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Research Group: Geotechnical and Structural Engineering

Developing sustainable and resilient urban environments.

We provide cutting-edge sustainable solutions to today’s geotechnical and structural engineering problems. We develop innovative ways to mitigate the risk of natural hazards for communities across the world.

The GEST (Geotechnical and Structural Engineering) Group is at the core of the Civil Engineering discipline. We deal with the fundamental concepts of material behaviour, construction, and design technology.

Geotechnics and Structures students

Our research reflects these core aspects. It also links with the theme of sustainability in construction and climate change effects in civil engineering. We are involved in:

  • Geo-energy
    • We are looking at the development of geothermal systems to decarbonise heating and cooling. Our research includes ground source heat exchange in green infrastructure.
  • Digital manufacturing and construction
    • We are contributing to the Digital Manufacturing Hub. This Hub is a part of the Stephenson project.
  • Catastrophe modelling of infrastructure networks
    • We work in large-scale infrastructure monitoring and modelling. We undertake urban observation and rehabilitation of existing infrastructure.
  • Material modelling
    • We carry out multi-scale (molecular vs continuum) multi-physics multi-phase material modelling.

We are founding members of UKCRIC. In the North-East, we host:

Tweets by Geotechnics and Structures

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We have categorised our ground-breaking research into four interrelated themes.

Each research theme includes projects based on our capabilities in:

  • advanced numerical simulation
  • material characterisation
  • multi-scale testing

Our projects often cut across themes and research capabilities. We are proficient in each of these themes. Our emerging specialism is the synergic effect of our expertise. We find solutions to problems through high-quality input and output at all levels. Our projects often bring together leading researchers from around the world.

We have a long-term involvement in field investigations and industrial engineering projects.

Leading the way in advanced modelling, simulation and data analysis

We have an international reputation in modelling and simulation. We have built our reputation over the last decades.

We have considerable expertise in computational mechanics and geotechnics. Our skills lie across a wide range of topics. We work in both application and analysis of problems, and in the development of numerical methods and constitutive models.

Our computerised modelling projects mainly cover the following topics:

  • multi-phase flow and coupled multi-field analysis
  • multi-scale geotechnical modelling
  • structural textiles and polymeric composites
  • structural optimisation and reliability
  • seismic engineering and extreme loadings
  • network vulnerability and lifelines

Our communication approaches and technologies allow non-specialists to engage with our research. The tools and frameworks we use help stakeholders and policymakers make better decisions.


We provide effective solutions to societal challenges.

Our group works in partnership with:

  • governments and industry
  • the creative and cultural sector
  • community groups

We identify current and future challenges faced by society. We provide innovative ideas and solutions that will make a difference.

Join us


Taught Programmes

From day one, our Civil Engineering Undergraduate Programmes give students a path to become a professional engineer addressing major global challenges.

  • Civil and Structural Engineering BEng/MEng
  • Civil and Structural Engineering with Year in Industry BEng/MEng

Our Civil Engineering Postgraduate Taught (MSc) Programmes equip students with the advanced skills and expertise to help shape the world. 

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