An effective spin

Geotechnical engineering contributes to the design and construction of all facilities on or in the ground, including the foundations of buildings and offshore structures, the creation of infrastructure links such as pipelines, roads and tunnels, and the establishment of safe repositories for waste. The central discipline of soil mechanics has benefited greatly from the use of centrifuges which allow small scale modelling of the behaviour of large scale structures. The failure mode of any structure or material which is dependent on self-weight can be safely simulated at a reduced size and time-scale while preserving full scale stresses and strains by subjecting, for example, a 1:100 scale model to an enhanced acceleration of 100 times earth's gravity.

Schofield Centrifuge CentreProfessor Andrew Schofield pioneered the application of centrifuges for research in Soil Mechanics at the Department of Engineering, and the Centrifuge Centre (now the Schofield Centrifuge Centre) built at the High Cross Site in West Cambridge currently houses four of them. A detailed account of the design of two of these machines has been written by Phillip Turner.