Geotechnical Laboratory

Student working in the geotechnical engineering lab

Laboratory facilities in support of the geotechnical program in Civil Engineering consists of:

  • Two separate laboratory spaces that support both undergraduate and graduate teaching and research;
  • Support and desk space for teaching and research students,
  • Total laboratory space of approximately 2,300 square feet,
  • Computing resources within the laboratories to support data acquisition and simulations, and
  • A lecture area within one of the laboratories spaces that allows for laboratory procedure preparation and student collaboration.

Equipment that supports teaching consists of tradition index testing (unit weight, plasticity indices, gradation, etc.) and soil property testing (direct shear, triaxial, permeability, consolidation, etc.). Equipment that supports research beyond teaching includes field sample receipt and extrusion, specimen preparation, data acquisition capabilities, and pavement and soil support materials testing (corrosion, subgrade performance, etc.).

Funded research that has used the laboratory facilities has been diverse:

  • Advances in data acquisition in geotechnical laboratory soil testing,
  • Investigation of coal mine refuse and other recycled materials for use as embankment fill and subgrade support of pavements,
  • Corrosion of reinforced concrete pavements,
  • Use of the DCP in evaluating subgrade support of low volume roads,
  • Mechanical properties of pavement markings, and
  • Scour susceptibility of course grained soils.

The laboratory space also provides a working and practice area for the Geo-institute (ASCE) Geowall Competition Teams in preparation for both regional and national competition.