11. Geotechnical Conference 25.11.2022

Geotechnical challenges for near-surface and deep geothermal energy

The current challenges facing our economy and society concerning sustainable energy sources will also affect our field of expertise, geotechnical engineering. Ranging from offshore wind farms to dams, a high level of soil mechanics expertise is always required to build these structures. However, where geotechnical engineering almost takes center stage is, of course, the generation of energy from the heat generated by the earth itself.


Energy from deep sources requires know how

Near-surface geothermal probes, piles, or even tunnels are used thermally nowadays to generate or store energy. Furthermore, the soil is also often utilized as a ground storage system to store energy and draw from it when required. To produce energy on a large scale in Switzerland, however, it is necessary to drill several kilometers below the surface, which entails considerable technical complexities, costs, and risks. Through research and know-how, these challenges can nonetheless be overcome - ultimately, that's our mission as scientists and engineers.

Ever newer uses of existing underground infrastructures, new plasma-controlled drilling technologies, sensor technologies, and simulation software are enabling ever more cost-effective, efficient usage of the storage capacity and energy generation of the heat from the earth.


Need for research is huge

In recent years, several major research projects have been launched in Switzerland and the results will continue to determine where we get our energy, hopefully increasingly from our own resources, in the forthcoming decades.

This year's Geotechnical Conference offers the opportunity to learn about the technical features, the possible future applications, and generally about the state of the art and research in the exciting field of geothermal energy. Namely, from a geotechnical engineer's perspective.






Prof. Dr. Carlo Rabaiotti

Chair of Geotechnical Engineering




We cordially invite you to the conference!


Institute for Civil and Environmental Engineering

Geotechnical Engineering

Oberseestrasse 10

Postfach 1475

CH - 8640 Rapperswil

Prof. Dr. Carlo Rabaiotti

T +41 (0)58 257 4975