Course made possible through sponsorship by Conetec – Additional sponsors to support the initiative are being sought.
The Geotechnical Faculty of the University of Michigan is excited to offer to their full-time graduate geotechnical students an advanced course on field and laboratory geotechnical testing. The course is led by Prof. Richard Woods. Woods, an Emeritus Professor, who remains very active in teaching and research. He was offering this course many years ago, but the lack of funding made it difficult to offer regularly. Now, through a donation by the Conetec Corporation and the Conetec Foundation, the group will be offering the course CEE 541 to its graduate students this coming Fall.
"We have always been putting a lot of energy in our undergraduate Geotechnical Engineering Course, which has a significant laboratory testing component. But the level of effort necessary for an advanced testing geotechnical testing course, is completely different" says Roman Hryciw, Professor at the University of Michigan.
Woods has developed an outline and has been putting the components together for the course. The course will involve typically a 1.5 hr lecture on Thursdays and field or laboratory testing on Fridays. The schedule of the class is as follows:
Week 1: Visual and manual characterization of a large variety of soils
Week 2: Standard Penetration Testing at North Campus Field Site
Week 3: Cone Penetration Testing at North Campus Field Site
Week 4: Dilatometer Testing at North Campus Field Site
Week 5: Seismic Wave Velocity Measurements using Seismic CPT, Spectral Analysis of Surface Waves (SASW) and Multichannel Analysis of Surface Waves (MASW) at North Campus Field Site
Week 6: Pressuremeter at North Campus Field Site
Week 7: In-situ vane shear testing at Ann Arbor Sludge Lagoon
Week 8: Direct Shear Testing in the Laboratory
Week 9: Consolidated Undrained Triaxial Testing
Week 10: Consolidation Testing
Week 11: Cyclic Triaxial Testing
Week 12: Cyclic and Monotonic Simple Shear Testing
"We will, of course, perform all the basic characterization testing; but the emphasis of the course will be on the next level, high quality field and laboratory testing. Students have seen the basic characterization testing, such as grain size distribution, Atterberg Limits, compaction, direct shear and unconfined testing at the undergraduate level" says Prof. Woods. "Students will not just see demonstrations, they will have to do the tests themselves. This is a hands-on class. They will then submit a report for review."
The course leverages the unique laboratory and field testing Facilities available at the University of Michigan. Prof. Hryciw has been using the Cone Penetration Testing Rig in his research for many years. He will now direct the part of the course on Cone Penetration Testing, Seismic Cone and Dilatometer.
"This is so exciting. I am just happy to be part of this course. I am here to learn and hopefully contribute" says Prof. Dimitrios Zekkos who will be leading the session on MASW and some of the laboratory testing. Prof. Adda Athanasopoulos-Zekkos will be helping out with the Cyclic Simple Shear Testing. "We have been using our new 12'' diameter cyclic simple shear device extensively this summer. This is an opportunity to use it for teaching purposes too. How often do geotechs see a large simple shear in action?", says Athanasopoulos-Zekkos.
The Faculty is also thinking of integrating this class with a subsequent class that will use the field and laboratory data in numerical modeling. "That will be so exciting" says Prof. Michalowski who has been teaching the Advanced Soil Mechanics course. "It is one thing to teach a numerical class, and another to teach such a class with real field data" says Prof. Athanasopoulos-Zekkos who will take the lead in this class.
"None of that would have been possible without the financial support by Conetec. It is just unaffordable." Says Zekkos. Conetec made a generous donation to the group to fund, among other things, initiatives such as this one. The Faculty is looking for additional companies to sponsor the course and the laboratory facilities.
"We just do not want to stop there" says Michalowski. "We can build on our momentum and do more. "With our weekly seminar series and our other activities, we maintain close ties to the Industry, but we want to take things to the next level."
The semester starts on September 5th at the University of Michigan, so the Faculty is making its final preparations for the course. If you are interested in supporting this initiative, please contact the instructor, Dr. Woods at email@example.com or Dr. Zekkos at firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn more here.
Source: University of Michigan
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