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.
March 11, 2020
Update - The 2020 Purdue Geotechnical Workshop and 18th G.A. Leonards Lecture has been cancelled per the Purdue University COVID-19 announcement
dated 10 March 2020. The PGS committee will consider available options, including rescheduling at another season or cancelling altogether the PGS event for 2020, once the situation returns to normal.
October 16, 2019
The 17th C.W. Lovell Distinguished Lecture will be held on Friday, November 1st and will feature Professor Cino Viggiani with his talk entitled, "3D experimental geomechanics at the grain scale: what for?"
July 10, 2019
Antonio Bobet, the Edgar B. and Hedwig M. Olson Professor of Civil Engineering, delivered a keynote lecture, titled "Resilient Extraterrestrial Habitats on the Moon and Mars," at the American Rock Mechanics Association (ARMA) 53rd U.S. Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium on June 24th in New York City.
July 9, 2019
Danielli de Melo Moura, PhD candidate in the Lyles School of Civil Engineering, received an award for best poster in the civil engineering track at the 53rd U.S. Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium (ARMA 2019) held in New York City in June 2019. Co-authored by Antonio Bobet, Edgar B. and Hedwig M. Olson Professor in Civil Engineering, the work is titled, "Influence of Flaw Geometry on Crack Coalescence across a Frictional Interface in a Rock Model Material."
June 14, 2019
The Purdue University Board of Trustees on Friday (June 14) ratified the naming of Antonio Bobet as the Edgar B. and Hedwig M. Olson Professor in Civil Engineering.
March 25, 2019
Congratulations to Rodrigo Salgado, Charles Pankow Professor in Civil Engineering, on being the new Editor in Chief of the ASCE Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering.
February 20, 2019
A Purdue University team, led by Civil Engineering Associate Professor Joe Sinfield, has developed a new method to detect the presence of certain hazardous solvents in water and soil.
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.