Institute of Hydro-Engineering
of Polish Academy of Sciences

Department of Geomechanics

The Department of Geomechanics carries out both basic and applied research on modelling the mechanical behaviour of geomaterials, as well as phenomena and processes appearing in subsoil in connection with the problems of soil-structure-water interactions. The methods of applied mechanics and mathematics, including numerical approaches, are widely used in our work. Theoretically oriented research is supplemented by extensive experimental investigations performed in the laboratory and on the small scale models.

We also participate in solving various problems of practical importance commissioned by the industry and engineering design offices. Particularly, we enjoy untypical problems which are challenges to our knowledge and skills. We can also handle the classical soil mechanics and foundation engineering problems.

Our research has also an educational aspect since the results of our work are the basis for PhD and DSc theses of our staff, which continuously perfects professional qualifications. We also have some contribution to higher education of students, mainly from the Gdańsk Polytechnic. Several MSc projects have been carried out or consulted in our Department, we have delivered a series of various lectures as well as contributed to academic textbooks.

Our aim is a harmonious development of science, engineering and education.

International Experience

Members of our staff have gained international experience from various Universities, as Birmingham, Delft, East Anglia, and other institutions and laboratories, as BAST (Germany), LCPC (France), CISM (Italy). Foreign partners often co-author our papers. We have presented numerous contributions at international conferences, and our publications are quoted in international journals.

We have also participated in the EU research project LIMAS.
Our objective in this project was:

  • Development of a mathematical model of earthquake-induced pore-pressure accumulation and liquefaction of saturated soils in coastal areas, with special reference to the effects of the 1999 Kocaeli earthquake.
  • Laboratory determination of physical and mechanical characteristics of soils from the Izmit Bay coastal zone.


Our publications appear in many forms, as books, conference contributions, articles in professional and scientific journals. Our papers have appeared in all internationally recognized journals in the field of our activities, as ASCE J. Geot. Eng., ASCE J. Hydraulic Eng., ASCE J. Waterways, Harbors, Coastal & Ocean Eng., Appd Mech. Rev., Canadian Geot. J., Computers & Geotechnics, Geotechnique, Geosynthetics Int., Geotextiles & Geomembranes, Int. J. Solids & Structures, Int. J. Num. Anal. Methods in Geomechanics, J. Mechanics Physics of Solids, Mechanics of Materials, Powder Technology, Soils & Foundations.

You can also find our papers in Polish journals, which are on shelves in foreign libraries, as for example Arch. Mechanics, Arch. Civil Eng., Arch. Hydro-Eng. Env. Mech., Arch. Nauki o Mat., Bull. Polish Ac. Sci., Eng. Trans., J. Theor. Appd Mech., Studia Geot. et Mech., etc. A list of Publishing Houses which have edited our publications is also long, and includes such famous names as Pergamon, Elsevier, Wiley, Balkema, Telford, Nijhoff etc. It means that a standard of our research have gained an international level.


We have a standard Soil Mechanics Laboratory which enables classical investigations, and model tests in a small scale. It includes a Norwegian type triaxial apparatus, oedometers, direct shear apparatuses, stands with glass walls etc. We have designed and manufactured some untypical contraptions, as a cyclic simple shear apparatus and oedometer with additional measurement of lateral stresses. Currently, we have purchased three High-Tech devices, namely:

We have a good laboratory equipment which enables various experiments in the field of our research. We also have sufficient computer hardware and software, mainly PCs with an access to the work-station, or to the main-frame through Internet. We use licensed software, for example, Plaxis and Hydro-Geo professional FEM codes. It should be mentioned that our experimental and numerical work is based on the sound theoretical background.

Research Topics

A list of our research topics is long and can be extended, according to recent needs.
It includes such watchwords as:

  • Breakout phenomenon
  • Composite materials
  • Compaction of soils
  • Constitutive equations for geomaterials
  • Dynamics of earth structures
  • Elasticity
  • Foundation engineering
  • Geosynthetics
  • Limit states
  • Liquefaction of saturated soils
  • Mechanics of materials
  • Mixtures
  • Plasticity
  • Pore pressure generation in saturated soil
  • Protection of seabed
  • Reinforced soil
  • Rheology
  • Seabed mechanics
  • Shear band systems in soils
  • Soil nailing
  • Soil-structure-water interactions
  • Stability of earth structures
  • Structural mechanics


The Department of Geomechanics have been contributing to many engineering projects in Poland. Our expertise is based on the sound theoretical background and deep understanding of practical problems. The following examples illustrate our experience in this field:

  • Stability of tailing dams (Żelazny Most)
  • Dynamics and stability of earth slopes (Dychów)
  • Design of reinforced soil structures
  • Design of seabed protection in harbours (Gdańsk, Darłowo)
  • Hydrodynamic loads and strength of offshore drilling platform (Petrobaltic)
  • Analysis of displacements of concrete dams (Solina)
  • Application of composites in civil engineering (water structures in the Bydgoszcz region)
  • Dynamic compaction of subsoil (Szczecin)
  • Vibrations of trashracks in water power plant (Żarnowiec)
  • Optimization of foundations (Żarnowiec)

Employees of the Department


  ul. Kościerska 7, 80–328 Gdańsk, POLSKA

   (+48)58-552-3903, fax (+48)58-552-4211

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