Nottingham Centre for Geomechanics

About Us

The main objective of forming the Nottingham Centre for Geomechanics (NCG) at The University of Nottingham has been to bring together researchers interested in the mechanics of geomaterials. The centre facilitates close interaction and collaborations between researchers across the University as well as with industry.


Academic history

The University of Nottingham has a long history of conducting research into the mechanics of geomaterials. This activity was mainly undertaken in three separate academic units:

1. Department (and subsequently School) of Civil Engineering

Previous Geotechnical research in this department/school has been mainly concerned with soil mechanics and its application to pavement engineering. In particular, over the last 30 years the Division of Pavement and Geotechnical Engineering played a key role in developing better understanding of the behaviour of soils and granular materials under both monotonic and cyclic loading conditions. Recent research has been directed into much broader areas of geotechnical engineering such as analytical & computational geomechanics, constitutive modelling, in-situ soil testing and environmental geotechnics.


2. School of Mathematical Sciences

An important aspect of the late Professor A.J.M. Spencer and his group’s research in the Division of Theoretical Mechanics has been the development and use of plasticity theory for modelling deformation behaviour of granular materials. The results of this research have had a significant impact on the development of soil plasticity in geotechnical engineering.


3. Department (subsequently School) of Chemical and Environmental Engineering

This was a broad engineering department/school encompassing the Department of Mineral Resources Engineering, which had a strong record in applied rock mechanics research for the mining and minerals sector. Over the last 30 years it has produced some 40 PhDs on rock mechanics topics. It specialized in all aspects of soft rock mechanics and issues concerning surface settlement and instability.


In August 2003, the Rock Mechanics Research Group from Chemical and Environmental Engineering, incorporating two academic staff, three research fellows and five postgraduate students transferred into the Department of Civil Engineering to join the Geotechnical research team that had been established under Professor Yu. 

Centre activity

The main activity of the NCG includes:

  1. Conducting research on an experimental and theoretical basis into all aspects of the mechanics of geomaterials and verifying the findings of this research with field data.
  2. Running seminars on a regular basis, with invited speakers from both universities and industry in the UK and overseas, as well as researchers within the centre. This helps to understand and identify important potential practical problems and new directions in Geotechnical research.
  3. Developing joint proposals between members of the Centre for funding through external bodies such as EPSRC, EU and industry.
  4. Promoting and maintaining regular dialogue with industry partners.


Nottingham Centre for Geomechanics

Faculty of Engineering
The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD