Keynote by Dr. Terzis at the next AGERP lecture series

Dr. Dimitrios Terzis is invited to deliver a keynote lecture in the upcoming instalment of the AGE-RP series (Advancements in Geotechnical Engineering from Research to Practice) taking place on October 3rd 2020.

The Advancements in Geotechnical Engineering from Research to Practice lecture series is aimed at coupling the learnings from academia and industry on several key topics in the discipline of Geotechnical Engineering. From its inception as an academic subject, Geotechnical Engineering education has drawn inspiration from the experience of the practicing engineers and has developed further pivoted on the outputs of the cutting-edge research performed at academic institutions. Derived from elements borrowed from geology, soil science, agronomy, and engineering, it is now considered as a specialized subject. However, it continues to push the boundaries on the fronts of several emerging topics such as geoengineering implications of bio-mediated soil processes, mechanics of unsaturated soils, computational geomechanics, usage of artificial intelligence techniques, non-invasive geomaterial characterization, etc. From a scholastic perspective, there has been notable advancement in the theoretical aspects of Geotechnical Engineering. Nonetheless, practitioners tend to rely on transferable technologies, and follow established developments that are best suited to the field applications. The discipline has rightly been described as a Scientific Art, where a strong linkage between research and practice is imperative for its further advancement. It is envisaged that, with growing concerns on depletion of natural resources, environmental degradation and in overall sustainable development, Geotechnical Engineering is going to play a crucial role as an interface between the humanity and mother earth.

The mode of delivery of the lectures is online to ensure a better reach. The lectures are free to attend, but registration is mandatory through the attached link.

A summary of past and upcoming conferences is available in the attached table.

Source: Soil Mechanics Laboratory

We are hiring!

The Laboratory of Soil Mechanics (LMS) at the School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering at EPFL Switzerland, is seeking a Scientific Assistant to develop numerical simulations of groundwater flow and
simulate hydro-chemo-mechanical processes. Read more!

Biogeotechnics Webinar – 5 Little Known Keys For Successful Biogeotechnical Practice

Our team is so proud for the warm welcome our webinar and its interactive nature received from our community! Thank you for attending and for your follow-up questions and messages! We look forward to meeting you at our next webinars!

Update: The highlights of our webinar our now available online:

Biogeotechnics Webinar – 5 Little Known Keys For Successful Biogeotechnical Practice


The vast majority of infrastructure assets are constructed with or on unsuitable soils, which must be improved prior to, or after, construction. Conventional ground improvement technologies have historically relied on cement- and petroleum-based materials, perceived as straightforward commodities. This view can no longer be sustained due to the large volume and machine-intensive operations required, along with the resultant high carbon footprint and environmental damage. This webinar will present an alternative approach to material design and delivery using natural organic systems present within the soil to precipitate carbonate minerals that act as soil-binding agents. Technical discoveries and developments of bio-cemented soils will be presented, with a particular focus on how this technology can be integrated into mainstream geotechnical practice. Through the following points, under the scope of the ERC-funded BIOGEOS project, this talk will highlight to researchers and practitioners alike, the opportunities of a technology that will shape the future of low carbon soil remediation and stabilization practices:

• Applications & performance of bio-cemented soils
• Breaking the nitrogen barrier in biotic calcification
• Economics & environmental impact
• Equipment & monitoring
• Industrial practice: guidelines for successful integration


Prof. Lyesse Laloui
Professor Lyesse Laloui is the director of the Soil Mechanics Laboratory of EPFL. He is the recipient of the Advanced ERC Grant for his project BIOGEOS (BIO-mediated GEO-material Strengthening). He also received an ERC Proof of Concept Grant in 2020, to bring his research from lab to market. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Elsevier Geomechanics for Energy and the Environment journal, he is a leading scientist in the field of geomechanics and geo-energy. He has written and edited 13 books and published over 320 peer reviewed papers; his work is cited more than 6500 times with an h-index of 42 (Scopus). Two of his papers are among the top 1% in the academic field of Engineering.

Dr. Dimitrios Terzis
Dimitrios is a Scientist and Lecturer at the Swiss Federal institute of Technology, Lausanne (EPFL). In 2017 he obtained his PhD in Mechanics from EPFL. He has co-authored over ten peer-reviewed publications focusing on research and development around soil bio-cementation. He is the co-inventor of three patents which introduce niche elements towards efficient upscaling, environmental and economic applications of bio-geo-technical systems. He is the recipient of innovation grants and awards which sum up to over a million CHF. In 2018 he co-founded the EPFL spin-off MeduSoil which designs and delivers real-world systems based on bio-cementation to serve mainstream geotechnical projects. Since 2019 he is the principal lecturer and organizer of the course “Innovation for construction and the environment” which is taught in the Civil Engineering section of EPFL.

Maren Katterbach
Maren is head of department and a consulting engineer with Lombardi Engineering Ltd. in Switzerland.  Maren has been involved in a variety of projects, including underground construction, foundation stability, dam construction, and safety assessments. Within the framework of various dam projects in Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia, she has provided expertise in the roles of consultant or designer for major foundation grouting works. Maren provides technical support to the EPFL spin-off MeduSoil, where through her role as the company’s CTO, she is designing and implementing real-scale solutions of the novel technique, which combines technical innovation, with economic efficiency and environmental responsibility in grouting applications.

Dr. Alexandra Clarà Saracho
Alexandra is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Laboratory of Soil Mechanics at EPFL. She holds a MRes in Future Infrastructure and Built Environment (2016) and a Ph.D. in Geotechnical Engineering (2020), both from the University of Cambridge (UK). Her Ph.D. research investigated the application of biocement for the erosion control of sands and was the product of an industry-academia collaboration between University of California, Berkeley (USA), Hiroshima University (Japan), the University of Cambridge, and Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation.  Passionate about interdisciplinary approaches, her current research focuses on the design of carbonate-based biomaterials and delivery strategies that are coupled with end geotechnical applications, resulting in increased functionality.

Lyesse Laloui awarded a prestigious ERC Proof of Concept Grant

Accelerating technology transfer and coupling scientific, industrial and environmental advances.

Lyesse Laloui, professor at EPF Lausanne and director of the Soil Mechanics Laboratory is awarded the prestigious Proof of Concept Grant (PoC) by the European Research Council (ERC). The grant adds up to the breakthrough developments achieved within the first 18 months of his previous advanced ERC-funded BIOGEOS project which is developing novel bio-cementation technologies for civil, geotechnical and geo-environmental works. The ERC PoC grant further validates the technology-transfer vision of the BIOGEOS project and accelerates its aim to develop complete and industry-ready solutions to serve infrastructure, economic and societal needs.

ERC Proof of Concept (PoC) Grants provide lump-sum funding to academics who have demonstrated breakthrough advances towards exploring the societal and economic potential of their discoveries. By providing additional resources, the grants consolidate the achievements of ERC-Advanced grants, funded under the EU’s research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020.

CEBREWA builds up on the achieved breakthroughs of BIOGEOS

CEBREWA (Construction & Environmental Biocementation in REal World Applications) tackles the emerging ground stabilisation problems which are becoming increasingly pressing in construction and environmental engineering. Ground stabilization mitigates stability risks associated with geohazards, such as earthquakes, soil erosion, and landslides. Such problems are expected to be further intensified by extreme weather and aging infrastructure. Traditionally, ground stabilization is applied to roads, railroads, airfields, embankments, reservoirs, bank protection, canals, dams, and coastal engineering. Rapid urbanization, particularly in developing regions, is fueling the ground stabilization market growth. This is primarily due to: (i) the scarcity of suitable land for development and (ii) the need to extend existing infrastructure (typically by building more floors, and therefore increasing the loads sustained by foundations) to support increasing populations in urban zones. The market of ground stabilization has not been disrupted for decades, with current solutions complex and expensive, mainly due to the heavy equipment required for their application, and often hazardous to the environment, as they rely on the extensive use of industrial fluids or microplastics. The latter is especially prevalent in polyurethane-based solutions, which are currently used as expansive polymer foams in foundation repair works. Another problematic aspect of existing solutions is related to the level of energy required on-site to generate the high pressures required to inject the above stabilizing agents into the ground. Further, from an environmental perspective, existing fly ash-, lime-, and cement-based solutions generate pH-levels above 12. Such conditions are above the typical values of soil pH, and they cause irreversible damage to the groundwater and subsurface ecosystem. Therefore, a market gap exists, and CEBREWA aims to fill it with the innovative ground bio-stabilization solutions based on innovative carbonate biomineralization which is developed and patented during BIOGEOS.

Further information

Source: Soil Mechanics Laboratory

Geo-Banquet Keynote Lecture by Prof. Lyesse Laloui at GEO-CONGRESS 2020

On February 26th the Minnesota Geotechnical Institute, Geo-Institute chapter (MGI-GI) and the American Society of Civil Engineers, Minnesota section (ASCE-MN) jointly presented the Geo-Banquet, held in conjunction with Geo-Congress 2020, at the locally acclaimed McNamara Alumni Center on the University of Minnesota campus. The highlight of the Geo-Banquet was the keynote lecture presented by Prof. Lyesse Laloui, PI of the BIOGEOS project, entitled “Tailor-made soil properties by bio-geo-chemical means”. The lecture focused on the use of microorganisms in the subsurface for bio-cementation purposes, often presented as the “next big thing” in geotechnical engineering. As such, the lecture dwelled on the multi-physical and complex phenomena involved, from micro-structural inspections, mechanical testing, to numerical modelling, and finally through real-world pilot applications.

Source: Soil Mechanics Laboratory

We are hiring!

Join Us at LMS, EPFL

We are looking for two PhD candidates in geomechanics and environmental geotechnics.

Would you love to influence the success of our high profile project BIOGEOS and gain a sense of contribution in building the next generation of sustainable geotechnics and of numerical simulation developments?

Read more!

World’s largest experimental set-up dedicated to bio-geo-chemo-mechanical investigations

From October 2019 we will start operating the world’s largest experimental set-up dedicated to bio-geo-chemo-mechanical investigations. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay tuned with our most recent developments by e-mailing:

We are hiring!

Join Us at LMS, EPFL

We are looking for two PhD candidates & a post-doc in geomechanics and environmental geotechnics.

Would you love to contribute to the success of our high profile project BIOGEOS and be involved in building the next generation of biogeotechnological solutions?

Read more!

Official kick-off for BIOGEOS at EPFL

Official kick-off for BIOGEOS at EPFL


November 1st marks the official launch of BIOGEOS (Bio-mediated Geo-material Strengthening). BIOGEOS receives funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under an ERC Advanced Grant (grant agreement no 788587). The grant is awarded to Prof. Lyesse Laloui, head of the Soil Mechanics Laboratory (LMS) of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne (EPFL). BIOGEOS explores bio-mediated ground improvement, within the broader framework of multiphysical processes in sustainable Geotechnics. Its overarching goal is to establish a new paradigm in research and development for geo-technical applications, by developing, delivering and mastering nature-inspired solutions for real-world geotechnical problems. Within the project’s mission are the design, testing and ultimately standardization of innovative solutions, which combine techno-economic efficiency with environmental responsibility.

Coordinator: Prof. Lyesse Laloui

Host Institution: Swiss Federal University of Technology, EPFL

Timeframe: 5 years (1/11/2018-31/10/2023)

Budget: ca. 2.5 M €



Twitter: @biogeosH2020