What is Geotechnical engineering?/地盤工学とは?

    “Geotechnical Engineering” is the academic framework solving some of the issues concerning “earth materials (ground)”, which cannot be separated from our current life unless we move to space, by utilizing mainly physics (especially mechanics), chemistry, geography and mathematics, biology, earth science and so on.

    There are also similar academic frameworks to Geotechnical Engineering concerning ground and earth's surface. They are Geology in the science field and Applied geology in between Geotechnical Engineering and Geology.



Issues on geotechnical engineering -Soil liquefaction-/地盤工学の問題 -液状化現象-

    For instance, “soil liquefaction”, which is a phenomenon of sand ground behaving like a liquid due to an earthquake and causes severe damage to structures, i.e., overturning, lateral flow and damage to the foundation. This is one of the critical issues of geotechnical engineering. Soil liquefaction has been investigated for more than 30 years by several researchers since 1964 Niigata Earthquake.

    However, 2011 Great East Earthquake caused soil liquefaction followed by the unprecedented catastrophical and wide range damage on houses, thus the current situation would not be sufficient for taking measures and soil liquefaction is still a critical issue for us.


Features of Geotechnical Engineering -Geotechnical Engineering and Medical Science-/地盤工学の特徴 -地盤工学と医学-

    Geotechnical Engineering still has many unknown and unexplained phenomena of ground and earth materials like soil liquefaction.

    Such situation is similar to Medical Science since there are several unknown and unexplained characteristics of the human body as well. We compare a geotechnical engineer and a doctor as

(Investigation) Medical check ⇒ Borehole survey;

(Prior measures) Injections ⇒ Ground improvement and soil reinforcement;

(Rehabilitation) Treatment ⇒ On-site measurement.

    The more you study and experience these geotechnical features, the more interesting you will find it. We have put effort into the fundamental laboratory test and the establishment of theory in Geotechnical Engineering.


事前に調べる(健康診断)⇒ 地盤調査・土質試験

壊れたり変形しないように対策する(予防注射) ⇒地盤改良・補強


Activity of Geotechnical Engineering Laboratory, The University of Tokyo/東京大学土質地盤研究室の取り組み

    We supply a test apparatus for each student and researcher, and they conduct the high-precision and complicated experiment which can be done only by our laboratory. They also collaborate with each other to carry out the shaking table test and the model test. Almost test apparatus and devices are custom-made product and especially some of them are one and only in the world.

   Moreover, we have seminars not only on geotechnical engineering but also on other subjects which are required to solve geotechnical issues from various viewpoints.