Nye Underwood ’20


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Project Title

Mineral-Organic Interactions in Soil

Presentation Link

View Nye's Presentation

I worked on writing a discrete element method (DEM) program in Python that can simulate the physical interactions of clay and sand particles while keeping track of water-transfer interactions between clay particles. By creating our own DEM, our goal was to look at how clay and sand interact with water at the particle level. We wanted to have the tools necessary to see how adding and removing water, adjusting clay-sand ratios, and changing the boundary conditions would affect the system. I was able to get the code to a point where the particles were responding correctly to physical interactions, and a preliminary water transfer has been implemented. As I continue with the Interfacial Water Group for my independent project, I will fine-tune the watertransfer parameters and implement particlewater forces. In the end, the group should have all the tools necessary for better understanding clay-sand interactions at water interfaces.

Internship Year


Project Category

Climate Change and Environmental Science


Interfacial Water Group, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Princeton University- Princeton, New Jersey


Ian Bourg, Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Princeton Environmental Institute; Thomas Underwood, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Civil and Environmental Engineering