College of EngineeringDepartment of Civil and Environmental EngineeringAcademicsGraduateProgramsGeotechnical Engineering

Geotechnical Engineering


Geotechnical engineers design and analyze engineering systems that are made from or supported by earth materials. These include foundations, earth retaining structures, excavations, slopes, dams and landfills. Geotechnical engineers often work closely with other branches of civil engineering on a variety of projects, including solid waste management, groundwater protection, highway and pavement engineering and foundation design.

Graduate study

Geotechnical engineering will play a major role in addressing the important challenges facing our aging infrastructure. Meeting these challenges will require the development of new technologies and methodologies to design and rehabilitate our infrastructure to withstand extreme loading while making efficient use of increasingly limited financial and natural resources. The geotechnical graduate program at Auburn University is designed to provide students with the educational and research experience to meet these challenges.

Graduate students at Auburn may pursue a Master of Civil Engineering (M.C.E.), Master of Science (M.S.) or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) with an emphasis on geotechnical engineering.  The graduate curriculum consists of a broad array of classes that focus on advanced aspects of soil mechanics and geotechnical design. Students are also encouraged to take interdisciplinary courses within and outside the department. Creative work is required of M.S. and Ph.D. students.

The geotechnical program works closely with the pavement and materials faculty to address national needs in pavement design, construction, rehabilitation and management. The College of Engineering is home to the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT), a unique technical research center. NCAT provides resources and opportunities for research in the asphalt pavement area.

Faculty in geotechnical engineering