The Geotechnical Engineering research program undertakes research on a range of topics, including:
- Reliability of site investigations, including investigation of building sites based on numerical simulations of variable soil conditions; case studies to verify modelling; a practical framework for planning and implementing geotechnical investigations, based on the variability of the soil profile; awareness of the importance of site investigations, which are linked to the risk of foundation failure and cost of overdesign.
- Artificial neural networks in geotechnical engineering including artificial intelligence with superior predictive performance; settlement of shallow foundations in coarse grained soil; the load settlement characteristics of single piles; bearing capacity of shallow foundations on multilayered soils; slope stability of layered, spatially variable soil embankments.
- Phytocaps as an alternative landfill cap including capping landfill to control percolation of water into the waste, promote surface runoff, minimise erosion, control odour and prevent the occurrence of disease vectors; capping landfill for gas containment and capture; using local soil and a vegetative cover to minimise percolation by means of evapotranspiration (phytocap). This research is also being applied to the control of spontaneous combustion in open pit coal mines.
- Impact of rolling dynamic compaction including ground improvement technology using a non-circular roller (i.e. a triangle, square or pentagon) which is towed behind a tractor at moderate speed; and the effectiveness of rolling dynamic compaction.
- Rock slope stability assessment assessment using both deterministic and probabilistic approaches, with the incorporation of rock mass discontinuities in the form of a fracture model.
- Borehole stability assessment and remediation for deep drilling and drilling in unconsolidated ground.
Rolling dynamic compaction
Case studies of some of our research impacts are the following: