CC Geotechnics & natural hazards

Structural design
Assessment and forecast
Seismic analysis
Measurement based analysis
Independent engineer
Research & development
Infrastructure development
CC Head: 
Fritz Kopf
CC Head-Deputy: 
Catalin Capraru
Karina Pascoli


The foundation is an integral part of every structure, however, its impact has to be evaluated differently in every individual case. In contrast to artificial materials (steel, concrete, bricks ...), whose properties are usually clearly defined and can be adjusted to the application case, the subsoil is given and its properties can only be determined at random and incompletely in the course of surveys. Due to this problem and considering safety-relevant and economic aspects, geotechnical engineering is always a challenge both for big and small construction projects.

Geotechnical engineering in construction focuses on the interaction between structure and subsoil (stability, subsidence, differential deformations, dynamic behaviour, hydrogeology), the handling with the foundation during the construction progress (excavation, temporary building pit supporting system, drainage) and the impacts of the operation of a structure on the environment (groundwater, vibrations, secondary airborne sound).

Natural Hazards

Natural hazards have increasingly gained in importance in the last few years and decades with risk assessment being a significant part of it. Regarding seismic risks in Austria, for example, risk assessment in congested areas has dramatically changed. New findings in earthquake research have led to stricter earthquake standards and to a classification of large parts of Austria into geographic zones with increased seismic hazards.

One of the tasks of the CC Geotechnics & Natural Hazards is to make these risks quantifiable. Several methods, analyses and software solutions, which will be applied accordingly, have been developed in national and international research projects.