SE 181 Geotechnical Engineering

Description of Course

Geotechnical Engineers solve problems and tackle issues involving soils and rock, including the interaction between soils and structures or challenging environmental matters. Structural Engineers are tasked with processing geotechnical engineering issues when designing the foundation system and solving site-specific concerns for buildings, bridges, and other structures.

The SE 181 course provides students with the foundation for geotechnical analyses needed to interpret a geotechnical report and make basic assessments on soils, which is critical for both Geotechnical Engineers and Structural Engineers.

Featured Hands-On Lab Experiences

Other geotechnical subjects that students engage in but not pictured below include:

Soil Discovery & Phase Relations | Classification & Particle Size Analysis | Coefficient of Permeability

Direct Shear – Strength of Sands | Unconfined Compression – Strength of Clays

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Liquid & Plastic Limits

Mechanical properties of soil depend on its natural water content and the Atterberg limits for that soil. In this lab, students use the Casagrande method for determining a soil's liquid limit and a quick soil crumble test for determining the plastic limit.

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Students use the Standard Protor Test to generate a compaction curve for a specific soil. They learn the importance of compaction within soils on site to increase shear strength and other factors that directly impact structures.

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Consolidation of Clay

Saturated clays can undergo significant volume change when loaded. In this lab, students learn about the methods of testing the amount of consolidation that would be expected to occur in a soil.

Photos from the Bio-mediated and Bio-Inspired Geotechnics (CBBG) for USUCGER members to use as Teaching Aids.