Lava Tubes as Resilient Extraterrestrial Habitats: An Option For A Permanent Human Settlement Beyond Earth
The design, construction, and maintenance of safe and comfortable habitations are some of humankind’s oldest and most important activities. Millennia of experimentation and planning have led to earthly...

Learning to Live in Living Order: Adapting Infrastructure to a Changing Climate

A Combo Foundation Does the Job: Piled-Raft Foundation Design for a Supertall Skyscraper
Lotte World Tower is a 123-story, 555-m supertall skyscraper with a 6-level basement for retail and car parking located at Jamsil-dong in Seoul, South Korea. (Editor’s Note: For additional information,...

Basements On The Beach: Overcoming South Florida's Shoreline Excavation Challenges
The South Florida beachfront is awash with an ever-increasing number of high-rise condominiums. As land becomes scarcer and increasingly expensive, and building regulations change to require above-grade...

We Struck Water! Discovery of Artesian Groundwater Solves A 50-Year-Old Landslide Puzzle
Some unstable slopes fail dramatically, but most can be characterized by gradual, if not monotonously slow, movements. Yet these latter situations can pose a dilemma when a temporary repair is much simpler...

Failures Inspire Progress: Protecting Sensitive Buildings from Tunnelling
Tunnelling in urban areas is always a challenge, and it’s especially so when construction is proximate to densely populated districts. Such was the case on January 25, 2005, when a 10-m length of a Barcelona...

The State of Soil Improvement in China: The G-I Soil Improvement Committee’s China Scan Tour
During the last four decades, China has made significant improvement in various sectors of its infrastructure, including high-speed railways, long-span and cross-sea bridges, large dams, long- and large-diameter...

Under-Slab Utility Installation with Aggregate Piers: It's All About Planning
Aggregate pier ground improvement is commonly used in North America to support buildings. The technology has expanded in the last decade thanks to refinement and introduction of new techniques, more rigorous...

Drones: An Engineering Reconnaissance Tool of Tomorrow, but Here Today!
About six years ago, I began researching geotechnical engineering applications of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones. My initial efforts were encouraged by most of my colleagues, but were criticized...

A Faster, Cheaper, Better Way to Build a Wall: How a Simple Highway Widening Led to a Patent
When first opened in 1940, and as segments were later added to it, the Pennsylvania Turnpike (Turnpike) was principally a four-lane highway with two eastbound and two westbound lanes. As traffic volume...

Connecting Continents: Challenges of the Eurasia Tunnel in Istanbul
The Eurasia Tunnel, the first bored tunnel crossing of the Istanbul Strait (Bosphorus) in Istanbul, Turkey, is a site that presents many unique challenges, including very poor ground conditions, unusually...

Advances In Geosynthetic Solutions For Sustainable Landfill Design: Geosynthetics Really Do Last!
Even though geosynthetics are now a well-established discipline within geotechnical engineering, ingenuity continues to play a significant role in projects involving their use. This is because it’s possible...

Immortal and Ethereal Beauty in Stone: The Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal, probably one of the most beautiful structures in the world, has withstood the vagaries of history and the environment. Lengthy tomes have been written on its beauty and the details of the...

Geotechnics of the Suez Canal Construction: 150 Years Old, but Nearly Four Millennia in the Making
Construction of the Suez Canal created one of the most important waterways in the world, connecting the Mediterranean and Red Seas. Its construction from 1854 to 1869 created three cities, Port-Said, Ismailia,...

What Lurks Below: The Geotechnical Intrigue of Boston’s Back Bay
In 1858, the great filling of Back Bay began. Completed in about 20 years, it led to nearly 100 city blocks of iconic 4- and 5-story brick rowhouses. In the past 60 years, about 50 high-rise buildings...

Rapid Recovery
In May 2017, the California Department of Transportation had to contend with a massive landslide that closed a section of the iconic State Route 1 through central California’s scenic coastal region of...

Designing Secret Cities
Before the U.S. government could develop the first atomic bombs in World War II, it first had to design and construct three “secret cities” at which that work would be completed. Created almost entirely...

Embracing Disruption
The benefits of strategically embracing technology research and development within architecture, engineering, or construction companies’ business models are varied. But at its core, doing so can enable...

Replacing an Icon
Since 1852, the Portage Viaduct has carried a rail line across the Genesee River Gorge, near the town of Portageville, New York. First made of timber, then replaced with a wrought iron structure after...

Bridging the Genesee River Gorge Has a Complex History (part of "Replacing an Icon")
In the early 1850s, the Buffalo and New York City Railroad, a subsidiary of what would later be known as the Erie Railroad, expanded westward from the New York City area toward Buffalo, New York. As part...

 

 

 

 

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