Geotechnics research

The geotechnics team has an international reputation in the understanding of fundamentals of soil behaviour. This has been achieved through research investigations spanning across length scales, from micro to macro, from soils to structures, from gravitational loads to cyclic, dynamic and blasts. Group members have developed a strong focus on mechanical characterisation through advanced laboratory element testing, continuum constitutive modelling and numerical simulations, physical modelling (1g conditions) and field investigations at real geotechnical system scale. Applications include deep excavations in stiff clay, consolidation and creep of soft soils, offshore foundations, ground improvement with linear flexible inclusions and static/dynamic soil-structure interaction.

Our laboratories possess several stress-path triaxial cells as well as a unique set of multiaxial soil-test apparatus: true triaxial (independent variation of three principal stresses with rigid boundaries), cubical cell (independent variation of three principal stresses with flexible boundaries) and hollow cylindrical torsional apparatus (independent variation of four stress variables). The group has pioneered developments in laboratory geophysics for studying transmission of shear and compressive waves in laboratory specimens.

A set of experimental projects using these multiaxial and geophysical apparatus, funded by UK Research Council (EPSRC), is generating data to support development of constitutive models for the evolution of anisotropy of soil stiffness which are being incorporated in commercial numerical codes. The group have also recognised the strategic importance of dynamic soil structure interaction and are pioneering scale model testing to explore the dynamic behaviour of offshore foundations. At the same time cyclic element testing is being carried out to explore the changing stiffness (static and dynamic) when soil is subjected to large numbers of small load cycles. Expertise into detailed micro-mechanical investigation of granular soils has been developed through external research collaborations with colleagues from UK, France and Japan.


Geotechnical engineering

Edit this page