Geotechnical Judgment in Foundation Design

by Thomas F. Wolff, Michigan State Univ, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Foundation Engineering: Current Principles and Practices


This paper summarizes the initial findings of a research project to investigate the judgment-making process of foundation engineers. Solutions for a typical design problem were solicited from a large number of practitioners. Given identical information regarding loads and subsurface conditions, each respondent designed a shallow foundation. The variability of the final design dimensions is examined as is the variability of assumptions, methods, and criteria leading to the final design.

Subject Headings: Foundation design | Shallow foundations | Engineering education | Load bearing capacity | Subsurface environment | Algorithms | Footings | Load factors

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