Are We Ready to Face the Geotechnical Challenges of the 21st Century?by Jean-Yves Perez, Woodward-Clyde Consultants, Denver, United States,
Abstract: The geotechnical engineering profession faces a bright future as many of the issues of interest to society today relate in some form to knowledge of earth sciences. Hazardous waste, environmental cleanup and protection, and aging infrastructure are some of the problems geotechnical engineers can help solve in the future. The geo-environmental engineering field requires new knowledge of the behavior of earth materials. The earth structures of the future must be designed to meet much more demanding performance criteria than in the past. Our ability to characterize subsurface conditions must improve substantially to support the level of design sophistication demanded by the new applications. At the same time, the volume of geotechnical data acquired will increase tremendously, requiring geotechnical engineers to be totally fluent in computer-based data management systems. All of these challenges will have to be faced even while the number of graduating civil engineers may be declining in the United States.
Subject Headings: Geotechnical engineering | Environmental issues | Geohazards | Material properties | Engineering education | Hazardous wastes | Engineering profession | North America | United States
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