Students and researchers at fieldwork in Svalbard, drilling a permafrost core.

Sampling of permafrost core at the AT-205 and AT-329 courses. Photo: Anatoly Sinitsyn/UNIS


Geotechnical Engineering
at UNIS focuses on the engineering aspects of permafrost and frozen ground. In addition, geohazards related to snow avalanches, landslides and rock slides are an integrated part of the teaching and research.  Industrial development and infrastructure development in the Arctic are dependent on knowledge of cold regions soil mechanics and physics. The temperature dependency of the mechanical and physical behaviour of soils, rock and snow plays an important role in the engineering design. Climate change impact assessment is also a part of the engineering design procedure in permafrost regions.

In sloping terrain, slope stability analysis and land slide risk assessments need to be carried out. Laboratory and field investigations of frozen ground, snow and glaciers are used in teaching and research to investigate these aspects of soil mechanics and geotechnical engineering.

Contact person:
Arne Aalberg (After 1 January 2016)