The Geotechnical Engineering program within CEE at Illinois has educated generations of experts in the use of natural material such as soil and rock in combination with engineered material such as concrete, steel and geosynthetics, in the design of dams, tunnels, on-shore and off-shore reclamation for airports, landfills, deep excavations, and foundations for structures of all kinds.

Alumni of CEE’s Geotechnical Engineering program have made significant contributions to major projects like subway systems in the nation’s largest cities, the Hoover Dam and the World Trade Center. Today, geotechnical engineering faculty members have expertise in earthquake engineering, soil mechanics behavior, foundation engineering, rock mechanics and tunneling, and advanced numerical modeling techniques.

Research interests of Geotechnical Engineering faculty include:

  • Deep excavations
  • Earthquake engineering
  • Numerical modeling
  • Static and dynamic Soil-structure interaction
  • Engineering properties, construction problems, and ground modification technology in soft clays and silts, stiff clays and soft rocks, and granular materials
  • Soil-structure interaction
  • Reliability-based design
  • Mechanically stabilized earth and earth support systems
  • Ground improvement methods and their effect on structures
  • Soil liquefaction during earthquakes

  • The static and seismic stability of natural and excavated slopes
  • Experimental geomechanics
  • Rock-fluid interaction
  • Fracturing of rock
  • Geological CO2 storage
  • Unsaturated soil mechanics
  • Geothermal and geo-exchange systems
  • Non-isothermal and multiphase flow
  • Subsurface characterization
  • Sustainability of geothermal systems