What is Geotechnical Engineering?
Geotechnical engineering is a civil engineering discipline that is concerned with building on, in, or with soil and rock. Geotechnical engineers design dams, embankments, cuts, foundations, retaining walls, anchors, tunnels, and all other structures directly interacting with the subsoil, both onshore and offshore. Risk assessment associated to geohazards such as landslides or earthquakes is another responsibility of geotechnical engineers. Geotechnical engineering is based on soil and rock mechanics and testing. Analytical methods play a major role in today's design but are more and more replaced by numerical methods.
Geotechnical engineering shares common interests with other disciplines such as structural engineering, engineering geology, material science, or petroleum engineering. Geotechnical engineering is a truly multi-disciplinary field offering training and research possibilities ranging from material testing and analytical methods to non linear numerical modeling of multiphysics problems.
NTNU's Geotechnical Engineering group has research activities in soil testing, soil modeling, numerical analyses, slope stability including progressive failure, analytical methods in geotechnical design, and geo-environmental engineering.
More specifically, our current and past activities include:
Soil modeling, numerical analyses and testing
- Development of soil models for clay, sand, and rock
- Development of numerical methods
- Material softening and regularization
- Progressive failure
- 2D and 3D numerical analyses
- Testing of soft clays and sand
- Testing of frozen materials
- Scaled model tests (1G)
Marine geotechnical engineering
- Concept development and verification studies
- Model tests on foundations and pipelines
- Laboratory tests on offshore samples
Structures and infrastructure
- Construction of roads, railways and airfields on soft ground
- Ground improvement (geotextiles, soil reinforcement, lime/cement columns)
- Mechanical properties of lightweight fill aggregates
- Aid in planning and design of geotechnical works
- Control and verification of building projects
Slides and geohazards
- Stability calculations and evaluations
- Stabilisation methods for protection towards new slides
- National database for previous slide activity
- Slide mechanisms in sensitive clays
- Instrumentation and geotechnical investigations
- Slide activity in an instrumented quick clay deposit
- Remediation of contaminated soil
- Construction of waste deposit in the Netherlands
Additionally the research group has a lot of PhD-research. International Centre for Geohazards (ICG) is one of the Centre of Excellences in Norway funded by Norwegian Research Council. ICG has been involved in various PhD research. These PhD studies are mainly pivoting around Geohazards related themes. Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim and University of Oslo are the partners who are hosting PhD activities with close financial and academic cooperation with ICG and other partners; NGI, NGU and NORSAR.
CREEP - Creep of Geomaterials
The Geotechnical Research Group is now coordinating the Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways (IAPP) project CREEP funded from the 7th Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) of the EC. More information www.ntnu.edu/creep.