Geotechnical Engineering


Research Areas

The geotechnical engineering program's research areas include:

  • Development of advanced constitutive models for cohesive and non-cohesive soils
  • Formulation and application of higher order continua in the analysis of post-failure response of geomaterials and geostructures
  • Micropolar elastoplastic analysis of granular materials and geostructures
  • Development of robust and efficient computational techniques for integration of rate equations in elastoplasticity
  • Dynamics analysis of saturated and partially saturated soils
  • Liquefaction-induced large deformations in geostructures
  • Shake table simulation of hydraulic fracturing and liquefaction induced failure in soils
  • Mechanics of granular materials at very low effective stress
  • Meshfree analysis of geotechnical systems

Research Projects

Recent geotechnical engineering research projects include:

  • Constitutive and numerical modeling of permanent deformation in soil structures (Sponsored by the National Science Foundation)
  • Significance of dilatancy and localization on the behavior of geostructures (Sponsored by the National Science Foundation)
  • Development and implementation of a strain gradient plasticity model for geomaterials in a meshfree environment (Sponsored by Sandia National Laboratories)


Dr. Majid Manzari is the lead faculty member in the geotechnical engineering area. He is an internationally recognized scholar in geotechnical earthquake engineering, constitutive modeling of soils, and computational geomechanics. Learn more about Dr. Manzari.


Students and faculty conduct research in the Geotechnical Engineering Laboratory, which contains:

  • Testing equipment for conducting all conventional tests on soils and for arbitrary stress path and cyclic traixial testing; and
  • A state-of-the-art six-degrees-of-freedom shake table for seismic testing of soils and structures