Teaching Aids

Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Software Directory


If you are looking for software for teaching or research, check out this Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Software Directory (GGSD). The GGSD catalogues more than 1,700 programs in the fields of Geotechnical Engineering, Soil Mechanics, Rock Mechanics, Engineering Geology, Foundation Engineering, Hydrogeology, Geoenvironmental Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Data Analysis and Data Visualisation.

USUCGER 2020 Geotechnical Engineering Faculty Teaching Strategies & Resources Workshop

The resources in the links below are from the USUCGER 2020 Geotechnical Engineering Faculty Teaching Strategies & Resources Workshop. The primary goal of the workshop was to help geotechnical faculty at all stages become more effective and efficient teachers, so they can become better educators and improve student learning without compromising research time. The focus of the workshop was very specific to geotechnical engineering education and the courses that most geotechnical engineering faculty teach, such as undergraduate soil mechanics, foundation engineering, and engineering geology. One objective was to provide attendees with tools and resources that were specific, manageable, and useful for their own courses. A selection of these resources is provided here. A second objective was to create an exam question repository for typical undergraduate geotechnical engineering courses. The exam questions and solutions contributed by the workshop participants were meant for use in undergraduate geo-engineering courses. The original submissions from the workshop participants were compiled and are available here.

Geotechnical Engineering Lectures (Youtube channel uSeeGeo):


Virtual Simulator for Advanced Geotechnical Laboratory Testing


Educational Materials on Biogeotechnics

The NSF-funded Center for Biomediated and Bio-inspired Geotechnics (CBBG) has developed a series of modules on biogeotechnics for K-12 and University.  All lessons have been vetted by CBBG faculty and have been piloted in actual classrooms.  USUCGER members are free to use as is or modify these lessons for their own purposes.  We simply ask that they acknowledge the source material that came from CBBG.

There is a PowerPoint lesson developed by CBBG faculty for first year “Introduction to Civil Engineering” courses here:


There are 36 lesson plans developed by K-12 teachers in the CBBG Research Experience for Teachers program, classified by Elementary, Middle school, and High school level. here:



Creation of a Library of Group Activities that Promote Active Learning in the Undergraduate Soil Mechanics Classroom

Dr. Kristin Sample-Lord (Villanova University) and Dr. Gretchen Bohnhoff (University of Wisconsin-Platteville)

A "grab-and-go" set of education geotechnical activities with Word/PDF files to allow for instructor editing. Sixteen different activities were developed with the help of undergraduate students at both VU and UW-Platteville. The materials for each activity include: (1) a summary sheet for the instructor with learning objectives and instructions; (2) the activity handout to provide to the students; (3) the solution set; (4) an example rubric for the activity; and (5) supplemental information, if applicable. All files are provided in Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint and/or PDF formats to allow for easy editing. The required in-class time for the activities ranges from as short as one to two minutes to 50 minutes, to allow for flexibility in implementing the activities in existing courses. All of the activities are meant for small informal groups. The recommended number of group members ranges from two to five, allowing for use in a range of class sizes. The activities also vary widely in their format (e.g. "typical" quantitative problems, group jigsaws, concept questions/discussion, group presentations, calculation QA/QC) to complement different teaching styles. Please provide feedback regarding this set of activities in a brief survey.

Access to the Password-Protected Executable File (Changes to ZIP file after Unlocking).


geotech: Development of a geotechnical engineering software package in R, Dr. James Kaklamanos (Merrimack College)

In this project, we composed a geotechnical engineering software package within the statistical language and environment R.  The software package, aptly named geotech, has the capability to perform a range of geotechnical engineering computations, and is freely available for use in the geotechnical engineering field.  An additional benefit of R is the wide availability of add-on user-contributed software codes, referred to as "packages," which perform calculations in specific areas of study.  The geotech package is a compilation of functions for performing calculations and creating plots that commonly arise in geotechnical engineering and soil mechanics, and is the first R package to provide broad coverage in this area.  The types of calculations that are currently included are: (1) phase diagrams and index parameters, (2) grain-size distributions, (3) plasticity, (4) soil classification, (5) compaction, (6) groundwater, (7) subsurface stresses (geostatic and induced), (8) Mohr circle analyses, (9) consolidation settlement and rate, (10) shear strength, (11) bearing capacity, (12) lateral earth pressures, (13) slope stability, and (14) subsurface explorations.  Geotechnical engineering students, educators, researchers, and practitioners will find this package useful. For additional information, please visit https://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/geotech/index.html and http://www.kaklamanos.com/software, and refer to the project final summary report and presentation..


Drilled Shaft Concepts and Construction (Pieresearch)

A practical overview of drilled shaft theory and installation techniques. This video may be a nice supplement to your undergraduate or graduate foundations coursework.

Lab Testing Photo Album for Undergraduate Lectures (Susan Burns)

Complete Landfill Course Notes (David Elton and John Bowders)

A Brief Overview of Geosynthetics and Their Major Applications (Description) (Bob Koerner)

Intro to GSs.ppt (!! ~90 MB !!
To download, right click on link and choose:
"Save Target As..." in Explorer 
"Save Link As..." in Netscape
If you try to run directly from the link - it will be very slow.

A Second Free Geosynthetics CD labeled "GSI-CD2"
Available from the Geosynthetic Institute

We have distributed about 750-copies of a free CD on the topic of "A brief Overview of Geosynthetic and Their Major Applications". It has been well received, but many responded that they wanted more in the way of details. Thus we offer a second CD on Selected Geosynthetic Presentations which includes the following files.

· Introductory Comments - 3 screens
· Geosynthetic Reinforced Segmental Retaining Walls (SRWs) - 104 screens
· Lateral and Vertical Expansions Over Old Landfills - 98 screens
· Geomembranes Used in Dam Waterproofing and Lifetime Prediction - 69 screens

As with the first CD, the above is free and each screen has a short voice-over which can be used, or not, depending with your familiarity with the topic. The screens are not encrypted so you can make copies, but in so doing please give GSI the appropriate acknowledgement. Everything is generic and each of the presentations have been given "live" on numerous occasions. The audiences liked what we offered and we think you might as well. Also, please share the information with your colleagues. The idea is to "spread-the-word" as much as possible.

To receive your free copy of GSI-CD2 please e-mail your name and postal mailing address to Bob Koerner at the following address: robert.koerner@coe.drexel.edu.

Geotechnical Engineering Photo Album (Ross Boulanger and Mike Duncan)

Geoengineering Photo Gallery (Dimitris P. Zekkos)

An Introduction to Drilling and Sampling in Engineering Practice (Jason DeJong and Ross Boulanger)

Instructional centrifuge (University of Colorado at Boulder):

Dewoolkar, M.M., Goddery, T., and Znidarcic, D. (2003), "Centrifuge modeling for undergraduate geotechnical engineering instruction", Geotechnical Testing Journal, 26 (2), p. 201-209.

The paper also describes two modules (slope stability and retaining walls), each involving a centrifuge experiment and its analysis that makes a laboratory session. Some demonstration experiments are also discussed. The authors will be glad to receive any critique, comments and suggestions. If you are interested in the shop drawings or have comments, please send an email to either Mandar Dewoolkar (mandar@emba.uvm.edu) or Dobroslav Znidarcic (dobroslav.znidarcic@colorado.edu).

Alaska Earthquake Photos

Earrth Science World Image Bank

Ground Modification Photos (Hayward Baker)

Comments on seepage programs for undergraduate courses (Compiled by Isao Ishibashi)

Case Western Database: https://engineering.case.edu/eciv/geodatabase/ 

The Case Western Data Base contains over 234 tests conducted on three different sands, in dense and loose conditions, with a wide variety of stress paths.  More than half of the tests are on hollow cylinders, the rest on cubical samples.  In addition, the Data Base contains the results of 18 tests on Edga Plastic Kaolin clay and the results of 8 tests on Hydrite121 clay; both series conducted on thin hollow cylinders. Researchers can use the data base to validate their constitutive relations.

Science Education Resource Center (Carleton College): http://serc.carleton.edu/index.html

SERC has an extensive collection of on-line teaching resources and peer-reviewed activities that can be incorporated into a variety of geotechnical engineering, geology, geohazards, and earthquake engineering courses. Materials typical include a description, teaching materials, teaching notes and tips, the context for use, learning outcomes, assessment guidance, and references. Some activities are stand-alone, while others are integrated modules that can be used individually or in sequence.

Engineering Geology and Site Characterization Educational Resources Developed by Committee Members: http://www.asce-egsc.org/educational_resources.html

Lab manual and photos of common soil tests (Credit: Dr. Krishna Reddy):

Online Laboratory Tests: Youtube videos of Soil Mechanics Laboratory Tests that are taught at METU Civil Engineering Department to 3rd year undergraduate students as part of Soil Mechanics (CE363) course. Students carry out lab tests in groups and prepare lab reports. (Credit: Nejan Huvaj, METU)

Sieve Analysis : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_q1rmwCqfM&t=186s
Hydrometer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78sKJKsaUvY&t=305s
Atterberg Limits: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxh3kMGt9h0&t=2s
Specific Gravity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3gAuLIdFww
Proctor Compaction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuKrKRcohYo&t=163s
Dry Density: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkSXItdWTIE
Constant Head Permeability: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVpvRL6BvD4
Laboratory Vane Test: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nv3j-ZSQV3c
Direct Shear Test: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLI9SSv2GIg
Consolidation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRoA-4qEHWA
UU Triaxial Compression Test: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6rOuysQuZU&t=2s

Resources to teach an introductory course on Geoenvironmental Engineering (Credit: Dr. Krishna Reddy):

Resources to teach an introductory course on Sustainable Engineering (Credit: Dr. Krishna Reddy):

Introduction to Geotechnical Engineering - Youtube Series: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyt3w3SogxUSJ7RSxQusXXA?view_as=subscriber

Geotechnical Lab Manual (Credit: William Kitch): PDF Available

Example of Direct Shear Testing (Credit: Alexandra Wayllace): Testing | Analysis | Data

Cone Penetration Testing Video (Credit: Mehmet Tumay): Video

Basic Notions of Geology (Credit: Jean Benoit): PDF Slides

Geoengineer.org Education Section: provides useful resources (texts, notes, slides, videos, photos) grouped under a wide variety of geotechnical related topics. You can use the search functionality to find content related to the specific topic you are interested in. We are also continuously adding additional content, including the one that has been posted recently. If you want us to host any of your content in a permanent place, let us know. We will be glad to do it.

Geoengineer.org Online Library: provides links to useful publications such as papers, books, manuals and theses. Currently the library includes 20,500+ documents in 41 different main categories covering the entire breadth of Geotechnical Engineering.

 ISSMGE’s Virtual University:  Just this month, ISSMGE launched its open-access, high quality technical and educational content that can be used by engineers of practice and students all around the world. This includes 50+ lectures on selected topics in geotechnical engineering. More information about this here: https://www.issmge.org/news/announcing-the-issmge-virtual-university-an-open-access-global-educational-initiative




Questions? Comments? Please contact the webmaster at ben.leshchinsky@oregonstate.edu with suggestions. Copyright USUCGER 2016. This site is hosted by the College of Engineering at Oregon State University.