Laboratory exercises, trainings, workshops

We would like to pass on our knowledge within the framework of teaching events in the soil mechanics laboratory:

Content and target group of the lab exercise:

Target group of the laboratory exercise "Ground Engineering and Soil Mechanics 2" with the No. 221.005 are all students who are interested in performing soil physics laboratory investigations. The course is part of the Master program in Civil Engineering, in the module M2 GT.

After an introduction in the seminar room, the focus of the laboratory exercise is on the independent preparation of soil samples and the analysis of soil physics in small groups. The experiments are to be evaluated independently and then interpreted in summary together with a supervisor. Among other things, this is intended to convey an understanding of the accuracy and reproducibility that can be achieved in geotechnical testing.

The following laboratory experiments will be considered in the laboratory exercise: water content, Atterberg limits, density, particle density, grain size distribution, unconfined compression test, permeability test, shear test, oedometer test, proctor test, density index, ignition loss, tests on slurries.

Furthermore, the principle of inclinometer measurements is taught, as well as how to perform compaction checks with the dynamic load plate.

Procedure of the laboratory exercise:

The course takes place regularly in the winter semester. The exercise units are held in blocks on 8 days. Due to the limited number of experimental units, the number of participants is limited. The registration for the course is done via TISS.

The laboratory exercise takes place in the soil mechanics laboratory of the Institute of Geotechnics.


The following photographs provide impressions of the laboratory exercises.


In a laboratory room, several students are engage

© TU Wien, Institute of Geotechnics

Conducting shear experiments in small groups.

A student holds a spherical soil sample in his hand.

© TU Wien, Institute of Geotechnics

Determination of the properties of a clay sample.

[Translate to English:] Several students are standing at a laboratory table; a laboratory employee is demonstrating the experimental procedure for determining the yield point.

© TU Wien, Institute of Geotechnics

Determination of the Atterberg limits.

A student empties a pycnometer.

© TU Wien, Institute of Geotechnics

Determination of grain density with a pycnometer.

In a bowl is a soil sample, which is mixed with water by a student.

© TU Wien, Institute of Geotechnics

Preparation of a soil sample for a proctor test.

Close-up of a cylinder containing a suspension and a measurement equipment. In the background, a student reads the measurement.

© TU Wien, Institute of Geotechnics

Performing a slurry analysis using the Aräometer-method.

Upon request, we provide training in the field of geotechnical testing to explain practical test execution and the technical background.

Due to our extensive laboratory equipment and our many years of experience, we can offer a wide range of training courses. For example, such training courses have been held for the determination of the properties of bentonite suspensions and the performance of frost heave tests. The following photo shows a test facility set up in a frost room for training purposes to determine the frost heave of soil samples.


Test facility in a freezer room with a viewing window through which a laboratory employee waves.

© TU Wien, Institute of Geotechnics

In a laboratory room, several people are standing around a work table for training purposes.

© TU Wien, Institute of Geotechnics

Within the framework of special children's events, we bring curious young researchers closer to our research area.  One example is the TU Bring your kids day, opens an external URL in a new window; with a workshop in the lab, children get the chance to get a view into scientific work.

In the last workshop, we worked with the children on the geotechnical aspects of sand castles and carried out simple laboratory tests for this purpose. For example, the desired grain range was selected with the help of sieve analysis and test specimens with different water contents were produced with the same compaction work. Finally, to determine the influence of the water content, the test specimens were loaded until they broke.

Finally, every sandcastle builder is a geotechnical engineer...

Several children stand in front of an experimental device and have it explained to them by a supervisor.

© TU Wien, Institute of Geotechnics

Several children stand at a work table and conduct a laboratory experiment.

© TU Wien, TU Kids & Care

Two teenagers perform a sieve analysis.

© TU Wien, Institute of Geotechnics