Geotechnical Engineering Group

Department of Civil & Structural Engineering


Geotechnical Centrifuge

  • 4m diameter 50g-ton geotechnical beam centrifuge facility
  • 1m diameter educational beam centrifuge
  • Automatic sand pluviator
  • 150 litre vacuum soil mixer 
  • 20T 1d consolidation press
  • State of the art instrumentation and data capture
  • Modular modelling systems (test chambers/actuators) enabling rapid turnaround for test schedules
  • £750K EPSRC infrastructure funding 2013-2018

Robot controlled 1g plane strain modelling rig

  • 2.1m x 0.6m x (0.25 - 1m) model volume
  • Glass windows to enable PIV imaging
  • Automatic sand pouring under programmable robot control
  • Linear actuator positioning, hydraulic actuator loading
  • Cyclic loading capability

Transparent soils laboratory

  • Laser sheet illumination (four lasers: power 500mW - 2000mW))
  • Coarse and fine model "soils"
  • Internal imaging of plane strain and 3D models
  • 4D actuation rig
  • Geotextile interaction rig
  • Debris / granular flow modelling rig (in progress)

Numerical Limit Analysis modelling

  • State of the art numerical limit analysis modelling capability
  • Strong relationship with spin-off company LimitState Ltd
  • BRICK modelling code enabling stress path dependent and rate effect soil modelling
  • High-performance multi-processor cluster (joint with CMD group)

 Large plane strain modelling facility (in collaboration with University of Salford)

  • 8.4m x 2.4m x 1m model volume
  • Transparent windows to enable PIV imaging
  • Granular and clay backfill modelling capability
  • Hydraulic actuator loading
  • Cyclic loading capability

Blast and impact dynamics

  • Unique explosive and hazards testing laboratory, at Buxton
  • Split-Hopkinson pressure bar for material characterisation
  • Testing at strain rates up to 1000/sec
  • Measurement of structural response at rapid rates of deformation
  • High-speed photography, pulse radiography and a variety of strain- and pressure-measuring devices with high speed data recording.

Geotechnics Laboratory

  • Stress path cells
  • GDS controllers
  • Thermally controlled triaxial cells
  • Conventional triaxial, shear box, Rowe cells & oedometers
  • Granular flow model rig
  • High speed camera for dynamic events

Numerical modelling software

  • LimitState:GEO
  • FLAC3D

Rock Classification and testing

  • Rock index properties (Water absorption, porosity)
  • Description and petrography (including SEM, XRD)
  • Rock strength and modulus ( tensile, compressive: uniaxial and triaxial, including high temperatures and pressures)
  • Durability and slaking (including weathering, pyrite and volume changes in fills)