Geotechnical engineering 


Geotechnical research at CU Denver covers experimental, analytical and numerical research in geotechnical and soil-structure interaction problems under static and seismic loads, probability and risk-based research in geotechnical problems, seismic responses of various structures, expansive soil foundation designs and deep foundation problems.

Seismic Responses

  • Dynamic properties of soils
  • Earthquake-induced soil liquefaction
  • Numerical approach to: dynamic soil-structure interaction (SSI) effects in composite dams, highway bridges, and high rises
  • Seismic responses of MSE walls
  • Ground motion amplification through soft soils
  • Seismic soil-structure interaction in high rises and dams

Deep Foundations

  • Deep foundations on heavily over-consolidated clays
  • Soil-pile-structure interaction
  • Influence of anomalies on drilled shaft foundations

Probability and Risk-Based Designs

  • State-specific resistance factors for LRFD driven pile designs
  • Statistical and probabilistic approaches to geotechnical problems

Transportation Facilities and Winter Road-Way Maintenance

  • Winter snow and ice management: environmentally sensitive winter roadway sanding and deicing, management cost of sanding, cost of sanding on vehicular damage
  • Cost of sanding
  • Traffic barrier impact performance

Expansive Soils

  • Expansive soil mechanics, properties and foundation designs

Numerical Analyses

  • Soil-pile-structure Interaction of high Rises under Earthquake Shakings
  • Seismic Responses of MSE Retaining Walls
  • Finite Element Analysis of driven piles and drilled shafts
  • Seismic Soil-Concrete Interaction in Composite Section of Folsam Main Dam

Students interested in environmental and sustainability engineering may pursue the master of science.

civil engineering lab

Geotechnical Lab


Nien-Yin Chang

Nien-Yin Chang, PhD, PE

Professor emeritus

Civil Engineering


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