Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Geotechnical Engineering Laboratory



The Geotechnical Engineering Laboratory is a modern research facility housing a range of equipment for evaluating soil and rock properties. The laboratory has the following equipment and capabilities:

  • 250 kN servo hydraulic load frame used for static and cyclic testing
  • Cyclic simple shear apparatus
  • Triaxial apparatus
  • Oedometers
  • Annular ring shear apparatus
  • Direct shear apparatus
  • Ko tri-axial cells
  • Bender element system
  • Soil suction testing and evaluation of the thermal response of soils
  • Equipment for preparing and testing rock specimens
  • Equipment for soil classification testing and determination of index properties

We also have the following field testing capabilities:

  • Dynamic testing of foundations using hydraulic rams and quick release connections
  • Screw Driving sounding (SDS) machine
  • Surface wave field testing equipment (Spectral Analysis of Surface Waves (SASW), Multi-channel Analysis of Surface Waves (MASW)
  • Acoustic emissions equipment

A number of geotechnical numerical analysis software (FLAC 2D/3D, PLAXIS 2D/3D, OpenSees, FLIP and the GeoStudio Suite) is utilised. Scanning electron microscopes and micro CT scanning equipment are available in the Faculty of Engineering.

Our research

Geotechnical engineering

Focusing on the interface between the built and natural environments.