The course

Full-time, Part-time
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    Research and Knowledge Exchange Support Team

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Research developed by the Geomechanics team covers a wide range of areas, including laboratory testing, microstructure analysis, constitutive modelling and geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering studies. In particular, researchers have an interest in unsaturated soils behaviour at micro and macro-scale.


Research projects

Recently, work has concentrated on testing soils at different suction and temperature levels and correlating the macro and micro-scale response. This work has special relevance to heavily compacted clays surrounding radioactive nuclear waste disposal as well as applications such as burial of high voltage cables, drilling of deep offshore wells and foundations subjected to temperature and suction changes. Research into unsaturated soils represents a relatively new area in geotechnical engineering. Climatic changes makes this topic highly relevant and research work focuses on the thermo-hydro-mechanical behaviour of these soil-water-air systems. The team collaborates with international leading researchers in this area. Work into the effects of cyclic wetting and drying on soil behaviour has been in progress for several years and is continuing. This is very relevant when investigating the effect of flooding events on soil response and microstructure.

Research is also being undertaken in the effect of suction changes on granular materials (eg sand, glass beads, coal, etc). This work is of particular relevance when handling granular materials that can be expose to different relative humidity environments (ie different suction levels can happen).

In addition, researchers have expanded their particular interest in earth construction hydro-mechanical behaviour. The data is used to examine the mechanics associated with water migration and the structure performance. This research is undertaken with industrial collaboration.

Additional information

Staff contributing to this research area include:

Entry requirements

We welcome applications from suitably qualified candidates. Please visit our How to apply page.


Fees for this course can be found on the tuition fees page.

Scholarships and bursaries

We aim to encourage well-qualified, ambitious students to study with us and we offer a wide variety of scholarships and bursaries to achieve this. Over £6 million worth of opportunities are available in fee and stipend scholarships, and more than 400 students benefit from this support.

View our full range of research scholarships.