The Technical University of Crete is a new Institution founded in Chania in 1977 and accepted its first students in 1984. The purpose of this Institution is to teach and train engineers, to conduct research, to establish firm links with other Academic Institutions, Research Centers and Industry both in Greece and EU and most importantly to function as the technological nucleus for the development of this region. The Institution provides excellent opportunities for developmental actions, encourages and supports its staff and faculty to assume leadership in such coordinated actions. The School of Mineral Resources Engineering has been founded on 1983. The Laboratory of Mine Design, has been founded in 1997. It has supported a number of EU and national funded projects in the area of Surface and Underground Mining Engineering (calculation of ore reserves with Kriging and simulation, mine design-planning, geotechnical characterization, excavation method and equipment selection, transformation of surface marble & limestone quarries into underground etc), Marble quarrying, Tunneling, Protection of Cultural Heritage, Standardization of Rock Mechanics Tests, Earthquake Engineering, Landslides and Fracture Mechanics. The Mine Design lab has so far coordinated two EC Projects, namely the Standards, Measurement and Testing (SMT) FP4 Project “Monuments” and the Energy, Environment & Sustainable Development Project FP5 “DIAS”. During the past 4 years (2005-2009) the lab has actively participated in the largest EU funded project in Tunneling TUNCONSTRUCT promoting new concepts in tunneling design, Roadheaders and TBMs.
One of the main tasks of the lab is to convey to undergraduate and postgraduate students: (1) the standard practices & newly acquired research results into the teaching of Mining, Rock Mechanics & Geomechanics (4 undergraduate courses: "Surface Mining", "Stability of Surface and Underground Constructions", "Underground Mining Methods & Tunneling", "Fracture Mechanics" and two Post-Graduate Courses in "Advanced Geomechanics"), and (2) useful tools for professionals Mining Engineers such as CAD design, modern simulation software and new experimental devices. It should be noted that part of the hardware of the Lab dedicated for experimental demonstrations in education and research is home-made. Further, part of the software such as Finite Elements for studying diffusion/infiltration problems in Geomechanics, Boundary Elements for Elasticity & Fracture Mechanics problems, Geostatistical algorithms (Kriging estimations and Simulation) and algorithms for the prediction of performance of Roadheaders and TBMs, is also home-made.
The lab provides services on Marble Surface & Underground Quarrying, Underground & Open Pit Mining Engineering (ore reserve modeling, planning and design, excavation methods, stability assessment, risk, equipment selection, equipment performance analysis and cost analysis, blast vibration analysis, monitoring of stresses and displacements), Tunneling (geological modeling, geostatistical analysis, tunnel design, ventilation, 3D mechanical modeling, blasting design & vibrations, design and performance analysis of TBM's and Roadheaders), Geomechanics (Rock & Soil Engineering, Soil-structure interaction, Slope stability, Retaining walls, Reservoir Engineering etc) and Risk Analysis of Geotechnical applications based on our expertise and advanced software tools like FLAC3D, 3DEC, PFC etc., home-made design/computation tools like KRIGSTAT for ore resources and reserves estimations based on advanced Geostatistical Analysis, FESOLVE dedicated for finite element solutions of fluid infiltration and diffusion problems in jointed rock masses and porous soils, and relational web-driven STREMA-DB (Strength of Materials Database) for storing and constitutive model calibration (monotonic, cyclic & dynamic) of structural engineering materials (marbles, granites, concretes, soils, metals and alloys, wood etc).