Congratulations to Dr. Farshid Vahedifard on being accepted to participate in the 2016 National Science Foundation’s Workshop on Geotechnical Fundamentals in the Face of New World Challenges

September 24, 2015

The two-and-half-day NSF sponsored workshop will be held on January 24-26, 2016 at the National Science Foundation. The workshop will focus on fundamental principles that underlie current and anticipated developments in geotechnical engineering. The organizing committee consists of Professors Ning Lu (Colorado School of Mines), Susan Burns (Georgia Institute of Technology), Patricia Culligan (Columbia University), and Carlos Santamarina (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology).

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 possibilities range from novel opportunities in 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, are pushing the boundaries of current understanding, indicating the need for new content in research and educational programs in geotechnology. The purpose of the workshop is to provide an open forum for different experts to meet and discuss common, fundamental research and education themes that underlie geotechnical engineering.

The goals of the workshop are to:
1) Identify clear milestones in fundamental research that sustain the geotechnical engineering field.
2) Document current development in the field and capture visions for future research.
3) Identify gaps and needs, as well as applications that hold the greatest potential for impact.
4) Explore approaches for enhancing the teaching of fundamental principles in geotechnical engineering.

The workshop is intended to cut-across a variety of important knowledge areas including, but not limited to: geobiology, geochemistry, hydromechanics, heat transfer, and electrical phenomena.