Geotechnical and Hydrogeological Engineering Research Group (GHERG)

Federation University’s Geotechnical and Hydrogeological Engineering Research Group (GHERG) combines local and international experts in a close working relationship with the Victorian Government and Latrobe Valley mining partners.

Located at our Gippsland Campus, 150km east of Melbourne, GHERG combines a wealth of research experience in geomechanics, hydrogeology and soil science for the purposes of open-pit mine research.

In particular, GHERG provides a broad range of advanced research development and support to the Victorian Latrobe Valley brown coal mines, while continuing to foster research in an international setting.

Map of Victorian Federation University campuses, power stations, coal mines and urban areas.


GHERG was established in June 2009 and was largely funded by the Department of Primary Industries (DPI), Government of Victoria. GHERG commenced its research and education program in August 2010 and achieved its full complement of staff and students in February 2012. Initially affiliated with Monash University, GHERG transitioned to Federation University in January 2014 after a merge between the University of Ballarat and the Monash Gippsland Campus.

GHERG’s primary motivation has been the undertaking of research on geotechnical, hydrogeological and environmental issues related to the Latrobe Valley (LV) mines, particularly mine pit stability and mine rehabilitation. GHERG strongly emphasises education and training to professionals in association with the LV mines.

Our objectives

Our stated objectives are to:

  • address issues relating to insufficient expertise and skills shortage by providing a broad range of geotechnical, hydrogeological, environmental and soil science research, developing support to the LV coal mines
  • foster research and innovation in coal geotechnical, hydrogeological and environmental engineering, particularly in the areas of mine stability, mine monitoring systems and interpretation, ground subsidence, ground and surface water control in mines, mine rehabilitation and the evaluation of numerical models for industrial practice
  • review and develop a systems-modelling approach to planning, operation and closure, involving mine water quality, quantity, contamination, ground subsidence, landform stability, safety risk and bushfires
  • develop training programs for mine personnel through short courses with local research staff as well as international academic and industrial experts.

Contact us

Get in touch with GHERG via the Contact Us page.