Engineering Matters Podcast

A deep understanding of the ground beneath our feet

Aquisense CPT


29 May 2024

Cone penetration testing is a conceptually simple technology first developed in the Netherlands almost a century ago, but is still a critical component in the geotechnical toolkit. Now far more accurate and capable than early cones, modern equivalents are being deployed to solve some of the most pressing challenges, within the Dutch lowlands and far overseas.

In recent years a surge in research and development has transformed the traditional cone and equipped it with a range of new capabilities. New testing techniques can now be used to understand the infiltration of water into aquifers. In the Netherlands, these have been used to understand the stability of dikes and levees, with lessons learned that can be applied around the world to more efficiently build these structures. And insights from the marine sector now allow for more automated penetration testing, reducing risks associated with manual insertion of the rods used to push cones deep into the ground.


  • Edward Russell, Senior Principal Engineering Geologist, Mott MacDonald

  • Gerry Sinjorgo, Manager Transducer Workshop, Fugro

  • Barbara Snacken, Senior Consultant Hydrology, Fugro

  • David Tindall, Global Product Owner – Geotechnical Equipment, Fugro


  • For the much-referenced paper, The Causes and Mechanisms of Historical Dike Failures in the Netherlands, click here

  • For a paper on the need to integrate flood and drought disaster reduction strategies, click here

  • For a blog from TU Delft on the effect of rising sea levels on the Low Countries, click here

  • For ISO 22476-5:2023 Geotechnical investigation and testing, click here


This episode was produced in partnership with Engineering Matters.

Deep Drive images

CPT innovations - deeper, safer, faster, better

The basic principles of cone penetration tests (CPTs) on land and nearshore have remained largely unchanged since the digitisation of test data, around 20 years ago. But a revolution is now under way: our ground breaking CPT innovations are achieving dramatic improvements in depth penetration, safety, project timescales and data accuracy.

Find out more