Rock engineering

The construction of tunnels and rock spaces in connection with transport, hydropower development, and other infrastructure has made the Norwegian professional environment, of which NGI is a part, a world leader in engineering geology and rock engineering.


  • engineering geological mapping
  • core logging
  • rock mass classification
  • stress measurement (hydraulic fracturing)
  • laboratory and model experiments
  • numerical analyzes (UDEC, FLAC, Phase2, etc.)
  • dimensioning of rock protection
  • injection scheme
  • requirements for infiltration in tunnels and caverns
  • foundations of suspension bridges
  • rock technical follow-up in tunnels, rock rooms, and cuttings

Top expertise

  • material properties of fractured rock
  • modeling of rock masses
  • rock classification and protection needs (the Q system)

Rock engineering requires knowledge of the properties of the rock mass. Through expertise in general geology, engineering geology, rock mechanics, geotechnics, and hydrogeology, we can make assessments and plan and design the development of tunnels, rock spaces, mountain slopes, and rock foundations.

In addition to unique expertise as a developer of the Q system, one of the world's best-known methods for classifying rock masses and safeguarding needs, NGI has extensive expertise in using other classification methods.

We have leading expertise in using advanced analysis models for rock masses, where deformations, stresses, water flow, and the effect of various security measures are calculated.

Analysis of rock stress and deformation from rock blasting and rock cavern construction

Research and development

The research efforts at NGI within engineering geology and rock engineering are concentrated on the following topics:

  • verification of heavy rock support
  • verification and documentation of tunnel stability 
  • challenges related to black shale

Project examples

Portrait of Arnstein Aarset

Arnstein Aarset

Head of Section Rock Engineering
+47 976 00 103
Portrait of Karl Gunnar Holter

Karl Gunnar Holter

Expert Adviser Environment and Rock Engineering
+47 418 60 049