The field of Geotechnics and Geoengineering includes both the development of seagoing equipment for the measurement of sediment physical properties and the soil mechanical testing of marine sediments in the laboratory.
The soil mechanical laboratory is used for education and research. While teaching is dedicated to the fundamentals of engineering geology, research focuses mostly on rock deformation owing to tectonic stress (plate movement, landslides, mud volcanism) and manmade changes (coastal infrastructure such as windparks, etc.). Geotechnical laboratory experiments simulate processes down to several kilometers depth, where direct observations are naturally hampered. Those processes include earthquake nucleation in subduction zones, which represent one of the most devastating threats to society. In order to simulate these processes in the laboratory, in-situ monitoring (i.e. in the seafloor sediments) is needed beforehand.
Methods include the development and use of equipment to measure pore pressure, temperature, or conductivity of the sediment in situ (i.e. at depth), ring and direct shear testing, consolidometers and permeameters, as well as borehole observatory instruments.
1992 Diploma, University of Giessen
1995 Doctorate, University of Giessen
2001 Habilitation, University of Freiburg
1990-1995 University of Giessen
1995-1997 University of Freiburg
1998 GEOMAR Kiel
1998-2000 Géosciences Azur, Villefranche-sur-Mer, France 2001-2003 SCRIPPS Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, U.S.A.
Professor in Bremen since 2003
Earthquakes and landslides on continental margins; development of soil mechanics laboratory apparatus and seafloor and borehole measurement instruments, permeability of the ocean crust.