M80 Ring Road Upgrade

Ground Science were awarded with the Geotechnical testing contract for the M80 WRR Upgrade between Sydney Road and Edgars Road in Melbournes North, which commenced in May 2020. The project is expected to be completed early in 2023.

Our large team of skilled technicians, support staff and managers have delivered CPB (the project contractor) a highly professional and efficient workforce. Chris Senserrick the Director overseeing the goetechnical testing said" Every night driving home down the western ring road and through the construction works, I get an immense sense of pride, knowing my team is delivering this great project".

Our head office and NATA accredited laboratory are situated on the projects doorstep, which not only supports the site earthworks testing in an effcient manner, but also provides efficencies for the performance of the specialist material compliance testing.


Research & Development

Investigating the use of Shredded Tyres, Cushed Glass and chipped plastics to create new engineering materials




Ground Science have teamed up with Victoria University, City West Water, and Melbourne University to tackle the global issue of an increasing carbon footprint from civil construction infrastructure expansion. Through a Government grant from Sustainability Victoria, the team investigated the ability to create a civil engineering material using rubber, glass and plastics to replace conventional crushed rock and quarried materials.

The team embarked on a research journey analysing blends of shreded car tyres, crushed glass and chipped hard plastics to create a sewer trench backfill material that has self compacting properties with low settlement characteristics. Extensive laboratory testing was involved including; the development of a rain falling technique that assessed the ability of the blends to fall from various hieghts and induce compaction from the fall placment. Other testing included the Standard Proctor, a modified one dimensional consolidation, max - min, seggregation, CBR and Particle SIze Distribution.

The research considered various blends with two recipes proving favourable which was used in the second stage of the program.

A full scale field trial was completed on an acutal industrial sewer line where the two most promosing blends were used to backfill a sewer line. The nominated blends were placed to an approximate depth of 2.5m - 3.0m over the top of the pipe embedment, with geofabric separation layers and local soil within the top 0.5m to complete the trench backfill.

Scientific instrumentation was installed at the two sites to monitor a range of parameters which was used to assess the product over a full seasonal cycle.

The monitoring and assessment program is anticipated to be completed in early 2022.

For more information about this project or our research capabilities, please contact Ernie Gmehling ernie@groundscience.com.au 0401 924 205

Mixed Blend of rubber, Glass & Plastics
Mixing of three raw materials
Mixing of three raw materials
Trench ready for backfill
Placed material with instrumentation installed

Victorian Level Crossing Removals

Ground Science South West  are market leaders in railway ballast compliance testing


The Victorian Governments investment in our railway infrastructure has seen a great demand for quarries to produce Railway Ballast for the Regional Rail network upgrades and the level crossing removal projects. The quarrying industry has had challenges trying to source material that meets the required Wet Attrition value of the raw rock product as per the current V-Line and Metro specifications. As a result of this challenge, the authorities have agreed to relax the Wet Attrition specification to allow a greater tolerance from a maximum 6% to 12% based on the track class.

It has also means that Railway Ballast taken from the level crossing removal projects can be reused after the product is washed, screened and retested to ensure it conforms with the relevant specifications.

Ground Science South West are only one of two NATA accredited facility in Victoria who can test the resistance to wear by wet attrition as per AS 1141.27. Our facility is NATA accredited for all test methods as per the requirements of AS 2758.7, V-Line NIST-2654 and Metro L1-CHE-SPE-064.

  • AS 1141.3.1 sampling (This is the most important part of the testing) Our experienced staff are able to train and instruct quarry loader driver the correct sampling procedure in regard to sampling from large stockpiles.
  • AS 11411.11.1 – Particle Size Distribution
  • AS 1141.14 Particle Shape by Proportional Calliper - Misshapen Particle
  • AS 1141.21 Aggregate Crushing Value
  • 23 Los Angeles Value
  • AS 1141.27 Wet Attrition
  • 32 Weak Particles

Often railway ballast is delivered to regional sites and stockpiled for months at a time, during this time the product is exposed to extreme weather conditions (Heat/Cold) which can cause weathering of product. It very important that testing is performed once the product is ready to be used to confirm that the product still meets the relevant specifications.

Ground Science South West testing scope includes other specialised aggregate and source rock tests such as:

  • AS 1141.4 Bulk Density
  • AS 1141.5 & 6.1 Particle Density and Water Absorption
  • AS 1141.15 Flakiness Index
  • AS 1141 20.1 20.2 20.3 Average Least Dimension
  • AS 1141.22 Wet Dry Strength Variation – We are one of very few facilities that have a 75mm diameter test cylinder to test 5mm – 2.36mm drainage backfill aggregate along with the standard 150mm diameter test cylinder
  • AS 1141.24 Sodium Sulphate Soundness
  • AS 1141. 25.1 25.2 25.3 Degradation Factor
  • AS 1141.30.1 Unsound Stone & RC 372.04 Foreign Materials Content
  • AS 1141 31 Light Particles
  • AS 1141 33 Clay and Silt Content

For more information about our testing capabilities, please contact Chris Mamalis chrism@groundscience.com.au 0410 420 084

attrition machine

Pakenham Racecourse, 1000m Chute extension, Tynong, Victoria

The project involved a 200m extension to the 1000m start chute at the Pakenham Racecourse in Tynong, Victoria. The initial geotechnical site investigation completed by Ground Science, identified several springs located within the alignment of the track extension. Standpipes were installed at various locations which resulted in water rising above ground level under pressure. This created concerns for the Racing Club as previous springs on the racecourse site had required extensive earthworks.

The track design incorporated a lime and cement stabilised subgrade, to accommodate the weak soils along with a subsurface drainage channel consisting of course rock and a composite tensor / geofabric separation layer to capture the rising water. The initial thoughts were that the drainage layer and stabilisation process would create a bridging layer over the wet sections of the track.

During the stabilisation works and heavy construction plant movements, the weak zone started to show signs of surface bleeding. It was identified that the area was experiencing liquefaction and the seeping point had grown in size.

Ground Science were commissioned to complete a remediation design, which included removing a slurry pocket extending 2.6m below the subgrade level. The weak zone measured 8m x 9m at the surface allowing for side wall collapse.

The design incorporated the placement of 200mm diameter rock spalls at the base of the excavation which exceeded 1.0m in depth, with a subsequent bridging layer of 60mm Ballast material and a 7mm drainage aggregate. A 100mm AG drain was installed in the pit to collect rising ground waters. A composite Tensar and geofabric was used as a separation layer to allow for the placement of a fine crushed rock and assist in the load distribution. The lime and cement subgrade was reinstated using reclaimed stabilised clay soils to complete the remediation process.

The remediation process was successfully completed by SJM Turf & Civil in one day, with Ground Science providing ongoing construction advice throughout the complete process. Project manager Paul O’Callaghan from Racing Victoria was very pleased with the outcome, as this issue had been of concern for some time.

“Complex existing ground conditions at this site have had a historic impact and delayed the ability to complete the chute construction. Ernie at Ground Science was able to provide excellent guidance through these complex conditions and an action plan with a methodical approach, to achieve a suitable base conditions for the extension of the racing surface”

Paul O'Callaghan

Capital Works Manager


Yan Yean road Duplication – Stage 1

Vic Roads Major Projects

This $131.2 million upgrade has transformed Yan Yean Road in Plenty from a congested two-lane arterial to a four-lane road with improved safety features, six intersections with traffic lights and pedestrian crossings, and brand-new walking and cycling paths.

Stage 1 Yan Yean Road Upgrade has:

  • realigned the road to remove dangerous bends
  • widened the road from one to two lanes in each direction
  • upgraded six intersections with traffic lights and signalised pedestrian crossings
  • installed safety barriers along the road
  • building a new shared walking and cycling path along the full length on the west side of the road
  • building new footpaths along sections on the east side of the road
  • moving bus stops and placing them conveniently near new pedestrian crossings
  • providing better facilities by installing bus shelters at 10 of the 12 bus stops along this section of Yan Yean Road. Shelters could not be added at two bus stops due to space constraints.

Testing was performed in our Thomastown facility, which has been specifically designed to cater for the demands of major infrastructure projects such as this.

With over 5000 tests performed, Ground Science staff have provided the skills, knowledge and commitment to successfully deliver yet another large and demanding project. Our commitment to service delivery was achieved by performing night works, performing a 7 day a week site presence, working over the Christmas holiday period as well as providing a highly efficient turnaround of test reports. As one of the industry’s leading CMT laboratories, Ground Science continues to set the benchmark.

Geotechnical Assessment for Pattersons Road Upgrade

Verve Projects Pty Ltd

The project is part of the Pattersons Road upgrade works serving the ongoing residential developments in Clyde North. An existing sizeable raised irrigation dam is located at the south east corner of the property at 285 Pattersons Road and to the west of residential subdivision properties at 375 Pattersons Road.

The irrigation dam is located to the north of the critical section of Pattersons Road and concern was raised on the stability of the dam during the pavement construction upgrade works. As a result, a geotechnical assessment and stability modelling using Slope/W was required to be carried out.

In early June 2019, Verve Projects commissioned Ground Science to undertake geotechnical investigation and laboratory testing services for the concerned raised irrigation dam, followed by the provision of geotechnical assessment to facilitate the implementation of upgrading works for the critical section of Pattersons Road in response to the comments made by Casey Council.

The project was successfully delivered by Ground Science with the geotechnical investigation, groundwater monitoring, laboratory testing and geotechnical assessment/stability modelling completed within the project delivery timeframe. The results of the investigation were incorporated into the design of Pattersons Road, avoiding road boxing and service excavations in the road reserve, which was supported by the relevant authorities.


Woodlea Residential Estate Stages 1 - 50

Rockbank, Victoria

Ground Science commenced Level 1 Inspection and Testing on stage 1 of the Leaks Road Woodlea Pty Ltd residential development in mid-2016 and continue to provide this service in 2019 on stage 50.

Ground Science staff have provided the skills, knowledge and commitment to successfully deliver such large and demanding projects. Our commitment to service delivery was achieved by performing night works, performing a 7 day a week site presence, working over the Christmas holiday period as well as providing a highly efficient turnaround of test reports. As one of the industry’s leading CMT laboratories, Ground Science continues to set the benchmark. For further project information contact Chris Senserrick

Woodlea Residential Estate

Princes Highway Duplication – Sections 1,2 & 3

Vic Roads Major Projects

The Princess Highway duplication package is a 363.47 Million dollar project that forms a 35km duplication of the Princes Highway West from Deans Marsh Road, Winchelsea to Baillie Street, Colac and the rehabilitation of 2km from Baillie Street to Corangamite Street in Colac.

The project has also upgraded existing bridges, pedestrian and bicycle paths, install new traffic signals and parking bays, reinstate local access and grade separate the Geelong-Warnambool Rail Line near Warncoort, with in excess of 1,500,000m3 of earthworks and 1,500,000 tonne of crushed rock placed.

As a Vic Roads registered prequalified laboratory, Ground Science were successful in the acquisition of all three stages, working with three separate contractors in providing all CMT testing.

Over the past 3 years we have had the pleasure of working with WBHO (18 months), BMD (24 months and going strong) and Decmil (12 months and going strong) with each project posing their own challenges along the way, all of which were successfully and harmoniously navigated by both contractor and laboratory.

From way back to Stage one with WBHO, to currently seeing out the final stages of Stage 2 with BMD and Stage 3 with Decmil, to date, in excess of 25,000 tests have been performed throughout the journey.

Most of this testing was performed in our local facility, catering specifically for these projects, with all specialty testing performed in either our Geelong, or Thomastown laboratories.


Ground Science staff have provided the skills, knowledge and commitment to successfully deliver such large and demanding projects. Our commitment to service delivery was achieved by performing night works, performing a 7 day a week site presence, working over the Christmas holiday period as well as providing a highly efficient turnaround of test reports. As one of the industry’s leading CMT laboratories, Ground Science continues to set the benchmark.



"Ground Science have provided a reliable and an exceptional service for all our testing needs whilst also providing helpful technical advice along the way to assist with the overall quality of the project" - Trent Dunoon, Senior Project Engineer BMD


University Square, Carlton

 - Public Space Redevelopment


Client – 2Construct on behalf of the City of Melbourne

Initially designated as a public park by John Batman in the 1850s, University Square is one of Melbourne’s oldest public spaces. Located adjacent to Melbourne University and the future Metro Tunnel Parkville Station, the square was redeveloped to meet the needs of an increasing population and changing climate.


Ground Science was engaged to assist implementation of the University Square Master Plan through the assessment and management of contaminated soils. Extensive contamination was identified during redevelopment planning stages, associated with the historical use of uncontrolled fill to raise park surface levels.


Planning and implementation of a comprehensive contaminant delineation investigation allowed us to characterise soils within each varying area of excavation and accurately quantify the volume of prescribed waste requiring controlled handling and disposal. By increasing the soil quality dataset prior to ground disturbance, our guidance resulted in minimising project delays and costs by avoiding any uncertainty regarding site conditions. This also allowed all contractors to implement suitable environmental controls where required and meet all EPA and other legislative requirements.

University Square Carlton

Civic Reserve, Mornington – Soil Hazard Categorization  for major earthworks project 

The Civic Reserve Master Plan includes the development of an all-weather athletics track and four new turf soccer pitches adjacent to existing tennis, bowls and gymnastics facilities at the site. The redevelopment works are being delivered by Turf One and will also improve the overall appearance, safety and amenity of Civic Reserve.

At the commencement of the initial earthworks, fill and silt soils in the upper 0.5m across the site were found to be unsuitable and would inhibit construction over the winter/spring period. This resulted in the need for a redesign that required up to 40,000m3 of soil to be excavated and disposed offsite, prior to importing suitable material.

Service and Outcomes

Ground Science was engaged to undertake an environmental assessment across the site in order to confirm the condition of fill soils. Time constraints meant the client needed results within a 10 days turnaround to achieve the completion deadlines. Typically, this type of assessment may take up to 6 weeks.

Through quick mobilization, use of our in-house rotary auger drill rig, and expedited laboratory analysis of soil samples, Ground Science were able to complete environmental sampling at 58 borehole locations across the site and confirm the suitability of all excavated soils to be handled and managed as “fill material “ in line with all relevant guidelines.

This outcome helped minimise the time and cost implications of a major project redesign without compromising the potential for environmental impact.



Conghua Racing & Training Facility, China

Hong Kong Jockey Club

The Hong Kong Jockey club has recently opened its new world class Conghua racing and training facility built in mainland China. It is one of the most significant and complex racing projects anywhere in the world. The facility consists of turf tracks, dirt tracks, and an uphill gallops track, as well as a sophisticated arrangement of stud facilities built amongst the picturesque mountain surroundings. Leading Jockeys Douglas Whyte and Derek Leung offered a glowing appraisal of the tracks and facilities after being the first to ride at the facility.

Mr William A. Nader, the club’s director of Racing Business and Operations, said: “We knew the tracks were world class, having been constructed, developed and maintained by an expert team headed by John Ridley and Jackson Wong”.

Ground Science were proud to have been selected by the Hong Kong Jockey Club as their nominated soil testing laboratory for the project. Our Melbourne based soils laboratory was pleased to be a part of the expert team, by providing specialist material testing and design laboratory test work as well as technical advice for the turf track profiles. The sand profile of a track generally goes un-noticed, yet the material selection is fundamentally the most important component of the tracks performance. Ground Science were commission to test a variety of sand and gravel products from within the region, to identify the most appropriate source which would provide a world class track. Our quarantine licence allowed us to import the materials to Australia, with our specialist team of technical staff able to process and turnaround result in a timely manner for our client. This is the second significant project Ground Science has conducted for the Hong Kong Jockey Club and the Chinese people, with the first being the reconstruction of the National Hong Kong Soccer Stadium.


More key points:

  • Particle Size Analysis
  • Moisture Release Curves
  • Sand Stability testing
  • Areation & Total Porosity testing
  • Moisture Retention testing
  • Bridging factors & D-values
  • Gravel suction tests
  • Capillary fringe design
  • Sand & Gravel Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity

Key points:

  • Sand selection testing
  • Gravel selection testing
  • All materials were imported into Australian under the companies Quarrentine import license
  • Profile design test work completed in a timely manner

Level Crossing Removal Program

Lower Plenty Road, Rosanna Station and Heidelberg Station

The NEPA package formed apart of the ongoing works to the level crossing removal program throughout Victoria. NEPAs brief was to remove the dangerous and congested level crossing on Lower Plenty Road, rebuild Rosanna Station and duplicate the Hurstbridge line.

An alliance of Laing O’Rourke, Fulton Hogan and Jacobs has delivered the multi-million dollar works that has enabled more trains, more often all the way along the Hurstbridge line.

After detailed technical investigations and community consultation, it was decided that the level crossing would be removed by building a rail bridge over Lower Plenty Road.

The project also built a brand-new Rosanna Station next to the crossing and duplicated the notorious single section of track between Heidelberg and Rossana, creating more space for more frequent, reliable services, which has a flow on benefit for the South Morang line.

These works are apart of a $395 million package of works that also include the removal of the Grange road level crossing in Alphington.

Ground Science’s site involvement spanned over 12 months, with around 2000 compaction tests performed, as well as Geotechnical and Environmental consultancy assistance.

Ground Science staff performed numerous occupational works over the project duration, with the longest spanning from mid-March to end of April 2018, along with approximately 1000 other people. This period required the presence of highly experienced staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for 7 weeks. The project demanded laboratory test results were available within 24hr – 48hrs with Ground Science utilising a full team of lab staff to achieve the project deadlines in an efficient manner. Ground Science had the expertise and resources to service a project of this size.

For more information contact Chris Senserrick at chris@groundscience.com.au.

Duplicated-track-going-over-the-new-Burgundy-Street-bridge (1)

Geotechnical Investigation for Mason Point Mixed-Use Project.

Gibson Property Corporation Pty Ltd

Our Client, Gibson Property Corporation is currently in a joint-venture with Roche Property Group to deliver the Mason Point Project - a mixed use development located in Melbourne’s north in the heart of the South Morang Activity Centre situated on the corner of Plenty Road and Bush Boulevard.  Mason Point is predicted to be a home to 400 residents, 1500 employees and is set to become a thriving part of the South Morang Activity Centre.

The subject site is formerly a reserve which was converted to a laydown area for construction of Oleander Drive and for the neighbouring commercial and residential properties. At the end of February 2018, Gibson Property Corporation commissioned Ground Science to undertake geotechnical investigation and laboratory testing services for the site, followed by provision of geotechnical advice to facilitate design and construction of the mixed-used development comprising a five-storey apartment building with retail outlets and carparking areas.

Project value estimated for geotechnical investigation works is approximately $25k, which was successfully delivered by Ground Science with the geotechnical investigation, laboratory testings and geotechnical reporting completed within an estimated turnaround time of 2.5 months.

Below is a testimonial statement from our Client:

“Ground Science are our go-to geotechnical and environmental engineers. They understand the need to drive efficient design outcomes by working collaboratively with our structural and civil engineers and go above and beyond to do so in an efficient manner when project program demands it. I would gladly recommend them to anyone.”

Blanco Norton
Development Director

Penshurst Hospital – Environment Improvement Plan (EIP)

Client – Western District Health Service (WDHS)

The Penshurst Hospital is a member of the Western District Health Service group of facilities and provides acute care, residential aged care and a range of allied health, nursing and community services. As the Penshurst township is not serviced by reticulated sewer, the hospital facilities currently manage wastewater via an onsite wastewater treatment plant and effluent reuse scheme. The site is ‘Scheduled’ under the Environment Protection (Scheduled Premises) Regulations 2017 but is exempt from Licensing, as long as the wastewater management scheme meets the discharge and operating specifications acceptable to EPA.


Ground Science was engaged to undertake a technical review of the wastewater management scheme in place since 2001 and to prepare an EIP to inform ongoing operation. The scope of work undertaken to ensure all relevant information was considered included thorough review of system planning and construction reports, site inspections and meetings with operational personnel, and environmental sampling. The EIP assesses the key environmental risks and opportunities associated with the current management scheme and outlines the requirements to ensure the scheme continues to meet performance targets and regulatory requirements.


Ground Science was able to demonstrate wastewater management at the site had not had an adverse effect on the local environment since commissioning and that any risk to human health was low. Monitoring and performance quality requirements from the previous EPA Waste Discharge Licence were amended to reflect the actual risk profile for the site, with consideration of financial and technical resources of the regional facility.

The EIP was approved by EPA Victoria as a framework for long-term sustainability of the wastewater management scheme and Ground Science is committed to ensuring the EIP remains a ‘living document’ capable of addressing environmental or infrastructure changes.


Optus Stadium, Perth

Brookfield Multiplex/Sporteng

The New Perth Stadium (Optus Stadium) is a 60 000 seat, multi-purpose stadium, with a playing surface designed for AFL, cricket and flexibility to host rugby union and league, soccer (football) and entertainment event. Capability to host major events consistent with requirements for Commonwealth Games and international athletics. The Stadium precinct includes the Northern Oval, an AFL sized oval, available for community use on non-event days and utilised for parking on event days. The construction of the playing fields are of a perched water table design, based on a modified USGA methodology.


Ground Science was engaged to undertake laboratory analysis of the proposed growing media drainage aggregate, organic amendments and cricket wicket soils.

Initial testing involved analyzing the natural sands, excavated from the initial site work and stadium footings, for suitability for use as rootzone media, and compliance with the design specification. This testing comprised particle size analysis, moisture retention and pore space, drainage rates and capillary fringe determination, to allow optimal growing media profile depths to be designed. During construction, a strict quality assurance testing regime was specified, requiring rapid turnaround of testing to ensure construction could continue uninterrupted.


Ground Science was able to test for and advise on suitability of the site won sand for use as a growing medium. A number of trials were undertaken to determine a suitable ratio and type of organic amendment, to bring the naturally fast draining and low moisture retaining Perth sand, to acceptable levels for a sustainable and healthy turf surface. Quality assurance testing was time critical, and after some initial teething problems with freight times, we were able to provide a turnaround on testing that ensured the construction of the surface to continue unimpeded. A shortfall in the volume of material required to complete the surface required urgent testing of a number of sands, to approve a material that would be compatible with the completed layers of rootzone and provide a uniform performance across the entire playing field. These tests were undertaken as a priority over the Christmas/New Year period, to ensure construction could recommence as soon as the holiday break was over.

Ground Science engaged with the stake holders to provide a tailored, priority service, that contributed to the successful completion of a world class stadium, that will uphold Australia’s reputation as a first class sporting venue.