Geotechnical and Hydrogeological Engineering Research Group (GHERG)

School of Science, Engineering and Information Technology

GHERG is a group of local and international experts that works closely with the Victorian Government and mining partners to improve the safety, sustainability and guide the rehabilitation of the open-cut brown coal mines in the Latrobe Valley, 150 km east of Melbourne, Victoria.

Our vision

Our vision is to be a centre of excellence in geotechnical, hydrogeological and environmental engineering by positively contributing to the Gippsland region and making an impact internationally with our research and projects.


GHERG was established in June 2009 through a five-year contract 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, it was handed over to Federation University in January 2014 after the merge of University of Ballarat and Monash’s Gippsland Campus.

Our primary motivation has been to undertake research on geotechnical, hydrogeological and environmental issues related to the Latrobe Valley (LV) mines, particularly mine pit stability and mine rehabilitation. We also implement education and training for those working for and with the LV mines.

Our objectives

Our stated objectives are to:

  • address the issue of insufficient expertise and skill shortage by providing broad range geotechnical, hydrogeological and environmental research and development 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, and evaluation of models used in practice
  • review and develop a systems-modelling approach to planning, operation and closure, involving issues such as mine water quality, quantity, contamination, ground subsidence, landform stability, safety risks and bushfires
  • develop training programs for mine personnel through short courses presented by members of the research group, as well as local or international academic and industrial experts.

Contact us

Get in touch with GHERG via the Contact Us page.