas the macro-stress is the resulting homogenization of the micro-stress. The degradation mechanisms are modeled by the Continuum Strong Discontinuity Approach (CSDA) which lead to kinematic of the macroscopic crack defined in a small dimensional space.

The basis used for the reduction are constructed with a partitioned version of the Proper Orthogonal Decomposition of a set of a pre-computed snapshots, allowing us to consider distinctly the different regime of the solution (elastic, hardening or softening). Then, in addition to the projection of the solution (strains) onto a reduced basis, the interpolation of the off-line terms (stresses) is also made in a reduced-order space. To avoid the resulting ill-posed formulation, an expansion of the approximation space is made. Finally, based on both precision and stability considerations, a point-selecting algorithm (greedy) is perform in order to reduce the number of integration points.

The specificity of the method in regards with the potentially non-smooth solutions comes from a decomposition of the fields between elastic and inelastic domains of the RVE thus increasing the efficiency of the greedy algorithm. Such a decomposition is possible thanks to the CSDA that allows us to fully express the RVE formulation in terms of strains.




  • O. Stamati, E. Roubin, E. Andò, Y. Malecot, Phase segmentation of concrete x-ray tomographic images at meso-scale: Validation with neutron tomography, Cement and Concrete Composites, 2018. 10.1016/j.cemconcomp.2017.12.011


  • P. Hauseux, E. Roubin and J.-B. Colliat, CHAPTER 8 - The embedded finite element method (E-FEM) for multicracking of quasi-brittle materials, Porous Rock Fracture Mechanics, Woodhead Publishing, 2017. 10.1016/B978-0-08-100781-5.00008-7
  • N. Benkemoun, E. Roubin, J.-B. Colliat, FE design for the numerical modelling of failure induced by differential straining in meso-scale concrete: Algorithmic implementation based on operator split method. Finite Elements in Analysis and Design, 2017. 10.1016/j.finel.2017.08.003
  • V. Magnier, E. Roubin, J. Colliat, and P. Dufrénoy. Methodology of porosity modeling for friction pad: Consequence on squeal. Tribology International, 2017. 10.1016/j.triboint.2016.12.026
  • J. Oliver, M. Caicedo, A. Huespe, J.A. Hernandez and E. Roubin. Reduced order modeling strategies for computational multiscale fracture. Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering, 2017. 10.1016/j.cma.2016.09.039


  • P. Hauseux, E. Roubin, D.-M. Seyedi and J.-B. Colliat. FE modelling with strong discontinuities for 3D tensile and shear fracutres: application to underground excavation. Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering, 2016. 10.1016/j.cma.2016.05.014
  • E. Roubin and J.-B. Colliat. Critical probability of percolation over bounded region in N-dimensional Euclidean space. Journal of Statistical Mechanics: theory and experiment, 2016. 1510.08252 10.1088/1742-5468/2016/03/033306


  • J. Oliver, M. Caicedo, E. Roubin, A. Huespe and J.A. Hernandez. Continuum approach to computational multi-scale modeling of propagating fracture. Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering, 2015. 10.1016/j.cma.2015.05.012
  • E. Roubin, N. Benkemoun, and J.-B. Colliat. Meso-scale modeling of concrete: morphological description based on excursion sets of Random Fields. Computational Materials Science, 2015. 10.1016/j.commatsci.2015.02.039
  • R. Gelet, N. Benkemoun, E. Roubin, and J.-B. Colliat. Poro-elastic two-phase material modeling: theoretical formulation and embedded finite element method implementation. International Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics, 2015. 10.1002/nag.2351
  • E. Roubin, A. Vallade, N. Benkemoun, and J.-B. Colliat. Multi-scale failure of heterogeneous materials: a double kinematics enhancement for embedded finite element method. International Journal of Solids and Structures, 2015. 10.1016/j.ijsolstr.2014.10.001


  • J. Oliver, M. Caicedo, E. Roubin, and A. Huespe. Continuum approach to computational multi-scale modeling of fracture. Key Engineering Materials, 627:349–352, 2014, 10.4028/www.scientific.net/KEM.627.349
  • E. Roubin, M. Al. Shamaa, J.-B. Colliat, A. Pavoine, L. Divet, J.-M. Torrenti, and G. Nahas. A nonlinear meso–macro approach to modelling delayed ettringite formation and concrete degradation. Materials and Structures, 2014. 10.1617/s11527-013-0160-z

Seminars and Conferences


  • E. Roubin, M. Caicedo, J.A. Hernandez, A.E. Huespe and J. Oliver. On POD based reduction-order modeling in multi-scale material failure simulation. In CMN2015, Portugal, 2015.
  • M. Caicedo, E. Roubin and J. Oliver. Continuum multi-scale modeling of fracture in cementicious-like materials. In CMN2015, Portugal, 2015.
  • J. Oliver, M. Caicedo, E. Roubin, and A. E. Huespe. Continuum multi-scale modeling of fracture. In Euromech 559, The Netherlands, 2015.


  • M. Caicedo, J. Oliver, A. Huespe, E. Roubin, and J. Hernandez. Continuum multiscal (FE2) modeling of material failure. In WCCM - 11th, Spain, 2014.
  • E. Roubin, N. Benkemoun, and J.-B. Colliat. Mesoscale finite element modeling of cementitious materials. In WCCM - 11th, Spain, 2014.
  • J. Oliver, M. Caicedo, E. Roubin, J. Hernandez, and A. Huespe. Multi-scale (FE2) analysis of material failure in cement/aggregate-type composite structures. In Euro-C, Austria, 2014.


  • E. Roubin. Multi-scale simulation of quasi-brittle heterogeneous materials: application to concrete like materials. In 31e rencontres de l’AUGC, France, 2013.


  • E. Roubin, N. Benkemoun, and J.-B. Colliat. Quasi-brittle failure of heterogeneous materials: 3d meso-scale FE models with embedded discontinuities. In WCCM - 10th, Brazil, 2012.
  • M. Bogdan, E. Roubin, J.-B. Colliat, F. Benboudjema, and L. Stefan. Morphological modeling of cement based materials and hydration process. In MicroDurability, Netherlands, 2012.
  • M. Bogdan, E. Roubin, J.-B. Colliat, F. Benboudjema, and L. Stefan. Modélisation des transferts de masse dans les matériaux à matrice cimentaire à l’aide d’un modèle morphologique. In Transfert 2012, Lille (France), 2012.


  • E. Roubin, M. Bogdan, and J.-B. Colliat. Multi-scale failure for heterogeneous materials: link with morphological modeling. In COMPLAS - XI, Spain, 2011.


  • E. Roubin and J.-B. Colliat. Modélisation morphologique de matériaux hétérogènes par seuillage de champs aléatoires : application aux matériaux à matrice cimentaire. In Séminaires des doctorants, LMT-Cachan, 2010.



  • E. Roubin. Meso-scale FE and morphological modeling of heterogeneous media: application to cementitious materials. PhD thesis, École Normale Supérieure de Cachan, LMT-Cachan, France, 2013. 00957377


  • E. Roubin. Modélisation morphologique de matériaux hétérogènes par seuillage de champs aléatoires : application aux matériaux à matrice cimentaire. Internship, École Normale Supérieure de Cachan, LMT-Cachan, France, 2010.


Since September 2015
Maître de conférence at the 3SR (Sols, Solides, Structures et Risques) and the IUT DGGC in Grenoble.
October 2013 - June 2015
Postdoctoral researcher at the International Center for Numerical Methods in Engineering (CIMNE, Barcelona Spain) for the project Advanced tools for computational design of engineering materials (ERC, COMP-DES-MAT) with Professor X. Oliver.
October 2013
Doctor of the ENS Cachan. Subject: Meso-scale FE and morphological modeling of heterogeneous media: applications to cementitious materials.
May - June 2012
Stay at the Institut für Wissenschaftliches Rechnen, (wire, Braunschweig Germany), with Professor H.G. Matthies.
September 2010 to 2013
Ph.D. Thesis at the LMT-Cachan (ENS Cachan, France) under the supervision of Professor J.-B. Colliat.
June 2010
Master degree of the ENS Cachan (France) in Civil Engineering.

Find me

Laboratoire 3SR
Bâtiment Galilée, Bureau 228
1270 rue de la piscine
38 400 Saint Martin d'Hères, France
3SR +33 (0)4 56 52 86 49
IUT +33 (0)4 76 82 53 44

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