Track Geotechnical Engineering

The ground is an integral part of all civil engineering constructions and geotechnical engineers are needed for all civil engineering projects. Indeed, highly qualified geotechnical engineers are at a premium and highly sought by civil engineering companies. This is because structural failures are very costly and the biggest risks tend to be associated with the ground. The civil engineering industry is therefore desperate to recruit specialist geotechnical engineers who really understand the mechanical behaviour of soils and soil-structure interaction!

This master track provides the dedicated training needed to educate geotechnical engineers to the high level required by industry. It prepares engineers for the increasing challenges posed by, for example, climate change, ageing of structures, increasing magnitude and frequency of loading, zero carbon emissions and green energy. At the same time, it trains students in the latest analytical, numerical and probabilistic methods aimed at reducing uncertainty and over-conservatism in geotechnical design. Focus application areas include ground investigation, deep excavations and tunnels in built-up areas, foundation engineering and use of underground space, offshore geotechnics and wind energy, dykes and embankments, soil dynamics, slope stability, environmental geotechnics, and geothermal energy.

Key features

➨ Engineering geology, site investigation and laboratory testing of soils.
➨ Deep understanding of soil mechanical behaviour.
➨ Analysis of soil-structure interaction.
➨ Design and assessment of geotechnical structures.
➨ Fostering a close working relationship with industry partners.

Research examples

Well-behaved piles

What happens to a foundation pile once it is in the ground? How much weight can a foundation pile sustain? And furthermore, what is the effect of the different soil layers on the pile? PhD Kevin Duffy is researching the behaviour of foundation piles in typical Dutch soil conditions.

In the mood for mud

As a biologist and soil scientist Julia Gebert often finds herself getting her hands dirty. With mud, that is. “We need to understand how mud behaves to enable optimal and eco-friendly maintenance of the nautical depth in the port”