C W Lovell Distinguished Lecture
10th C.W. Lovell Distinguished Lecture
October 20, 2011

Brandl bust

Heinz Brandl
Vienna University of Technology, Austria
Theory and Practice of Near-Surface Geothermal Geotechnics (Energy Foundations and Other Thermo-Active Ground-Source Systems)


Energy foundations and other thermo-active ground structures (e. g. energy tunnels, metro stations), energy anchors, energy wells, retaining structures, and pavement or bridge deck heating / cooling represent an innovative technology that contributes to environmental protection and provides substantial long-term cost savings and minimized maintenance. The lecture focuses on earth-contact concrete elements that are already required for structural reasons, but which simultaneously work as heat exchangers. Absorber pipes filled with a heat carrier fluid are installed within conventional structural elements (piles, barrettes, diaphragm walls, basement slabs or walls, tunnel linings, retaining structures), forming the primary circuit of a geothermal energy system. The natural ground temperature is used as a heat source in winter and for cooling in summer. Hence no additional elements have to be installed below surface. The primary circuit is then connected via a heat pump to a secondary circuit within the building. Recommendations for design and operation are given, based on 25 years of experience. Pilot research projects and case histories bridge the gap between theory and practice, and special applications reveal the wide field of near-surface geothermal geotechnics.

About Heinz Brandl

Professor Brandl has been full University Professor for Geotechnical Engineering since 1977 chairing the Geotechnical Institute founded by Professor Terzaghi in 1928 at the Vienna University of Technology, Austria, until 2009.

Prof. Brandl's creative work comprises about 490 scientific publications (including 18 books) partly translated in 18 languages. He delivered nearly 500 invited lectures, e.g. the 2001 Rankine Lecture and has been active world-wide since 1968 as chairman, general reporter, keynote lecturer etc. at numerous international conferences on geotechnical engineering, geosynthetics, road and environmental engineering.

Prof. Brandl is member of editorial boards and paper review committees of international scientific journals. Since 1963 he has been fully responsible for about 4000 projects of civil engineering, road engineering, geotechnical, environmental, structural and hydraulic engineering, thus intensively combining research and development, theory and practice.

Prof. Brandl is member of several international scientific committees within the ISSMGE (International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering) and related societies, he was Vice-President of the ISSMGE in the period 1997 to 2001. Since June 2003 he has been President of the Austrian Society for Engineers and Architects (founded in 1848).

He received numerous national and international awards, eight honorary doctorates and other honors.




  Special Lecture by Prof. Heinz Brandl "Retaining Structures and Highways/Railways Along Sliding Slopes". This lecture was presented as the Prof. E. DeBeer 100-Year Anniversary Lecture at Ghent State University in Belgium earlier this month. (10:30 am – ARMS 1103)
  Panel Discussion (2:00-3:30 pm – LWSN 1142)
  Lecture (4:30 pm – LWSN 1142)
  Reception and dinner (6:30 pm – Lafayette Country Club) (Reservations Required by 2:00 pm October 14)


Photos of 10th C W Lovell Distinguished Lecture



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