Our research mainly focuses on snow mechanics, avalanche release, avalanche rescue, as well as avalanche forecasting.
In our cold laboratory we are able to produce nature-like snow, which we use for mechanical testing, e.g. examining the strength of layered snow samples or to studying the rheological behavior of snow. The gained understanding of natural processes can be compared and combined with studies on other gravitational mass movements like debris flows [subject area torrent] or landslides.
Field studies and numerical modelling supplement our experimental work in the cold laboratory. One aim of our research is to improve avalanche forecast.
We further develop numerical models in order to optimize processes of avalanche rescue.
An important feature of our work is to supervise students during their master’s thesis as well as giving lectures (Snow and Avalanches, Snow and Avalanche Hazards – Analysis and Assessment, Snow and Avalanche Hazards – Protective Measures, Snow and Avalanches – Field Methods).
In the lectures Snow and Avalanche Hazards - Analysis and Assessment and Snow and Avalanche Hazards – Protective Measures, students learn which active and passive protective measures can be implemented in order to minimize damage caused by avalanches. This leads to an interface with risk management [subject area risk research] also for different kinds of natural hazards.