Rock Engineering Laboratory


Director: Prof. Dr.   Salah AlMufti



The Rock Engineering Laboratory was established 1990. This was in response to the needs of the country at that time.  

Among these needs we may cite:

* Testing of rock formations in the newly developed cities and housing projects in desert regions for the purpose of foundation design.

* Geotechnical investigation of sites of underground structures such as mines , tunnels, garages and caverns constructed in rocky formations. 

* Laboratory and field testing of rocks, ornamental stones and building  materials. 

* Geophysical investigations of sites of engineering projects .

* Geoenvironmental  studies 

* Design of quarries, surface mines, and rock slopes.

* Archaeological and environmental studies.


The laboratory belongs to the Mining section of the Mining, Petroleum and Metallurgical Engineering Department. Since its establishment the laboratory has been operating as a self-financed business unit. The Laboratory is financed through the income from contracted projects and laboratory services to the industrial and construction organizations .



The activities of the laboratory have focused on the following three areas:

1-Educational services at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. 

2-Research activities


3-Consultancy and technical services to industrial, construction, governmental organizations and private sector. 

The laboratory processes the field and laboratory equipment to properly carry out site investigation works, in-situ soundings, and laboratory tests to delineate the physical and mechanical rock properties required for giving informed rock engineering recommendations. This equipment includes simple, manual, traditional apparatus as well as sophisticated, electronic, state-of-the-art devices. Equipment to carry out the following  tests are available: 
1.Field and In-situ Tests
This equipment include: rotary core samplers, Schmidt hammer, ultrasonic velocity test, vibration test, geophysical investigation equipment (seismic, doctrinal and thermal), endoscopes , total stations, precision levels and GPS equipment .
2.Laboratory Tests.
The laboratory now includes three main sections:
* Sample Preparation Section: Equipped with modern and advanced instruments for cores and cubes preparation. This section includes, among others, a range of specialized coring rigs, diamond saws, precision grinders, polishers and autoclaves. Thin sections preparation equipment are also available . 
*  Testing section: In this section, a wide range of rock tests may be conducted including most of the tests suggested by the International Society of Rock Mechanics (ISRM) and the American Society of Testing Materials. The main rock mechanics facilities include unconfined compressive strength testing machine, indirect tensile strength test,  point load test, direct shear test, Young’s modulus, Poisson’s  ratio determination  and Los Angeles test system. 
Physical properties testing equipment for determination of rock density, specific gravity , porosity and water absorption are available . Petrographic optical microscope for studying the mineralogical composition of rocks as well as qualitative and quantitative chemical analysis of rocks equipment are also available. 
*  Data Processing Section: The data obtained from laboratory and field test can be processed and interpreted using sophisticated interactive software packages running on modern workstation. This section is equipped with PC computers, scanners , digitizers, plotters,  and stereoplotters. Preparation and editing of technical  reports takes place using these facilities .
3. Supporting Facilities 
To support activities , the laboratory has acquired its supporting facilities. These facilities comprise; photocopying machine, overhead projectors, data show and  equipment for technical reports preparation.
The laboratory collaborates with other laboratories and the R & D centers in the Faculty of Engineering, such as the Mining Studies and Research Center and the Engineering Center for Archaeology and Environment, for conducting rock tests and site investigation of surface and subsurface archeological locations and quality control tests of rocks for both mining and construction purposes.

For more information, please contact: Tel. 35731560 – 35678310