Specialized Laboratory Unit ‐ Geotechnical Laboratory


The Geotechnical Laboratory deals with scientific research, teaching and professional work in cooperation with the economy in the field of geotechnical engineering and related interdisciplinary areas (such as sustainable environment or others). The laboratory is very well equipped for all types of testing of soil, rocks and other geomaterials. Tests are carried out according to current standards and methods (EN, BS, ASTM, ISO) or according to special procedures depending on the needs of the client. The laboratory also has mobile equipment that provides the possibility of conducting field tests.


  • determination of the physical and chemical properties of soil and rocks; water content, density, particle density, carbonate content, methylene blue test for the characterization of fines, etc.
  • soil classification tests; particle size distribution, Atterberg limits (Casagrande and cone penetrometer method)
  • determination of the one-dimensional consolidation properties of soil (incremental loading and CRS oedometer test)
  • density/water content relationship: all types of Proctor compaction testing, testing using a vibrating table
  • strength and deformability tests of soil and rocks (uniaxial and triaxial compression)
  • determination of the indirect tensile strength of rock by the Brazil test
  • determination of the shear strength of soil and rocks (direct shear, triaxial compression tests, laboratory vane)
  • testing in special conditions: unsaturated state and dynamic loading (dynamic triaxial system)
  • determination of water permeability / hydraulic conductivity (using a wall permeameter, in an oedometer, in a triaxial cell)
  • identification and classification of dispersive clay soils by the pinhole test
  • determination of other/index properties – pocket penetrometer and vane tester, fall cone test for undrained shear strength estimation, swelling deformation and swelling pressure (rock), water adsorption by Enslin Neff method
  • determination of SWRC / SWCC - Soil Water Retention Curve / Soil Water Characteristic Curve
  • field tests: plate load test (modulus of compressibility), water absorption capacity, etc.


Professional projects (references)

  • all types of geotechnical testing for clients from Croatia and abroad, for example: physical and mechanical properties of the soil according to the standards from the EN ISO 17892 series, uniaxial/triaxial compressive strength and deformability of intact rock specimens (including preparation of test specimens and verifying conformance to dimensional and shape tolerances), PLT-Point Load Strength, carbonate content, slake durability, and other (continuously)
  • numerous geotechnical field and laboratory investigations, reports and projects for the foundation and construction of various types of buildings, roads, plants, production facilities, revitalization of beaches, etc.; described in more detail here (in Croatian)

research projects

  • „Geotechnics from the perspective of sustainable construction and the environment“, institutional project, 2019-2026
  • „Application of new technologies and methods in the analysis of engineering problems in soft rocks“, institutional project, 2021-2026
  • „Revitalization and optimal remediation of cuts in soft rock mass“, bilateral project (Croatia-Slovenia), 2023-2025
  • „Experimental and numerical investigations of mechanisms in unsaturated geomaterials“, Croatian Science Foundation, 2018-2023
  • „Automatic recording and verification of specimens in rock mechanics“, Croatian Agency for SMEs, Innovations and Investments (former BICRO), 2014-2015
  • „Identification and land-use planning for disaster mitigation of landslides and floods in Croatia“, Japanese-Croatian project, 2009-2014
  • „Developing of weathering model for geotechnical constructions in flysch“, Ministry of Science, Republic of Croatia, project code: 083-0831510-3130, 2007-2013
  • „Foundation bearing capacity and slope stability in flysch deposits“, Ministry of Science, Republic of Croatia, project code: 0083132, 2002-2006
  • „Change in marl strength during drying and wetting“, Ministry of Science, Republic of Croatia, project code: 083163, 1998-1999
  • „The use of marl as a building material“, Ministry of Science, Republic of Croatia, project code: 083162, 1996-2001


  • holding classes in the form of laboratory exercises and seminars on the courses of Soil Mechanics and Foundations, Basics of Geology and Petrography, Earthworks, Geotechnical Engineering, Rock Mechanics, Laboratory and Field Testing of Geomaterials, Ground Improvement, Retaining Structures and Construction Pits, Engineering Geology and Earthworks
  • experimental work in the laboratory as part of final and graduate theses
  • research works on doctoral studies


  Laboratory member name   Member status
  Nataša Štambuk Cvitanović Ph.D., Full Professor     Head of the laboratory
  Predrag Miščević Ph.D., Full Professor, tenure   Researcher / research manager  
  Goran Vlastelica Ph.D., Associate Professor   Researcher / research manager  
  Stipe Rađa   Laboratory technician