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.
January 22, 2019
Professor Steven Kramer of the University of Washington will deliver the 17th Leonards Lecture, "Performance-Based Geotechnical Seismic Design," on April 26th. The PGS Workshop, with a theme of "Geotechnics of Natural Hazards," will be held in conjunction with the lecture.
October 15, 2018
The 16th C.W. Lovell Distinguished Lecture will be held on Tuesday, October 30th and will feature Professor Guy T. Houlsby with his talk entitled, "Geotechnical engineering challenges for offshore renewable energy."
June 26, 2018
Dr. Anahita Modiriasari received the 2018 Dr. Neville G.W. Cook Ph.D. Dissertation Award for the best Ph.D. thesis in rock mechanics and rock engineering. The award is given by ARMA, the American Rock Mechanics Association. A plaque, with the award, was presented to Dr. Modiriasari at the awards banquet during the 52nd U.S. Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Conference in Seattle.
July 6, 2017
ASTM International recognized Professor Emeritus Vincent P. Drnevich with the 2015 Committee on Publications Award for the Outstanding Article on the Practice of Geotechnical Engineering.
October 20, 2016
Joe Sinfield, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering, has been named Director of the College of Engineering Innovation and Leadership Studies Program. This program includes Engineering's Innovation and Leadership Minor for undergraduates in any major in Engineering, a graduate-level research component to fuel the program with research-derived insights into repeatable patterns of innovation success, and a service component to help enhance the innovation efforts of units and organizations across the campus.
September 22, 2016
Civil engineers at Purdue University are leading a project with the Indiana Department of Transportation to learn how to use a type of bridge pile often seen in offshore applications, research that could help reduce the cost of bridge building or replacement of aging spans.
July 7, 2016
Anahita Modiriasari, a PhD candidate in geotechnical engineering, won the best poster award at the 50th US Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium in Houston.
April 12, 2016
The first Bernard F. Langan Scholarship at Purdue University was awarded to Ayda Catalina Galvis, a graduate student pursuing her Ph.D. in civil engineering at Purdue University. Her thesis is titled "Effect of Cyclic Loads on the Axial Capacity of Piles." She obtained her B.S. and M.S in civil engineering from the National University of Colombia.
October 9, 2015
The Board of Trustees has approved the naming of Rodrigo Salgado as the Charles Pankow Professor in Civil Engineering. Salgado has been a professor of civil engineering since 2003. He came to Purdue in 1993 as an assistant professor of civil engineering and became an associate professor of civil engineering in 1999.
August 27, 2015
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.
July 2, 2015
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.
June 11, 2015
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.
May 26, 2015
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
March 9, 2015
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.
May 13, 2014
Dr. Ahmadreza Hedayat (Ph.D. 2013) is the recipient of the 2014 Dr. N.G.W. Cook Ph.D. Dissertation Award. The award is given annually by the American Rock Mechanics Association for the best doctoral dissertation in rock mechanics or rock engineering.
April 25, 2014
Professor Antonio Bobet has been appointed visiting Chair Professor at the Innovation Center for Disaster Prevention in Civil Engineering at Tongji University in China, for the period 2014-2018.
March 5, 2014
Dr. Vince Drnevich and co-authors (Salim K. Werden, John R. Hall, Jr., Chafik Hankour, Carolyn T. Conlee, and W. Allen Marr) have been chosen as recipients of the 2014 Hogentogler Award. The award is presented for their paper entitled, "New Approach to Resonant Column Testing," appearing in the March 2013 edition of the ASTM Geotechnical Testing Journal.
June 17, 2013
The Indiana Society of Professional Engineers presented the first Thomas A. Morris Engineering Leadership Award to Vincent P. Drnevich, P.E., Ph.D., in recognition of his outstanding engineering leadership and ability to exhibit the highest level of integrity and ethics in all conduct, and his continuous demonstration of breadth and depth of engineering knowledge.
April 18, 2013
On April 16, 2013, INDOT geotechnical engineers participated in a training program on the application of pile dynamics to quality assurance in deep foundations hosted by Purdue University.
March 21, 2013
Prof. Antonio Bobet has been elected as the new president of the American Rock Mechanics Association (ARMA) by its Board of Directors for the period 2013-2015. The appointment will start in June 2013 after the Association's annual Symposium.