Geotechnical Engineering

Geotechnical Research in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering includes laboratory testing, model simulations and field observations to investigate material behavior and performance verification of sustainable built environments. Current research areas cover behaviors and interactions of geofoams, geotextiles and soils in the following:

  • Enhancing of dewatering performance of contaminated dredged sediments from water bodies in the US with green materials (natural flocculants, natural fibers and waste Cellulosic).
  • Bench, pilot, and large-scale tests to evaluate the interaction between sediments, flocculants, and geotextiles.
  • Sustainable use of re-cycled and waste products, such as plastics and fly ash, for infrastructure construction and rehabilitation.
  • Investigation of basic properties of collapsible soils.
  • Forensic geotechnical investigation of unusual failures.
  • Testing, modeling and monitoring of geofoam blocks for new applications.
  • Non-destructive testing and evaluation for rapid construction.
  • Evaluation and use of innovative sensors and data acquisition systems.

Significance and impact of research in the Geotechnical Engineering specialty:

  • Research findings have led to improvements in testing, standards, design and specification of natural and synthetic fibers and flocculants for the protection of stream banks, highway trenches and slopes, embankments, levees and lake sediment dewatering and containment.
  • Improved understanding of geofoam behavior and performance as a super lightweight construction material has enabled creative applications.