Geotechnical Research Centre

History of the GRC

The Geotechnical Research Centre (GRC) was established for the purpose of conducting geotechnical and related interdisciplinary research with emphasis on interacting with industry.  The Soil Mechanics Section of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, from which the GRC was evolved, was started in 1965.   L.G. Soderman formed one of the first Soil Mechanics Sections in Canada at Western University. The GRC emerged from this pioneering group in 1985.

The founding members of the GRC include: K.Y. Lo, M.N. Novak, R.M. Quigley and R.K. Rowe. This group envisioned a dynamic multidisciplinary collection of engineering researchers, scientists and engineers capable of interfacing with industry to solve problems of practical importance for both industry and government.  

Today, the GRC has outstanding state-of-the-art research facilities, dedicated technical and administrative staff, and nine active core faculty members whose expertise spans a broad spectrum of geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering. In addition to grant supported research, graduate student training, short courses for professional engineers and research publications, the GRC also offers highly specialized contract research and services in the following areas:


The primary mission of the GRC is to conduct geotechnical, geoenvironmental and multidisciplinary research with emphasis on interfacing with industry. The GRC also contributes to the global competiveness of Canadian industry by training highly skilled master and PhD students while working on relevant projects. In addition, by interfacing with industry, the GRC maximizes the impact of research undertaken by its core members and associates. Some of the testing and design methodology developed by GRC are widely used in the industry.