Geotechnical Engineering Research

Geotechnical Engineering

Engineering Stability and Safety from the Ground Up

Geotechnical Engineering applies Civil Engineering technology to earth materials, such as soil and rock, typically found on or near the surface. Geotechnical Engineers design and analyze a wide range of infrastructure and natural geologic formations, addressing challenges related to foundations, slopes, retaining walls, tunnels, dams, embankments, earthquakes, ground contamination, and more.

Research Areas

Soil & Rock Mechanics
Earthquake Engineering
Geological & GeoEnvironmental Engineering
Foundation engineering

Research Spotlight

Leadership in Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering

Dr. Shahrzad Roshankhah's research expertise lies in the evolution in the physical properties of natural and engineered porous materials upon heat and mass exchange, particularly, under extreme conditions. She studies the involved multi-physics and multi-scale phenomena through laboratory experimental and numerical modeling, where she utilizes state-of-the-art laboratory monitoring and numerical simulation techniques.

Dr. Roshankhah was recently appointed as Guest Editor for a Special Issue of Journal of Geosciences, titled “Fracture Geomechanics – Obstacles and New Perspectives.”

Read more→

Leading the Way in Earthquake-Related Infrastructure Protection

Dr. Steven Bartlett is leading an international project that's advancing the state of the art in liquefaction research. Liquefaction is a perilous event where water-saturated soil momentarily loses its strength and rigidity due to earthquake vibrations, causing it to act like a liquid temporarily.

Dr. Bartlett's team is introducing new metrics and techniques, such as Bayesian statistics and a modified linear regression model, while expanding the probabilistic framework for predicting lateral spread.

Read more→

Empowering Geoscience and Engineering Education for the Energy Transition

Dr. Rasoul Sorkhabi's work was recently featured in the prestigious Issues in Science and Technology magazine by the U.S. National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. The research seeks to position geoscience and petroleum engineering departments to be at the forefront of the energy transition movement.

Read more→

Research Spotlight

Ground Improvement Techniques and Geotechnical Design

Dr. Mohammadi's research interests include the interface of computational geomechanics and dynamics, engineering seismology, and geo-data analytics. He applies his research in hazard assessment and mitigation, analysis and design of major infrastructure, non-invasive subsurface characterization, and large-scale monitoring of geo-structures.

Read more→

Geo-Energy Research Presented at Northwestern University and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Titled “Tailoring the Fracture Network Evolution and Response of Civil, Energy, and Environmental Geosystems,” Dr. Roshankhah’s back-to-back seminar presentations at the Illinois-based universities focused on geomaterials’ multi-scale behavior under coupled hydraulic and mechanical excitations. Her research highlighted a series of laboratory experiments designed to understand the behavior of hydraulic fractures in a rock mass while interacting with the rock’s pre-existing natural fractures, fluid, and boundary conditions using state-of-the-art imaging techniques and numerical simulations.

Read more→

Our Impact

Our environmental research has a far-reaching impact, from influencing policy decisions to driving innovation in industry. We collaborate with governmental agencies, non-profits, and private sector partners to ensure that our research findings translate into real-world applications. By bridging the gap between academia and practice, we are making a tangible difference in the world.

Connect With Us