Geotechnical Engineering

Address emerging issues in geotechnical earthquake engineering, geomechanics and soil remediation


Research Groups

Computational Geomechanics
Soil Interactions Laboratory

Research Centers

Center for Geotechnical Modeling

Pavement Research Center

Student Society

Geotechnical Graduate Student Society


Martinez, AlejandroSoil-structure interfaces • Novel deep foundations • Soil behavior • Laboratory and numerical modelingZiotopoulou, KaterinaGeotechnical earthquake engineering • Liquefaction effects • Numerical modeling of soil-structure systems • Laboratory testing

Abrahamson, Norman Probabilistic seismic hazard analyses including complete statistical treatment of variability (randomness vs uncertainty).
Boulanger, Ross W. Geotechnical earthquake engineering with emphases on liquefaction and its remediation • Seismic soil-pile-structure interaction • Seismic performance of earth dams and levees
Dafalias, Yannis F. Development and implementation of constitutive models for engineering materials and biomaterials
DeJong, Jason Geotechnical engineering • Microbial treatment of soils • Advanced in-situ characterization • Offshore foundation systems • Digital imaging and measurement techniques
Harvey, John  Asphalt and concrete pavements, including design, materials, rehabilitation, life cycle, maintenance, reconstruction and performance modeling
Idriss, Izzat M. Earthquake engineering • Earth- and rock-filled dams • Stability and deformation evaluation of soil masses during earthquake around motions
Jeremić, Boris Computational geomechanics • Probabilistic elasto-plasticity •  Parallel computing • Liquefaction and soil-foundation-structure interaction modeling and simulation
Kutter, Bruce L.

Geotechnical engineering • Centrifugal modeling of geotechnical structures

Academic and Research Staff

Wilson, Dan

Associate Director of the Center for Geotechnical Modeling • Geotechnical engineering

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  • ECI 171    Soil Mechanics
  • ECI 171L  Soil Mechanics Laboratory
  • ECI 173    Foundation Design
  • ECI 175    Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering
  • ECI 179    Pavement Engineering
  • ECI 201    Introduction to Theory of Elasticity
  • ECI 203    Inelastic Behavior of Solids
  • ECI 205    Continuum Mechanics
  • ECI 212    Finite Element Procedures in Applied Mechanics
  • ECI 212B Finite Elements: Application to Linear and Nonlinear
    Structural Mechanics Problems
  • ECI 213    Analysis of Structures Subjected to Dynamic Loads
  • ECI 259    Asphalt and Asphalt Mixes
  • ECI 280A  Nonlinear Finite Elements for Elastic-Plastic Problems
  • ECI 280B  Nonlinear Dynamic Finite Elements
  • ECI 281A  Advanced Soil Mechanics I
  • ECI 281B Advanced Soil Mechanics II
  • ECI 282   Pavement Design and Rehabilitation
  • ECI 283   Physico-Chemical Properties of Soils
  • ECI 284   Theoretical Geomechanics
  • ECI 285   Computational Geomechanics
  • ECI 286   Advanced Foundation Design
  • ECI 287   Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering
  • ECI 288   Earth and Rockfill Dams
  • ECI 289D Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Analysis

Students are encouraged to take courses from Hydrologic Science, Geology, Computer Science, Mathematics and other related areas

(Click here for catalog description)

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Graduate Program in Geotechnical Engineering

Welcome!  The  Geotechnical Engineering Group at UC Davis is very active and technically diverse, with expertise among faculty and staff ranging from fundamental physical and chemical processes, to computation modeling and simulation, to full-scale engineering design.  This breadth of research interests and abilities together facilitate synergistic research activities and a rich educational graduate experience.

Ongoing research projects totaling over $2M/year cover an array of topics, including geotechnical earthquake engineering, dam rehabilitation, coupled multi-phase material modeling, soil-structure interaction, pavement durability, offshore sediment characterization, and biological treatment of soils.  Research is conducted using our extensive laboratory, in situ, computational, centrifuge, visualization, and field-scale testing facilities.  This is highlighted by the largest centrifuge in the United States, parallel supercomputer GeoWulf and one of the largest pavement test facilities in the world.  These facilities are organized and managed within several research groups.

The educational experience – at both the undergraduate and graduate levels – builds on and compliments the research activities.  The academic course program takes students from the fundamentals of soil behavior to simulation and modeling, in situ testing, and design of geosystems.  At the graduate level this education is especially rich as course work is integrated with research and consulting projects, as well as case histories.  Graduate researchers further broader their experiences through research projects that often include presentations, collaborations, and travel.

 The geotechnical group is currently accepting applications for graduate research positions, which are scheduled to begin in the summer or fall.  If you are interested, please contact one of the geotechnical faculty and apply to the graduate program.  It is best to have your application file complete by January 15 for admission in the fall (January 15 is a hard deadline for University Fellowship applications.)  Applications for graduate school received until mid March can be considered for Teaching and Research Assistantships.  Later applications might also be considered, but prospects for financial support diminish with time;  the sooner you apply the better are your prospects.  We are also hiring undergraduate researchers for part-time work during the school year and for full-time work during the summer.  Please contact us if you are interested.

If you have further inquiries or comments please feel free to e-mail one of us!

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