About US

Introduction to the State Key Laboratory for GeoMechanics and Deep Underground Engineering(China University of Mining and Technology)

The State Key Laboratory for GeoMechanics and Deep Underground Engineering was established depending on two national key disciplines i.e. geotechnical engineering and engineering mechanics in CUMT (China University of Mining and Technology), two provincial key disciplines i.e. disaster prevention & reduction engineering and protection engineering, geological survey and information technology, and two ministerial level key laboratories i.e. underground engineering & stricture laboratory, and rock mechanics & strata control laboratory. In December 2007, the laboratory passed the feasibility demonstration of construction project, and was authorized to construct by the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China in May 2008. Professor Qian Qihu, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, is the director of the academic committee of the laboratory, and Professor Miao Xiexing is the director of the laboratory.

It is inevitable for resource exploitations to shift from the shallow to the deep of the earth’s crust, because the shallow resources all over the world are getting exhausted with the rapid development of economy. The scale and depth of the underground engineering in national defense, transportation, hydraulic project and other industries are increasing rapidly in both scale and depth, therefore the deep underground space has been taken as a kind of land resource to be exploited by all the developed countries in the world. In addition, the deep geological environment becomes more and more complexed due to the increase of deep crustal stress, water inflow and ground temperature. Moreover the deep underground engineering takes on strong nonlinearity and obvious time-dependent effect, which results from the solid-liquid-gas- temperature coupling effect of deep geotechnical mass as well as the interaction with the underground structures, and all of above reasons also lead to rapid increase of sudden disasters. Therefore the basic theory and the engineering technology of deep rock and soil mechanics are now facing unprecedented challenges with a series of specific new fields and new subjects.

The overall objective of the laboratory is to investigate and solve the grave basic theory & key technical problems of deep geomechanics and underground engineering. Centering on the above objective, the following four aspects are taken as the main research contents of the laboratory. (1) Mechanical behavior of deep rock mass and wall rock control theory; (2) Mechanical behavior of deep soil and interaction between the soil and underground engineering structure; (3) Fundamental and applied researches on artificial freezing theory of thick top soils; (4) Complex geological environment and geotechnical engineering effect in deep underground. A synthetical research system has been established with “deep” and “underground” as its feature, which in vestigates from macro (environment, constitution) to a medium-view (broken, joints, fissures and interface), and then to meso (structure, particle and water), and further to the multi-phase (solid, liquid, gas) and multi-field ( temperature field (T), seepage field (H), and stress field (M)). In this system, “Deep” is taken as the research background; complex geological environment rock and soil mass, and frozen soil as the research objects; high confining pressure, high hydraulic pressure, high gas pressure, excavation unloading and dynamic as loading characteristics; fine detection of deep geological environment, the stability of deep rock and soil mass and its structure, thermal effect of deep rock mass and its utilization as the academic research objective.

With respect to scientific research, a series of representative research progress and achievements have been obtained. (1) Deep surrounding rock mass: A large number of investigations have been carried out on (dynamic) mechanics of jointed, fractured, soft and broken rock mass, on fluid-solid coupling property and on the stability of deep underground engineering. And several important innovative academic theories and ideas have been proposed by the researchers, which include: “broken rock zone” theory of deep surrounding rock, “mining-induced rock seepage theory,” “evolution property of post-peak rock”, and “self-equilibrium structure of surrounding rock”. These theories have already been applied in many key engineering practices involving deep rock mass. (2) Deep soil mechanics and engineering: In this field, some basic theoretical issues such as K0 and strength behavior of deep soil, the interaction between deep stratum and structure, etc., has been investigated. The theory “vertically additional pressure” has been created and developed, which provides a scientific explanation for the fracture mechanism of more than 100 shaft walls in deep alluvium in China. Based on the theory, a series of key techniques with independent intellectual property have been developed and successfully applied in practice, including “stratum grouting” , “flexible shaft lining” and “inner lining restriction” etc. (3) Artificial ground freezing: Aimed at the world-class problem of underground construction through over 700m deep alterations, the researchers, with their unique research features, have presided over or participated in almost all the domestic related research works and a series of achievements have been obtained in the following aspects such as the temperature field of deep soil mass, mechanical property of frozen soil, thick freezing wall, deep freezing shaft lining, the frost heaving mechanism and control, etc. (4) Deep geological environment and effect: Investigations have been carried out on several theories and technical issues such as detecting the geological structure and the properties of deep rock and soil mass, water inrush prediction for deep rock and soil mass and its interaction with water, gas and their structures and compositions as well as deep heat casualty and its utilization, which play an important role in guiding deep underground engineering construction. Based on the above research achievements, a series of basic theories and key technical problems in deep engineering fields have been solved, which obtained more than 20 scientific and technological awards of national or provincial and ministerial level, and published a great number of high-level papers, gained permission to several invention patents and brought significant economic and social benefits.

An excellent innovation group has already been founded in the laboratory with middle-aged and young academic leaders as its leading talents, including several outstanding innovation teams with two provincial and ministerial levels and three school levels. At present, there are 53 fixed personnels in the laboratory, of which 40 are researchers, and 7 are technicians. Among these people, there are 2 winners of the National Outstanding Youth Foundation, and 2 chair professors from overseas on the “Cheung Kong Scholars Programme” as well as a number of young scholars who have won Outstanding Talents Foundations of provincial and ministerial level.

The laboratory occupies an area of 7000 m2, and has fixed assets of 74 million Yuan (RMB) and 50 pieces of large equipments. The laboratory has obtained 50 million Yuan (RMB) special funds on the project of constructing an innovation platform for developing dominant disciplines in the “211 project” and “985 project”. The new research base of the key laboratory under construction covers an area of more than 40 mu with a building area of 12500 m2, which establishes a good foundation for the scientific and sustainable development of the laboratory.

The laboratory has established relationships with many international higher education institutes and research institutes for academic exchange and cooperation. Every year, more than ten researchers go abroad for academic exchange and carry out scientific and technological cooperation. Besides, the laboratory has successfully sponsored or cosponsored several international and domestic academic conferences. And the domestic editorial department of the international science periodical GeoMechanics and GeoEngineering is also attached to the laboratory.

The laboratory is actively exploring an operating mechanism and management mode, with “developing a harmonious relationship among disciplines, academics, and scholars” as its guideline. With full sustainment from its supporting organization China University of Mining and Technology, the laboratory has always centered on the national strategic target, serving for deep resource exploration and specific significant underground construction. The laboratory strives to construct a research base for applied basic research, cultivating outstanding talents and international academic exchange, which is characterized by basic, innovative, open, high-level and distinguished features.