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Experimental Geomechanics


In the context of geotechnical engineering, the understanding of soil behavior is the basis for efficient modeling of its response. Experimental geomechanics is currently evolving in response to the new challenges of construction (poor soil quality, increasingly high loads, etc.), environment (climate changes, natural hazards, pollution, etc.), and energy production (energy geostructures, geological storage of waste, carbon dioxide, etc.).

This course aims to present the tools engineers can use to investigate the experimental behavior of various soils subjected to multiphysical actions and determine and understand the parameters to be used according to the chosen constitutive model.

The laws of behavior of geomaterials (elastoplasticity, viscosity, partial saturation, temperature coupling, etc.) constitute the foundations of advanced geotechnics. They will be addressed in connection with the establishment of experimental programs for the determination of material parameters.

A particular focus will be put on coupled multiphysical problems in saturated and unsaturated conditions, and on the effect of temperature.

Finally, the fundamentals of the techniques for microstructural investigations (imaging) will be presented.



  • Be able to determine the most suitable experimental investigation for each geomechanical problem.

  • Understand and evaluate the uncertainties associated with the results of experiments and be aware of potential sources of error in experimental measurements.

  • Be able to determine, from the tests, the mechanical parameters appropriate to the adopted constituent model.

  • Learn techniques to study the hydromechanical and thermo-hydromechanical coupling of porous media.

  • Understand the principles of the most diffuse imaging techniques and their use for porous media investigation.


Prof. Lyesse Laloui

   École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne    

   (EPFL), Switzerland

Dr. Eleonora Crisci

   Nesol - Numerical Engineering Solutions,



  • Optimal balance between theory and practice

  • The training is based on cutting-edge scientific achievements

  • Case studies based on leading international analysis


The course is intended for construction professionals, civil and environmental engineers and geologists who wish to acquire basic experimental geotechnical skills and discover more advanced techniques of coupled experiments and microstructural studies.

The course is delivered in English or French.



A certificate of attendance is issued at the end of the course.

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