Microscope analysing grain samples

Geotechnical testing and consultancy services

Expertise in geomechanics and geotechnical engineering

Our facilities are available to assist industry with a wide range of geomechanics, geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering services including materials testing and characterisation, and product development.

The Sydney Centre in Gemechanics and Mining Materials (SciGem) also offers consultancy and testing in proof engineering, forensic engineering, continuum and particle-based modelling of granular systems, and modelling of breakage mechanics.


  • Atterberg limits
  • Grading (particle size distribution)
  • Triaxial testing
  • Shear box testing (small and large boxes)
  • Simple shear testing
  • Oedometer testing
  • Testing of rock samples (point load and unconfined compression tests)
  • Permeability testing
  • Compaction
  • Shear wave velocity testing (small strain modulus)
  • Pull-out tests on reinforcing straps
  • Constant normal stiffness (CNS) testing
  • Model or prototype testing
  • Morphological studies
  • Microscopy
  • Nano-indentation
  • Model testing of particle flow problems
  • Sample preparation for material testing
  • Surface profilometer
  • 3D printing

Our consulting services include the following:

  • provision of expert advice
  • prototype testing
  • evaluation of novel foundation systems.

SciGEM hosts outstanding specialised equipment for the preparation, testing and characterisation of materials, including:

  • 3D printers
  • Nanoindenter
  • automated particle characterisation equipment by image analysis
  • loading frame with load cells of 5kN and 200N
  • wheel saw
  • grinder/polisher
  • stadium shear device
  • optical microscope
  • photographic and thermal imaging
  • microanalysis equipment, including for digital image correlation and particle tracking
  • 3D profilometer
  • 3D scanner.

It also hosts a large range of testing facilities for geotechnical investigations, including equipment to examine strengths of soils and the behaviour of many different types of foundations.