UGT – a hidden champion – world market leader in lysimeter technology

What is the function of a weighable lysimeter?

Lysimeters determine the water balance under natural or controlled conditions. So they are an important tool for water-balance studies in agriculture, forestry and other environmental settings. One can quantify the actual evaporation from a bare soil or actual evapotranspiration from a soil covered by vegetation. They monitor the movement, the storage and the degradation of contaminants in the soil, the soil water and soil gas. By the help of lysimeters it is possible to monitor the correlation between the soil, environmental influences and plant parameters such as root growth or harvest.

In the last 20 years it was UGT who set new mile stones with the new container stations of PE material, Patent-Nr.: 19907463.1-52. These stations were a big step forward in technology. We developed a scientific tool that is  advantageous because the PE is  more dense than concrete on the one hand, the stations  are removable, easier to install than concrete, one needs no building allowance and they are sustainable because one can do different experiments at different places and always use the same container station.

More than 300 big projects have been realized in the last 20 years.

Highlights in the UGT project line were for instance the biggest European lysimeter facility at the Zurich-Reckenholz location with altogether 72 monolithically excavated lysimeters. This station was built in order to do research concerning nitrate leaching to groundwater.

In France, in Homécourt there is a very fruitful cooperation with UGT with 24 weighable lysimeters being used in research at the GISFI. GISFI is a leading player in the field of phytoremediation. The cooperation has been continued over the last years with new lysimeters and new installation in the field of modern new sensors and the implementation of new add ons.

In 2014 in the margin of the world soil science congress in South Korea Jeju it was UGT who could hand over the biggest Asian lysimeter station in Jeonju Korea with altogether 92 lysimeters. There the scientists are predominantly in the research of rice plants.

It was in 2018 when UGT installed in the margin of the International project CLIENT II, within a   BMBF Joint Project with partners like Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover – LUH,

Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg- MLU, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung GmbH – UFZ, Amazonen-Werke H. Dreyer GmbH & Co. KG – Amazone and partners from Kazachstan that the first weighable lysimeter was installed there in order to do research in the field of land management and water flux processes. Also the first year-round-operation is planned by using a special snow-cutter.

The university of Mexiko bought in 2019 3 twofold lysimeter stations and UGT combined the installation with a workshop and introduced the various working scenarios.

China is a very good international market for us, and we are proud to have installed with our partners different projects among them the lysimeter station in Shixia. Just now in October we will install 3x 2-fold lysimeter stations in Nanjing.

Many exciting projects have been done in Germany in our home market – please see our references at our website.

New developments of UGT are the RTG lysimeter to be combined if the customer wants it with a Eco-lab of UGT

With the exciting scientific Ecounit where we had the chance to work with the scientists of IDIV we had for the first time the chance to combine our knowledge in the field of lysimeters with new scientific apparatus in the atmosphere and create a new equipment that enables research concerning climate change in the field of fauna and flora that means  plants as well as for instance insects.


It is the scientists of our partners and customers in the universities in Germany and abroad as well as the experienced staff of UGT in project planning, service, production, installation and sales and marketing that enable these wonderful projects. We are proud to announce that we can now count among our team members our new colleague Mr. Stefan Engelhardt who joined the team in September 2019 as senior consultant – lysimeter and ecotrons.

Stefan Engelhardt studied geography, chemistry and soil science at the University of Göttingen. He started his career in an office for landscape architecture. After that he worked for the University of Bayreuth. His field of working were studies of ecosystem functions and climate change effects. For that purpose he set up a network of monitoring stations in Europe and South America. Before he came to UGT he was working already for 10 years as an international expert for lysimeter systems and monitoring solutions all over the world. Based on this broad background of his large experience and outstanding expertise Stefan Engelhardt can provide best consultancy and support for science, research and applied studies. Stefan has gained a lot of experience and was part of the TERENO team and participated with his work within   TERENO lysimeter-network in Germany which observes and investigates in the field of soil processes and plant diversity. We look forward to the joint work and welcome Stefan very warm in our team.