School of Engineering, Information Technology and Physical Sciences

Prof Thomas Baumgartl

Name Prof Thomas Baumgartl  
Position title Professor; Director Geotechnical and Hydrogeological Engineering Research Group (GHERG)
Campus Gippsland
Room 4W-118
Phone +613 51226112

Research interests

  • Mine rehabilitation
  • Landform stability
  • Soil physics
  • Soil mechanics
  • Soil hydrology
  • Cover design for (mine) waste
  • Water balance quantification: evaporation; preferential flow
  • Swelling, shrinkage, crack and structure formation
  • Carbon in soils
  • Coupled hydrological and mechanical modelling

Short biography

Thomas has a degree in Geo-ecology (Environmental Science) and specialised in his under graduate and postgraduate studies in soil physics and soil mechanics.

He is currently director of the geotechnical and Hydrogeological engineering Research group at federation University.

His research interests focus on mine closure and solutions for construction of stable landforms. Of specific interest is work on the optimisation of cover design for waste rock dumps and tailings including monitoring of water flow and determination of water balance parameters (evaporation, runoff, infiltration, vegetation, deep drainage).

Water is the main cause and trigger for mechanical (e.g. erosion) and geochemical (e.g. acid mine drainage) degradation and requires analysis of complex relationships related to water flow on various scales. Recent research emphasis lies in understanding of the property change of resources like coal or waste material from mining as a result of stress state changes or weathering and how this information can be integrated as a predictive tool to achieve sustainable mine closure outcomes.

Thomas is associate editor and editorial board member of  international journals and has been organiser of symposia of international conferences related to mine rehabilitation and land restoration of degraded land.


  • PhD, University of Bayreuth, Germany
  • Habilitation (Venia legendi), University of Kiel, Germany

Graduate research supervisions

  • Elastoplasticity of Victorian brown coal and its interaction with inter seam clay
  • Simulation of Hydro mechanical Interactions and Fault Flow of Australian Brown Coal Mines using Advanced Finite Element Methods
  • Static and dynamic discontinuum simulation of large excavation in Australian Brown Coal using advanced finite element methods
  • Finite Element Methods for Modelling Heterogeneous Soils in Slope Stability Analysis
  • Durability and monitoring of horizontal bores.
  • Soil Erosion Modelling for Rehabilitated Landforms
  • Polymer amended tailings stability for optimum rehabilitation outcomes
  • Pedological study of ageing mine tailings in two contrasting climates

Teaching areas

  • Thematic workshops and short courses

Extended research profile