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Research Group: Geomechanics

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Led by Dr David Richards, the Geomechanics Research Group has a distinguished record of research excellence in the fields of geomechanics and geotechnical engineering.



Recent activities have included:

  • lead participation in Rail Research UK, the EPSRC centre for rail systems research
  • various EPSRC field monitoring projects, including Heathrow Terminal 4 and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link at Ashford
  • centrifuge model testing programmes on stabilised base retaining walls and pile-stabilised cutting slopes and temporary trackways
  • field and centrifuge model testing programmes to investigate the response of transmission tower foundations to dynamic loads and climate change
  • large-scale tests on the hydraulic properties of refuse in the context of sustainable landfill and waste stabilisation, and laboratory tests to investigate factors affecting the rate and magnitude of secondary settlements of landfills and biological clogging of leachate drains
  • advanced numerical modelling applied to the Three Gorges Project (China); shear bands in particulate materials; stability of masonry retaining walls; hydrocarbon exploration in Colombia; soil penetration processes incorporating interface adhesion
  • development of web-based geotechnical data visualisation systems
  • platform grants in liquid and gas flow processes in wastes, and the management of residual wastes structures, and to strengthen cast iron struts under preload
  • soil-structure interaction of reinforced concrete integral bridges

    We have contributed to fundamental knowledge in the areas of groundwater control, retaining walls, landfill engineering and soil behavior. Research results are consistently disseminated to industry through authorship of guidance documents and reports and the incorporation of research results into codes and standards. We currently hold over £4 million in research funding, supporting over 30 researchers, from EPSRC, charities, industry and government. We collaborate extensively with the construction and waste management industries and have international research links worldwide.
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