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Geotechnical Engineering

In this Section

The geotechnical engineering program prepares students for careers as engineers and researchers in the areas of geomechanics, foundation engineering, earthquake engineering and environmental geotechnology. There are many opportunities available for both research and study in both theoretical and experimental geotechnical problems.

Research opportunities:

• Geotechnical subsurface site exploration
• Non-destructive testing and geophysical methods
• Foundation design and monitoring
• Real-time pile capacity assessment
• Soil and foundation dynamics

Course offerings:

• CE512/ME555 Introduction to Structural and Soil Dynamics
• CE513 Elastic Waves and Non-Destructive Tests
• CE516 Advanced Soil Mechanics
• CE519 Advanced Foundation Design
• CE527/ME527 Advanced Fluid Mechanics
• CE538 Introduction to the Finite Element Method
• CE551 Theory of Elasticity
• CE554 Continuum Mechanics
• ME531 Computational Fluid Dynamics

The geotechnical program operates the Geomechanics Research Laboratory, which houses a wide array of unique experimental systems to conduct both laboratory and field testing of geotechnical problems. Most laboratory testing setups are fully equipped with computer-based data acquisition systems. In-situ testing devices are also available for both teaching and research. The testing equipment and instrumentation include:

• Well-equipped soil laboratory for specific gravity, grain size distribution, Atterberg limits, compaction, hydraulic conductivity, consolidation, direct shear, and tri-axial tests.
• Geophysical test systems: Seismic, Resistivity, and Ground Penetrating Radar
• A 20 kip hydraulic closed-loop servo-valve-controlled axial-torsional system with an electro-pneumatic closed-loop-controlled system and a 200 kip closed-loop-controlled stepping motor system
• A flexible-wall model soil container for use on a shaking table