Geotechnical Engineering

Geotechnical engineering is the branch of engineering dealing with the analysis, design and construction of foundations, slopes, retaining structures and other systems that are made of or are supported by soil or rock. The research ranges in nature from analytical and numerical analysis of geotechnical problems to constitutive modeling, experimental modeling and design-oriented research. Historically, the Geotechnical faculty have continuously maintained a balance between theoretical, experimental and design-oriented research, and this tradition remains true today.

The Geotechnical Engineering area in Civil Engineering is relatively unstructured and provides freedom for students and their graduate committees to develop a plan of study that will meet individual goals. A broad range of courses are available in the areas of geotechnical engineering as well as other areas of civil engineering. Additionally, it is possible for students to take courses in geology, mathematics, chemistry, agronomy and other engineering disciplines. The Geotechnical Facilities provide means for undergraduate and graduate students to examine the nature and validity of strength and compressibility theories and their application to stability and settlement analysis. The Purdue Geotechnical Society enhances the strong bond and working relationship among alumni, faculty, students, and staff of the Geotechnical Engineering group at Purdue University for the benefit of all.


Rodrigo Salgado
The Board of Trustees has approved the naming of Rodrigo Salgado as the Charles Pankow Professor in Civil Engineering
Professor James K. Mitchell of Virginia Tech will hold a seminar titled, "Lessons from the lives of two dams," on Thursday, September 3rd, from 2:00-3:20pm in HAMP 1252.
Professor Michele Jamiolkowski
The 13th C.W. Lovell Distinguished Lecture will be held on Wednesday, September 23rd and will feature Professor Michele Jamiolkowski with his talk entitled, "Soil Mechanics and the Observational Method: Foundation Challenges at the Zelazny Most Tailings Storage Facility." An informal lecture will also be given on Thursday, September 24th, titled "The Behavior of the Leaning Tower of Pisa 15 Years After the End of Stabilization Works."
Test Chamber
A test chamber developed at Purdue University allows engineers to simulate precisely what happens to soil underground during the installation of piles and other structural elements, a research tool for improving construction of everything from buildings and bridges to offshore wind turbines.
Prof. Rodrigo Salgado
Professor Rodrigo Salgado is the 2015 recipient of the Outstanding Reviewer Award from Elsevier for his work for Computers and Geotechnics, one of the top journals in geotechnical engineering.
Prof. Rodrigo Salgado
Dr. Mazhar Arshad, Dr. Faraz Tehrani, Prof. Monica Prezzi, and Prof. Rodrigo Salgado are the 2015 recipients of the Geotechnical Research Medal from the Institution of Civil Engineers
On Feb. 27th, Professor Emeritus Milton Harr (1955-99) was awarded France's highest honor for his contributions to the liberation of France during World War II. Harr served in Normandy on D-Day as a young soldier more than 70 years ago.
Dr. Richard Goodman
Prof. Richard E. Goodman of the University of California, Berkeley delivered the 13th Leonards Lecture on "Karl Terzaghi (1883-1963) - Geotechnical Engineer and Founder of Soil Mechanics." The PGS Workshop "Geotechnical Engineering From Theory to Practice" was held in conjunction with the lecture.