Thoughts on the History and Current Practice of Foundation Engineering in North America

by Victor Milligan, Golder Assoc, Canada,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Foundation Engineering: Current Principles and Practices


With the publication of 'Erdbaumechanik' in 1925, the behavior of soils was explained in terms of numerical physical properties and the principles of what became known as 'soil mechanics' were defined. This new subject then formed the 'scientific' basis of foundation engineering practice. Over the past fifty years, much of the practice has gradually changed from 'soil and foundation' engineering to 'geotechnical' engineering as applied to a wide range of civil, mining and environmental projects. In such projects, the practice of geotechnical engineering has taken a prime rather than a subsidiary role.

Subject Headings: Geotechnical engineering | Pile foundations | Soil properties | Foundations | Soil strength | Soil pressure | Shear strength | North America

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