Geotechnical Engineering

Photo Credit: S. Bereti, J. Pelling, Z. Pirani, T. Smith & L. Tourand

Geotechnical Engineering

Research activities include laboratory and field testing for characterizing soil behaviour, and numerical modelling. These activities are conducted within a broader geotechnical community: the Vancouver Geotechnical Society is one of the most active in Canada. Much of the research is undertaken in collaboration with government and in university-industry partnerships. Research is currently being conducted in the following areas:

  • soil property characterization in the state of the art soil mechanics research laboratory;
  • laboratory testing of the interaction between soils and geosynthetics;
  • in-situ testing for geotechnical and geo-environmental site characterization;
  • field investigations of shallow landslides;
  • numerical analysis of earth structures; and,
  • soil dynamics and earthquake engineering.

For more information on Geotechnical Engineering studies, please contact Dr. John Howie.

Geo-Environmental Engineering

Geo-environmental Engineering is an evolving field of study, dealing with contamination of soil as a result of human development. It involves knowledge from such diverse fields as geotechnical, environmental and chemical engineering, geology, hydrogeology, chemistry, microbiology and soil sciences. Geo-environmental Engineering/ Environmental Engineering research at UBC covers a broad range of problems, from fundamental studies and project-based applications to commercial exploitation and development. Research expertise of members of the group covers a wide spectrum and includes, for example, contaminated land and landfill engineering, soil remediation, applied clay mineralogy and geochemistry, reactive pollution migration in soils, attenuation characteristics of natural soil materials and their uses as landfill liners, and reactive/barrier walls. Some of the current research topics include volatile organic compound migration in sub-surface soil and intrusion into buildings, development of remediation technologies, liner studies, contaminant transport, and specific site studies. For more information on Geo-Environmental studies, please contact Dr. Loretta Li.