Geotechnical Laboratory

Our geotechnical research facilities provide a national and international focus in geotechnical engineering and support research with Swinburne's Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Digital Construction.

The Geotechnical Laboratory at Swinburne is equipped with state-of-the-art, fully automated geotechnical engineering equipment. The laboratory is part of the Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Digital Construction at Swinburne's Hawthorn campus.  

The centre has been successful in obtaining continuous research funding and consulting projects from industry, local, state and federal government. 

Current projects include: 

  • geotechnics of pavements using recycled demolition materials
  • recycled waste materials in geotechnical engineering applications
  • geotechnical laboratory testing, field instrumentation and in-situ testing
  • ground improvement, soil stabilisation and geosynthetic applications
  • land reclamation and dredging
  • soft soils and problematic soils
  • footings on expansive clays
  • unsaturated soils mechanics
  • behaviour of mine tailings under static and cyclic loads
  • pavement stabilisation
  • modelling and testing of alternative landfill covers.

The Geotechnical Laboratory houses specialised and basic geotechnical laboratory equipment, including: 

  • multi-directional cyclic simple shear facility
  • cyclic triaxial with local strain measurement
  • repeated load triaxial
  • four point beam fatigue
  • static and dynamic indirect tensile strength
  • shear wave velocity using bender elements
  • unconfined compression strength
  • static triaxial and stress path and K0 triaxial
  • interface shear resistance for geosynthetics and soils (large and small)
  • direct shear and residual shear (large and small)
  • Rowe consolidation (large and small)
  • one dimensional consolidation
  • swell-shrinkage
  • soil suction
  • California Bearing Ratio
  • Los Angeles abrasion
  • all required basic geotechnical and pavement equipment. 

As well as physical testing in the laboratory, the research tier uses computational geomechanics with various geotechnical modelling software packages such as Plaxis 2D, Plaxis 3D, Flac and Discrete Element Modeling tools including PFC 2D and 3D.