July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Geotechnical engineering undergraduate curricula typically consist of courses in soil mechanics and foundation design that include a variety of topics that are difficult for students to understand and master. Behavior of the below grade geomaterials discussed in these courses can be difficult for students to visualize. Typically, the mechanisms of behavior are demonstrated using small-scale laboratory tests, two-dimensional sketches, simple table-top models, or video simulations in the classroom. Students rarely have the opportunity to observe large-scale behavior of foundations in the field or laboratory, particularly since deformation is often small and they do not fail often. The authors from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (RHIT), a small, private, masters-terminal university, and St. Louis University (SLU), a large, private, doctoral-granting university, designed and implemented a large-scale foundation testing system to address several topics that students tend to struggle with the most, including 1) the difference in strength and service limit states in shallow foundation design, 2) soil-structure interaction associated with lateral behavior of deep foundations, and 3) the influence of near-surface soil on lateral behavior of foundations. This paper provides a detailed overview of the design, fabrication, and implementation of two large-scale experiential learning modules for undergraduate courses in soil mechanics and foundation engineering. The first module utilizes shallow foundations in varying configurations to demonstrate the differences in strength and service limit state behavior of shallow foundations. The second module utilizes a relatively flexible pile foundation embedded in sand to demonstrate the lateral behavior of deep foundations. The first module was used in the soil mechanics courses at RHIT and SLU to compare theoretical and observed behavior of shallow foundations. The second module was used in the foundation engineering course at RHIT to illustrate the concepts of soil-structure interaction and the influence of near-surface soil on lateral behavior of foundations.
Kershaw, K., & Luna, R., & Carroll, J. C., & Lovell, M. D., & Derks, A. C. (2021, July), Design and Implementation of Experiential Learning Modules for Geotechnical Engineering Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36909
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