Robert Mokwa, Steve Perkins

205 Cobleigh Hall

Research Overview

In the area of Geotechnical Engineering, there exists a rich array of applied research with projects sponsored by state departments of transportation and industry. Example research projects are described below.

A major research theme has been the use of geosynthetic reinforcement of aggregate layers in paved and unpaved roads. Large-scale laboratory tests and indoor and outdoor field trials of reinforced roads have been conducted to examine the fundamental mechanisms of reinforcement and to define the benefits derived from various reinforcement products. Other studies have focused on the development of analytical and numerical models that describe the results seen from the laboratory and field experiment, which have led to design guides for reinforced roadways.

Research is ongoing to examine a repair method for failed slopes along low volume forest roads. The method known as a “deep patch” involves the excavation of 4 to 8 feet of failed soils along the roadway alignment and backfilling with aggregate and layers of geosynthetic reinforcement at a spacing of 12 to 24 inches. Numerical modeling supported by centrifuge testing has led to the development of design recommendations.

MSU performed research to examine the effect of cold temperature on the shear strength and consolidation properties of soft, unfrozen marine clays.

Representative Publications

Gue, C.S., Lunne, T. and Perkins, S.W. (2015). Temperature Effects on Laboratory Measured Stength on Soft Clays Sampled in Deep Water and Cold Environments – Recommended Test Procedures, 3rd International Symposium on Frontiers in Offshore Geotechnics (ISFOG), Oslo, Norway, June.

Mokwa, R.L. and Morris, Z. (2011).  X-ray computed tomography: A new pedagogical tool for studying micro and macro geomaterial properties.  Proceedings of the American Society of Engineering Education Annual Conference (ASEE 2011), Vancouver, CN, June 26-29 2011.

Mokwa, R.L., Nielsen, B., Morris, Z., Robbins, B. and Nichols, J. (2011).  Nondestructive Measurements of Geomaterials Using X-ray Computed Tomography:  Some Practical Applications.  Journal of the Nevada Water Resources, vol. 6 (1), p. 428-440

Perkins, S.W., Cuelho, E., Akin, M., Collins, B. (2015). Evaluation of the Deep Patch Embankment Repair with Geosynthetics (DPERG) Method by a Finite Difference Numerical Technique, TRB 11th International Conference on Low Volume Roads, July.

Perkins, S.W., Christopher, B.R., Lacina, B.A. and Klompmaker, J. (2012). Mechanstic-Empirical Modeling of Geosynthetic-Reinforced Unpaved Roads,  ASCE International Journal of Geomechanics, Invited Paper, Vol. 12, No. 4, pp. 370-380.