Our research history

Please read below about our most recent tests or look back to our beginnings in 1951.

Papers published are available in our download center. 

Picture: witt & partner geoprojekt GmbH

2023: BIM research project smartROCK

The German Federal Ministry of Digital Affairs and Transport/mFUND approved research funds of almost 800,000 euros for the smartROCK project. The project deals with BIM methodology (Building Information Modeling) in the natural hazard sector, planning, construction and monitoring of protective structures against rockfall. 

2022: WSL-Paper Rockfall Barrier Service Loads for Rock Impacts with Spin

The publication presents results of full-scale experiments of rockfall barriers in natural terrain at the Chant Sura test site,  Flüela Pass,  Switzlerland between 2018 and 2021: Tests with instrumented blocks to quantify how blocks decelerate at barrier impact in real conditions. 25 blocks impacted the barrier. The barrier absorbed a total of 12’100 kJ of impact energy. The boulder masses varied between 840 kg and 3200 kg (equant and platy shaped blocks). Forces in the barrier components are measured and quantified in terms of incoming translational and rotational block energies.

2021: Advanced Modeling and Simulation of Rockfall Attenuators

Attenuator barriers tend to smoothly guide impacting rocks instead of absorbing large amounts of strain energy arresting them. Rock rotation plays an essential role in the bearing capacity of these systems. This work describes an appropriate numerical modeling and simulation method to support the engineer’s design decision, reinforce test results, and confidently predict barrier performance beyond experimental configurations.

2020: Full-scale testing of rockfall nets

We performed full-scale rockfall tests in natural terrain to study how rockfall barriers absorb rotational and translational energies in realistic conditions. The presented methodologies pave the way to a comprehensive understanding of rock-ground and rock-net interaction, a key requirement to improve the design of flexible barriers that account for the role of rock shape, spin and eccentric impacts in rockfall protection.

2020: New edition of the TECCO® book

The updated version with new chapters on CE-marking, large field tests, and our dimensioning tool RUVOLUM®. Available as a PDF on

2019: New FIA Standard: Geobrugg Motorsport Fences first to be homologated

FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) motorsport's governing body introduced a new standard with performance criteria. The first homologated products are the Geobrugg motorsport fences: the Debris Fence and the Mobile Debris Fence meet the requirements of FIA Standard 3502-2018 debris fence.

2019: Prix INOX

SWISS INOX, an association which promotes the use of stainless steel awards Geobrugg and its research partner WITg for their high-tensile stainless steel chainlink mesh.

2018: World's first dimensionable attenuator system

Geobrugg developed together with international experts an attenuator protection solution which can be efficiently dimensioned. This innovative rockfall protection is a modified rockfall drape providing particularly efficient protection. It was presented in British Columbia/Canada in August 2018.

2018: Dimensioning Software

RUVOLUM® (launched in 1999), DEBFLOW, SHALLSLIDE or SPIDER® online tools offer new functions, e.g., 3D view, a larger selection of nails, recommended nail inclination, anchor-plate assembly or additional drawings illustrating the acting forces and indicate the crucial parameters.

2017: Rockfall barrier tested for 10'000 kJ

A world first in the highest energy class, the RXE-10000 rockfall protection barrier was tested in October 2017. It was granted approval number ETA 17/0947 by the European Organisation for Technical Approvals (EOTA) in May 2018.

2017: Smart Barrier Development

We present our prototype monitoring device for impact acceleration and corrosion - the basis for our GUARD monitoring device. 

2000 to 2016: Research becomes part of Geobrugg’s DNA

2016: RXE-500 rockfall barrier with ETAG 027

ETA-certification for RXE-500 rockfall barriers. In 100 kJ to 8000 kJ energy classes, our protection systems are stringently tested and approved in all standard heights. All RXE systems are certified by EOTA and FOEN guidelines, bearing the CE certificate.

2014: TECCO® System

Geobrugg widens its product portfolio for slope stabilization: The new TECCO® System with three different wire strengths can now be applied to nearly any slope, regardless of whether it is rock, soil, or anything in between.

2012: Rockfall barrier certified for 8000 kJ

A world first in the highest energy class, the RXE-8000 rockfall protection barrier was granted approval number ETA-12/0213 by the European Organisation for Technical Approvals (EOTA).

2012: TECCO® Slope Stability and RUVOLUM®

Large scale field tests for our slope stabilization system and first publishing of the meanwhile updated TECCO book.

2011: Motorsport Debris Fences

The Circuit Dijon-Prenois in France is one of the first race circuits where the FIA Geobrugg Debris Fence protects the spectators.

2011: World Record 5000 kJ Rockfall Barrier

With the RXE-5000 (then GBE) barrier, we certified a new world record according to Swiss FOEN and EOTA.

2010: Debris Flow Design officially accepted

Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) confirms the effectiveness of our debris flow barriers designed with analytic and numerical finite element models. 

2010 RXE Rockfall Barriers 500 - 8000 kJ

Our then new rockfall barries are the first to be FOEN and ETAG27 certified. Because of its capacity for maximum energy absorption, the RXE has set the standard for low deflection levels.

2008: Certification GBE-Rockfall Barrier

GBE rockfall barriers receive worldwide CE certification in accordance with EOTA and are the first rockfall barrier according to ETAG027.

2006: New 5'000 kJ Rockfall Barrier

The first barrier to be tested and certified according to Swiss (FOEN) and an EU-European (ETAG27) standards.

2001: World record 3'000 kJ

To mark its 50th birthday, Geobrugg presents a new record: the first (FOEN) certified rockfall protection barrier.

Geobrugg Tests

1951 to 1999: How it began - our first tests, our first products

1999: TECCO® mesh and system plus RUVOLUM®

System for slope stabilization: nails, mesh, spike plates and clips; high tensile wire mesh with RUVOLUM designed — the first tailor-made system with a free anchor grid

1991: Testing 200 to 1000 kJ Rockfall Protection

Execution of controlled rockfalls for regular rockfall field tests at testsite Oberbuchsiten.  

1990: Ringnet rockfall barriers

The ring nets of the RXI rockfall barriers are composed of rings of untwisted wire bundles.

1989: First 1:1 rockfall tests

The world's first 1:1 rockfall tests with flexible barriers were carried out in California under the leadership of CALTRANS with an RX-type barrier.

1987: Component testing

First tests in a steel frame with components

1975: First energy disspation elements

Brakes for rockfall barriers meant the start of developing rockfall barriers with higher energy absorption.

1963: First Avalanche prevention project

This barrier at the Pilatus mountain (Matthorn, near Lucerne, Switzerland) is still in use. Picture: Google Earth.

1951: Invention of a avalanche prevention

The Kabelwerke Brugg (now BRUGG Group) develops mesh for the first trials in avalanche prevention.

Responsible for research at Geobrugg

Helene Lanter

Scientific and Technology Manager

Tel. +41 71 466 81 81
Mobil +41 79 378 40 09
  • Geobrugg AG
    Aachstrasse 11
    8590 Romanshorn
Helene Lanter

Roberto Luis Fonseca, Civil Engineer, PhD.

Senior Scientific and Technology Manager

Zagrożeniami naturalnymi, Coastal Erosion Protection, Kopalnie / Wydobycie / Tunel, Impact Protection

Tel. +34 91 659 28 31
Mobil +34 609 408 141
  • Geobrugg AG
    Aachstrasse 11
    8590 Romanshorn
Roberto Luis Fonseca, Civil Engineer, PhD.