The department is one of the leading Czech training and research institutions involved in geotechnics. In its courses of geology, engineering geology and hydrogeology, it provides students with the fundamentals necessary for the assessment of properties of the soil and rock environment on the basis of preceding geological processes. In the theoretical courses, including soil mechanics and rock mechanics, students learn about mechanical and physical properties of soils, rocks, and the rock massif. They are also taught to model relations between stress and strain for the solution of application tasks. The applied courses in foundations of constructions and underground structures focus on the interaction of subsoil with load-bearing structures, interaction of underground structures with the rock environment, and progressive foundation techniques and underground structures construction. Beside the traditional processes, the students are taught modern methods of designing and judgement of all types of geotechnical structures with the use of computers, and experimental testing on models or in situ. More and more attention is also given to environmental considerations, specifically in courses on geotechnics and the environment, and wastes and landfills.
The scope of instruction differs in different programmes and branches of study. The most detailed course content can be found in the module of geotechnics of the study branch Transportation and Structural Engineering and Environmental Engineering. The department gives eligible geotechnical courses for students of all branches of studies. Throughout their study, students also gain practical experience in geotechnical and environmental issues during site visits. In addition, they attend practical sessions held in the Centre of Experimental Geotechnics and in the Underground Educational Facility.
Due to the wide range of its interests, the department maintains extensive contacts with the industry. The staff takes part in geological surveys, geotechnical data collection, and geotechnical structures design, construction and monitoring. The department cooperates in foundation design of high-rise buildings, earth and tailing dams, earth structures, waste dumps, industrial and community waste disposals, subway and transport tunnels, galleries and utility tunnels, gas tanks, underground waste repositories, including nuclear wastes and historical buildings conservation.
Within continuing education programmes, the department offers short- and long-term courses for chartered engineers. The courses are mostly accredited by the Czech Chamber of Certified Engineers and Technicians.
The research activities of the department centre around reliability, optimization and durability of geotechnical structures, sustainable construction, soil structure interaction, performance of challenging geotechnical structures, environmental geotechnics and construction on brownfields.
The education of doctoral degree students is provided within the study branches Transportation and Structural Engineering, Environmental Engineering and Building Structures specializing in soil and rock mechanics, foundation and underground engineering.