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.