Research | Queen’s University Canada

GeoEngineering Centre

GeoEngineering Centre

The GeoEngineering Centre is a collaborative venture between 18 faculty members and approximately 100 graduate students and post-doctoral students led by Queen's University and the Royal Military College of Canada. Drawn from three different engineering departments at the two universities, the Centre's members are dedicated to innovation and advancement of knowledge in geotechnical, geohydrological, geochemical, geomechanical, and geosynthetics engineering.

The interests of researchers within those five groups are varied. The hydrology group investigates groundwater, looking in particular at regional groundwater flow, sustainable use of groundwater resources, ground contamination by organic solvents, and multiphase transport processes. The group has established links with international research organizations, government agencies, and private industry. The Centre’s geotechnical research includes studies on natural and artificial earth slopes, tunnels and deep excavations, pipes, culverts and other buried infrastructure, shallow and deep foundations, earth retaining structures, unsaturated soil behaviour, clay performance in barrier systems, geotechnical earthquake engineering, railway and highway geotechnics, and tailings retention structures. Various aspects of this expertise are world-renowned.

Geomechanical engineering researchers are examining the design of surface and underground works for mining and tunnelling, and long-term stability of abandoned mine workings. Geosynthetic research undertaken by the Centre includes studies on reinforcement to enhance the stability of walls, foundations, tunnels, and embankments, on the use of geomembranes and geosynthetic clay liners to limit contaminant migration from landfills, on the mechanical, chemical, and biological performance of geosynthetics, and the durability and service life evaluation of geosynthetic components and systems. Research in geochemistry includes studies of the long-term stability of mine waste contamination and migration, and groundwater tracer migration studies.

  • Partnerships
  • Student Opportunities

The GeoEngineering Centre is the largest research network of its kind in North America. The Centre’s researchers have relationships with scores of industrial and government collaborators, and many of its graduate students are working on research projects in partnership with practitioners.

The GeoEngineering collaborative graduate program links Queen’s Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering Departments with the Civil Engineering graduate program at RMC to provide shared learning experiences with interdisciplinary content. Many projects involve use of the Centre’s unique and world-class laboratories and field sites, including large scale facilities for geosynthetics, landslides, buried pipes, and earth retaining structures.

Central to the graduate program are the weekly GeoEngineering Seminars, presented by leading experts from across Canada and beyond, supported by Golder Associates. Golder also funds the Victor Milligan Lecture Series, a distinguished lectureship that brings two leading international scholars and practitioners (the Rankine and Terzaghi lecturers chosen annually by British and US geotechnical organizations) to Kingston each year.