• Institute of Scientific Pioneering Research of Ecuador

    Foundation for science lovers


Our engine is love for science, investigation and technology


We strongly believe in collective and diverse work


To look for new ideas and better explications about the laws that govern the universe, obtaining the maximum for society


Developing new science and technology while being responsible with our planet, nature and mankind

3D Discrete Element Method (DEM) with induced electrostatic cohesion

By Daniel Bustamante

Granular materials can acquire electrostatic charges during collisions in various industrial processes. The present work is dedicated to the mechanical simulation of granular media using a method of discrete cohesive elements. It is a model based on packages composed of three-dimensional grains of arbitrary shape obtained from real samples by combining X-ray computerized tomography (3DXRCT) and mathematical functions called level sets. The electrostatic cohesion is introduced in the scale of the particles by incorporating an electric charge density on the surface of the grains. The effect of the introduction of electrostatic cohesion is visualized by the construction of Mohr circles in which an axial compression process is carried out on the packing, while the walls of this packing are kept at different confining pressures.

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Analytical study of slope stability in dry, cohesionless 2D granular media

By Fabian

We study, from an analytical point of view, the inter-particle interactions in dry, cohesionless 2D granular media to find the micromechanical origin of landslides. Our analytical study is compared to the results of numerical simulations of granular materials in a rotating tumbler. These simulations are based on a contact dynamics method.

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3D Image processing: image segmentation and recognition using neural networks

By Kuntur Mallku Muenala Terán

The study and understanding of soil behavior involve the use of highly expensive equipment in the laboratory. Furthermore, obtaining soil samples for study in these laboratories involves complex and laborious procedures, in addition to the difficult accessibility that present some places where samples are made. For these reasons and considering the great computational development of the last decades, creation of a digital database of soils that will allow computational simulation of all procedures performed in laboratories, as well as natural phenomena such as landslides and subsidence due to geological faults, is proposed. It in turn will help prevent risks related to infrastructure damage and loss of life.

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3D models of construction materials

By Manolo Noboa

Medical devices, specially the ones used for tomography, are extremely expensive, because they must be highly precise and secure. For the same reason, they are constantly changed for more actual models, and the old devices are deposited in warehouses. Even though, they are still functional, and their capacities are stull useful in other fields. That’s how this project arises, proposing the reuse of one of these devices, adapting it so it is able to generate 3D models of construction materials.

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A hybrid backanalysis algorithm for calibration of DEM parameters against experimental results

By Sebastian Pazmiño

In this project, the implementation and combination of genetic algorithms (GA), principal component analysis (PCA) and gradient-based methods (GBM) with which to explore and find the global minimum (if there is one) have been proposed. ) of a given objective function for the calibration of the parameters of a computational scheme of discrete elements (3DLS-DEM), in such a way that the error between the results of the computational form is minimized using 3DLS-DEM and the results means of A true laboratory experiment.

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A geometry-based algorithm for cloning real grains 2.0

An enhanced algorithm for cloning soil that enables us to generate an arbitrary number of real grains to include them in 3D simulations to predict more accurately geological scale phenomena like earthquakes, landslides and lahar flow.

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Modeling of a real sample of concrete

3D images extracted from 3DXRCT scanning with image processing techniques and then converted to level sets (mathematical functions) in order to include them for first time in single-axial loading.

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Isogeometric analysis for the description of a surfactant spreading in a thin liquid film

By David Medina

The study of the spreading of surfactants is well known in many industrial and medical applications. This topic is important to improve efficiency of the coating by surfactants because of the non-uniform coating present in both soluble and insoluble surfactants in liquid films. The complexity in the physics and the experiments forced researchers to use the aid of computational tools and many works have been performed using numerical simulations.

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My passion and what I actually do for a living is doing scientific research in mathematical modeling and numerical methods. I got my PhD in Applied Mathematics and Mechanics at Caltech (California Institute of Technology) where I also had the opportunity of getting a grant with NASA to design and build a sampling tool for sampling Martian and celestial bodies regolith. I am interested in problems at the interface of physics and mechanics to develop granular materials.
I received my MSc. in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Northeastern University (USA). My research interests include signal processing, theoretical/applied machine learning, and pattern recognition/feature reduction in sparse spaces. Currently, my projects within the INSπRE Research Institute include the development of a mathematical model for rolling and sliding physics, and the study of Earth’s climate through Milankovitch Cycles.
I am a former civil engineering student at Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador. My research consists in generating the first experimental and computational database of Ecuadorian soil characteristics with the aim of obtaining more accurate computer models with enhanced predictive capabilities and an improved evaluation of microstructure from a real physical sample. I joined the group in August 2017 and in my spare time I enjoy playing the piano and traveling.
My research focuses on developing a mathematical algorithm in Alex X. Jerves' group and validating this model with a simulation that uses the Discrete Element Method and real shapes of soils in granular scale. Before I joined INSπRE, I went to San Francisco de Quito University where I am pursuing a graduate degree mathematics with a minor in psychology. In spare time I enjoy solving problems, watching anime, playing video games and learning about computers.
I'm currently working on a project consisting of implementing and applying optimization algorithms to calibrate parameters of 3D LS-DEM simulations against real experiments. I am fascinated by the elegance and versatility of the OOP paradigm. However, I recently began learning about the hardware/software interface, several layers of abstraction below my customary languages (C++ and Java), and this is becoming my new favorite field of study by far.
My research focuses on developing an algorithm to obtain a database of digital grains, for this project is use image processing and the gradient method, which are mathematical methods. I graduated with a degree in bachelor Mathematics at the San Francisco University of Quito with a minor in psychology, I am currently part of the INSPIRE group. I love making science. In spare time I enjoy reading, watching anime, and doing hiking.


By optimizing computational models replace costly ground strength tests fundamental for building bridges and roads

A hybrid back analysis scheme for DEM parameters calibration

Repair and adaptation of a medical X-ray tomography for use in scientific research for the development of better and safer construction materials

Adaptation of a medical tomography device to materials research.

Help by means of computer simulations in the study of the mechanical behavior of granular materials preventing landslides or faults caused by earthquakes other natural phenomena

3D image processing: image segmentation and recognition using neural networks

By studying the grain-to-grain interactions of the soil, we seek to better understand the origin of landslides and thus avoid them

An analytical study of slope stability in two-dimensional dry cohesionless granular media

To better understand the behavior of materials such as concrete to optimize its use, as well as to maximize its resistance and durability in the design and construction of bridges, roads, tunnels, dams and buildings

A one-to-one computational avatar of a real concrete sample

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