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 Centre’s mission is consistent with The University of Western Ontario’s 1995 Strategic Plan “dedicated to the advancement of learning through teaching and research and to the discovery and application of knowledge” in “Leadership in Learning” as well as the University’s Strategic Plans in 2001, 2006, and 2014 “Our graduates will be global citizens whose education and leadership will serve the public good.”  The role of the Centre is the emphasis on “application” by interfacing with the environmental, construction, consulting and mining industries thus providing the best graduate student experience by linkage to their potential mentors in the industry.  Through this mechanism, “Western Engineering creates, disseminates and applies knowledge for the benefit of society through excellence in teaching, research and scholarship.  Our graduates will be global citizens whose education and leadership will serve the public good .”