Geotechnical Engineering

Geotechnical engineers use rocks and soils to design foundations, dams, tunnels and other infrastructure. Continue reading to learn about degree programs and career options specific to the field of geotechnical engineering.

Inside Geotechnical Engineering

Geotechnical engineering is a specialized field in which engineers examine the behavior of earthen building materials, as well as how these materials can be used in constructing foundations, embankments, tunnels, dams and landfills. Geotechnical engineers are hired to provide information on such issues as sustainable infrastructure and mitigation of ground hazards. This line of work can entail surveying building sites, assessing risks and helping plan new construction projects.

Education Information

While some schools offer degrees specifically in geotechnical engineering, many offer degrees in civil, environmental, structural or geological engineering with a geotechnical engineering emphasis. Civil engineering programs without concentrations may still feature geotechnical engineering courses as electives. Engineering students are typically required to take hands-on design and laboratory courses, and major coursework includes instruction in soil behavior, modeling and simulation, material design and earth retaining structures.

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