The Institute of Rock Mechanics and Tunnelling 30th anniversary celebration

It has been 30 years since the institute of Rock Mechanics and Tunnelling was founded in the year 1992. The 30th anniversary celebration took place at TU Graz on 2nd December 2022

Enjoy watching a video from the celebration.



30th Anniversary Celebration of RMT followed by “Barbarafeier”

It has been 30 years since the institute of Rock Mechanics and Tunnelling was founded in the year 1992. This must be celebrated and therefore a 30th anniversary celebration will take place at TU Graz on 2nd December 2022 (Start: 17:00 o'clock). Hope to see you there. Further information regarding the program and registration will follow in time.

All the best,

The Institute of Rock Mechanics and Tunnelling


1. Edition of the Rock Report

Although the university is closed, we keep moving at home and used some time to compile our first issue of the ROCK REPORT which we will publish quarterly. The report summarises latest research findings, ongoing projects, current collaboration partners and gives you insight into our daily life. Please enjoy reading it. We have added to each article the email address of the corresponding staff member. If you have questions, ideas or any other request, contact us. We are also looking forward to hear/read any feedback on our first issue. On page 11 you will find a list of upcoming RMT events. Please save the dates. In particular, we want to highlight the HSSR-Workshop on November 27th, 2020. It's a mini-symposium in English on Hard Soil / Soft Rock material and on anisotropic behaviour. Contributions are still welcome. Please find here more information. We'd love to welcome you at TU Graz.



Job announcement

Graz University of Technology, Faculty of Civil Engineering Sciences, has an immediate opening for a fully funded position (40 hours a week) as tenure track professorship for women in the field Geotechnics / Tunnelling with in-depth knowledge of Data Science / Artificial Intelligence at the Institute of Rock Mechanics and Tunnelling. After fulfilment of the qualification agreement, the candidate will be appointed as associated professor (permanent position). 

Applications and other documents (CV, list of publications and lectures, 2 most important publications, teaching evaluation, if available) should be sent, preferably electronically, to with a precise description of the position and reference number and must be received by the end of the application period at the latest.

Reference number: 2200/20/005
Application deadline: 30 April 2020

The complete announcement is available under this link: full job description (EN/DE)

NATM Course 2020

The university programme NATM Engineering: Construction, Rehabilitation and Operation of NATM- and TBM-Tunnels at TU Graz and the Montanuniversität Leoben offers an opportunity to deepen your knowledge in tunnelling, especially in the New Austrian Tunnelling Method (NATM) and tunnel boring machines (TBM). When you have completed this programme, you will be able to design and build tunnels in accordance with the NATM principles or to provide engineering supervision for building such tunnels.
The university course is offered by TU Graz Life Long Learning. Further information on the course is available on the Life Long Learning site.

Applied Data Science for Geotechnics Course - 2020

The institute of rock mechanics is happy to announce that a course for applied data science for geotechnics will be held from the 25th of May to the 4th of June 2020.

The course aims at teaching the very basics of programming with python for students of civil engineering and earth sciences. Among other topics the course will cover: data-types, control structures, functions, plots, data input & output, modules...
Short theoretical instructions will be followed by extensive exercises concerning examples of engineering geology, tunnelling, rock mechanics or soil mechanics.

Please register by sending an email to with the e-mail subject "Applied Data Science for Geotechnics - Course 2020".


ATC² is short for Austrian Tunnel Competence Center – a platform for innovation and know-how transfer in tunnel construction. In addition to developments in the field of the traditional sequential excavation method or NATM, it will also address continuous excavations as well as special civil engineering measures in underground construction. Special challenges and innovations in deep rock tunnelling, as well as urban (shallow) loose rock tunnelling, will be discussed.
ATC² is a cooperation between the Institute of Rock Mechanics and Tunnelling at TU Graz and the Subsurface Engineering chair at the University of Leoben. In the long term, it is to be established as an international platform for modern tunnelling.

NATM Course 2019

A newly revised and upgraded version of the university course will be launched in 2019. Its objective is to teach students not only in-depth knowledge in NATM tunnelling, but also everything they need to know about tunnel boring machines (TBM). New subjects have been added to cover topics such as renovation, conservation of existing tunnels, safety aspects and risk analysis.
The university course is offered by TU Graz Life Long Learning. Further information on the course is available on the Life Long Learning site.

New head and new focus at the Institute of Rock Mechanics and Tunnelling

When Wulf Schubert retires from his active leadership position at the Institute in October 2018, experienced consulting engineer Thomas Marcher will take charge of the Institute of Rock Mechanics and Tunnelling. Like his predecessor, he was actively involved in tunnel construction when he was called to the Graz University of Technology. In addition to alpine tunnelling he also wants to focus on shallow tunnelling, which is increasingly important in metropolitan areas.

Technically, the challenges associated with this type of tunnel construction differ starkly from those that apply to tunnel structures at extreme depth. What we have to deal with here is not so much the stresses on the rock, but primarily the special mechanical properties of less firm ground in the shallow strata. Apart from loose material, the so-called transitional rock plays an important role. Its special characteristic is that while it cannot be described as classical soil material any more, the common rock classifications no longer apply either. The institute intends to develop a special laboratory testing device to analyse these special materials. Furthermore, it is also planned to develop models to come up with new or advanced material laws for this kind of material behaviour.

Another field in which Thomas Marcher wishes to conduct intensive research at the institute is digittization and tunnelling. He wants to find out how BIM (Building Information Modelling) and AI (Artificial Intelligence) can be used optimally in tunnelling, and which new possibilities this can offer.

Planet Research Article 2018

This fascinating article by Planet Research about the current and past research of the Institute of Rock Mechanics and Tunnelling was released.  

Tunnel vision...greatly enhanced by research

NATM Course 2017

The university programme ‘NATM Engineering’ at TU Graz and the Montanuniversität Leoben (MU Leoben) offers an opportunity to study geotechnical engineering and tunnelling at an advanced level and to learn about the New Austrian Tunnelling Method In September 2017 a new NATM course started with around 20 students of all nationalities. At the same time the fifth modul which started in 2015 was finished. We can proudly announce that both courses were very successful. We are looking forward working with the new group. The next programme will begin in in September 2017. Further information can be found at the NATM Website.

Leopold Müller Award 2015

We proudly announce that one researcher and doctoral student of our institute, Dr. Thomas Pilgerstorfer received the Leopold Müller Award 2015 for his excellent dissertation.

GGG Dissertation Out Now

The dissertation of Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn. Thomas Pilgerstorfer "Mechanical Characterization of Fault Zones" has been published as "Mitteilungsheft" of the Geotechnical Group Graz (GGG). The publication is available at the Institute.

Südbahntagung 2015

Der Semmering Basistunnel neu, der Koralmtunnel und die Tunnelkette Granitztal stellen die maßgeblichen, im Bau befindlichen Großprojekte im Rahmen der Südstrecke dar. Diese Achse bildet den österreichischen Teil der Baltisch-Adriatischen Achse, welche die Ostsee mit dem Mittelmeer und dem oberitalienischen Wirtschaftsraum verbindet. Rund 40 Millionen Menschen leben entlang dieser Achse, welche bedeutende europäische Kultur- und Wirtschaftsräume verknüpft. Mit diesen neuen Eisenbahn-Hochleistungsprojekten werden in Österreich deutlich verbesserte Voraussetzungen und neue Kapazitäten für den umweltfreundlichen Bahngüterverkehr geschaffen. Im Personenverkehr wird die Vernetzung verbessert und die derzeitigen Reisezeiten erheblich reduziert. Im Rahmen der Südbahntagung 2015 wird über den Realisierungsstand dieser vier Großprojekte berichtet und es werden exemplarisch projektspezifische Lösungskonzepte und Weiterentwicklungen vorgestellt. Die SÜDBAHNTAGUNG ist ein Forum, um Erfahrungen und Fallstudien zu den genannten Tunnelgroßprojekten und weiteren Projekten entlang der Südbahn vorzustellen und zu diskutieren. Hier finden Sie nähere Informationen zur Südbahntagung.

New Masters' Programme

The Institute of Rock Mechanics & Tunnelling (RMT) has an international reputation concerning underground design and construction, with specialization in rock mass characterization, the influence of geological conditions on ground behavior in underground construction, development of risk oriented design procedures, geotechnical monitoring and data interpretation techniques, and tunnel construction in poor ground with high overburden. Applied research activities are facilitated
by state-of-the-art laboratory and computational facilities, and close cooperation with the engineering and construction industries ensures a smooth transition of research results into engineering practice. The M.Sc. curriculum in RMT covers a broad range of topics in rock engineering and tunnelling, including numerical methods, tunnel safety and ventilation, laboratory testing procedures, grouting theory and practice, construction contracts for underground works, and geotechnical monitoring and data interpretation. The curriculum provides a strong foundation for professional work in the rock mechanics and tunnelling industries, while also providing the opportunity to develop targeted specialization through the selection of appropriate elective courses.
For detailed information download the information folder or visit the programme's webpage.


The Austrian Society for Geomechanics has the pleasure to invite you to the ISRM Regional Symposium EUROCK 2015 „Future Development of Rock Mechanics“ to be held in conjunction with the 64th Geomechanics Colloquium in Salzburg, the city where the International Society for Rock Mechanics (ISRM) was founded in 1962. The Geomechanics Colloquium in Salzburg since its initiation in 1951 has always been a perfect and distinguished meeting place for researchers and practitioners. The success of this concept not only shows in the continuous meetings over more than 60 years, but also in the attendance of regularly around 1000 participants.
For additional information visit!

Field Trip "Fachexkursion Geotechnik 2014"

From the 11th until the 13th of June this year's field trip "Fachexkursion Geotechnik", organized by the Institute for Rock Mechanics and Tunnelling, took place. During those three days all participating students were able to take interesting insights in current large-scale tunnel projects, a rockfall and a bridge reconstruction. The excursion tour drove Carinthia, East Tyrol, Tyrol and Italy, guiding to the following construction sites:
- Koralm Tunnel "contract section KAT 3" - Rockfall "Felbertauernstraße" - Brenner Base Tunnel (Access Tunnels "Wolf 2" and "Mauls") - Reconstruction of "Railway Bridge over the A12" in Kramsach/Tyrol

Workshop 2012 "Bemessung von Stützmitteln im Tunnelbau"

As every year the Institute for Rock Mechanics and Tunnelling organized a Workshop, prior to the traditional Barbarafeier. The last year's topic was "Bemessung von Stützmitteln im Tunnelbau" (Design of support measures in tunnelling).
Click here for further information and for downloading the presentations in PDF format.

Leopold Müller Award 2012

We proudly announce that two researchers and doctoral students of our institute, Dr. Markus Pötsch and Dr. Nedim Radoncic received the Leopold Müller Award 2012 for their excellent dissertations.   

Josef Krainer Award 2012

We proudly announce that Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn. Markus Pötsch received the Josef-Krainer-Award for his outstanding dissertation. The award ceremony took place on the 19th of march 2012 in the Aula of the Old University of Graz.

Dr. Markus Pötsch
Institute of Rock Mechanics and Tunnelling
Rechbauerstraße 12
A-8010 Graz

Phone: +43 (0) 316 / 873 - 8114
Fax: +43 (0) 316 / 873 - 8618

Monday to Friday from 9 to 12 a.m.