Western Australia Chapter

Laboratory Testing in Geotechnical Engineering

Prof. Barry Lehane, Prof. Andy Fourie and Asst/Prof. James Doherty

The Western Australian Chapter of the Australian Geomechanics Society (AGS) provides notice of a course to be held on Laboratory Testing in Geotechnical Engineering. The course describes the various laboratory tests that can be used to obtain design parameters for geotechnical engineering problems; it details advantages and disadvantages of different tests, shows the type and magnitude of errors that can occur and their implications; it discusses, through hands-on computer applications, how to obtain suitable design parameters for a range of applications.

Topics covered

  • Overview of laboratory strength and stiffness testing devices
  • Sample types, recovery and treatment
  • Effects of sampling disturbance
  • Test specification
  • Equipment, preparation, procedures and corrections
  • Interpretation of results
  • Errors and limitations
  • Comparison of test results with expected behaviour patterns
  • Specialised testing
    • Rowe cell
    • Simple shear and cyclic triaxial
    • Interface shear testing
    • Shear wave velocity measurement
  • Derivation of parameters for FE (Plaxis) constitutive models
  • Tutorials on parameter derivation

Course presenters:

The course will be presented by UWA lecturers: Prof. Barry Lehane, Prof. Andy Fourie and Asst/Prof. James Doherty. Each presenter has extensive practical experience of laboratory testing and its application to geotechnical design.

Who should attend ?

Consulting engineers, contractors and project managers who need a better understanding of which design parameters can realistically be obtained from a testing programme, and the source and nature of errors that may occur during testing.


Places are limited to a maximum number of 30.
Lunch and light snacks will be provided.
Delegates will be provided with a set of course notes.

Cancellation Policy:
No refunds will be given after 10 February 2012. Substitutes will be accepted.

Engineers Australia members participating in AGS technical sessions can record attendance on their personal CPD logs. Members should refer to Engineers Australia CPD policy for details on CPD types, requirements and auditing guidelines.