Geotechnical engineering is the study of the behaviour of soils under the influence of loading forces and soil-water interactions. This knowledge is applied to the design of foundations, retaining walls, earth dams, clay liners, and geosynthetics for waste containment. The goals of geotechnical engineers could range from the design of foundations and temporary excavation support, through route selection for railways and highways, to the increasingly important areas of landfill disposal of wastes and groundwater contamination. As such, the
Research activities in geotechnical and geo-environmental engineering range from studies of the basic physics and chemistry of soil behaviour to applied field problems. The soil mechanics laboratories are equipped with the conventional permeability, direct shear, consolidation and triaxial systems necessary to determine the engineering properties of the materials under study.