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Geotechnical Engineering & Construction Materials

Geotechnical engineering is a field of civil engineering that deals with the engineering behavior of soils, rocks, other earth and geo-materials. Geotechnical engineering investigates existing subsurface conditions and materials and determines their physical/mechanical/chemical properties that are relevant to the project being considered. Typical projects include the design of foundations for structures, design of earth dams, slopes, tunnels, disposal of waste products in the ground, and a variety of other earth materials related topics.

The graduate program in geotechnical engineering expands upon the basic courses provided at the undergraduate level leading to further understanding of the earth materials from both a practical and theoretical perspective. The main areas of study include soil mechanics, foundation engineering and design, and numerical applications in geotechnical engineering. Additional areas include materials engineering, geology, soil physics, mathematics, and chemical engineering.  Faculty also specialize in asphalt and concrete materials.


  • Rifat Bulut, Ph.D., Professor

  • Norb Delatte, Ph.D., P.E., M.R. Lohmann Professor and Chair (concrete)

  • Mohamed Elkashef, Ph.D., P.E., Assistant Professor (asphalt)

  • Deb Mishra, Ph.D., P.E., Associate Professor

  • Paul J. Tikalsky, Ph.D., P.E., Professor and Dean (concrete)

  • Tyler Ley, Ph.D., P.E., Professor (concrete)

Research Focus Areas and Sample Projects


  • Oklahoma Department of Transportation for FHWA SPR Pooled Funds Integrating Construction Practices and Weather into Freeze Thaw Specifications
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Reduction and Preliminary Analysis of Instrumentation Data for Advanced Pavement Design and Evaluation
  • Oklahoma Department of Transportation for the Federal Highway Administration Variation of Shear Wave Velocity due to Moisture Changes
  • OK Dept. of Trans for the Fed Highway Admin. Long Term Performance  and Benefits of Combined Balanced Mix Design and Chemical WMA Technology
  • United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration Performance Based Classification Methods for Reclaimed Fly Ash

Sample course listing

Undergraduate Courses

  • Engineering Materials Laboratory – CIVE 3623                                 
  • Introduction to Geotechnical Engineering - CIVE 3714

Graduate Courses

  •  Pavement Design and Analysis - CIVE 4693/ 5693
  •  Foundation Engineering - CIVE 4723/5723
  • Engineering Soil Stabilization - CIVE 4753/ 5753
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