Workshop on Geotechnical Fundamentals in the Face of New Challenges
This workshop will be held at the National Science Foundation in Arlington, Virginia on January 25-27, 2016. It will focus on fundamental principles that underlie current and anticipated developments in geotechnical engineering. It will provide an open forum for experts to meet and discuss common fundamental research themes that underline geotechnical engineering. This workshop will be the first one to cut-across different fundamental research themes. The workshop will: (1) establish a clear milestone in fundamental research that sustains the geotechnical engineering field, (2) capture current developments and promote brainstorming for research visions, (3) identify gaps and needs, as well as applications that hold the greatest potential, and (4) explore approaches for enhancing the teaching of fundamental principles in geotechnical engineering.
Fundamental principles in physics, chemistry, biology, and thermodynamics provide the essential knowledge needed to address emerging challenges and to advance new engineering possibilities in the broad field of geotechnology. These range from opportunities related to bio-mediated ground modification, to unanticipated emergent phenomena in subsurface energy exploration and storage. The complex inter-dependences and interactions among hydrological, chemical, thermal, biological, and mechanical processes in natural settings and engineered geo-systems, from the pore-grain scale to the macro-engineering scale, challenge the existing understanding, motivate current research, and suggest the societal need for new content in research and educational programs in geotechnology.