Dr. Robert L. Mokwa, Ph.D., P.E.
Dr. Robert L. Mokwa, Ph.D., P.E.
Department of Civil Engineering
205 Cobleigh Hall
Ph.D. Geotechnical Engineering Virginia Tech 1999 GPA 3.97/4.0
M.S. Civil Engineering Purdue University 1985 GPA 3.85/4.0
B.S. Civil Engineering Virginia Tech 1984 GPA 3.80/4.0
August 2001 – present Associate Professor,Department of Civil Engineering,Montana State University.
Sep. 2000 – July 2001 Senior Geotechnical Engineer, Terracon Consultants,Boise,Idaho.
Dec. 1999 – Aug. 2000 Assistant Professor,UniversityofMassachusetts,Amherst,Massachusetts.
Sep. 1996 – Dec. 1999 Research Assistant and Instructor, Virginia Tech,Blacksburg,Virginia.
Jan. 1986 – July 1996 Geotechnical Engineer and Project Manager, CH2M HILL,Boise,Idaho.
Aug. 1993 – May 1994 Adjunct Professor,BoiseStateUniversity, Construction Management Department.
Societies, Honors, Awards, and Recognitions
- Senator: Montana State University Faculty Senator: 2009 – present
- Member: MSU University Athletic Committee: 2012 – present
- Member: Gallatin College Advisory Committee (MSU Faculty Representative): 2012 – present
- Member: Scholarship Review and Selection Committee – MSU CE Department: 2012 - present
- Member: Curriculum Committee MSU Civil Engineering Department: 2003 – present
- Member: American Society of Engineering Educators (ASEE): 2008 - present
- Member: International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering
- Member: ASCE Geo-Institute Deep Foundations Technical Committee: 2005-2012
- Member: Transportation Research Board (TRB) Technical Committee on Frost Action: 2003-2006
- Member: TRB Technical Committee on Soils and Rock Instrumentation, AFS20, April 2009 – April 2012
- Member: TRB Technical Committee on Soil and Rock Properties, AFP30, April 2009 – April 2012
- Vice President: American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) SW Montana Branch: 2002 - 2003
- Section Officer – ASCE Idaho Section: 1993 - 1996
- Department of Energy Graduate Fellowship. Purdue University, 1984 – 1985
Societies, Honors, Awards, and Recognitions (Continued)
- Faculty Award for Excellence.Montana State University and the Bozeman Area Chamber of Commerce, February 2009.
- Top Ten Paper Award.Nominated by the ASCE Geo-Institute awards committee for noted paper published in the ASCE Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, October 2002.
- Outstanding Instructor Award.Montana State University, College of Engineering, May 8, 2002.
- Research Excellence Award.Paul E. Torgerson’s Presidential Research Award, Virginia Tech, 1999.
- Charles E. Via Doctoral Fellowship.Virginia Tech, 1996 - 1999.
- Department of Energy Graduate Fellowship.Purdue University, 1984 - 1985.
- Invited Sponsored Attendee.Micro-Geomechanics Across Multiple ScalesWorkshop. Cambridge, England, March 20-23, 2005.Financial sponsorship received from the National Science Foundation and the United Kingdom Engineering and Physical Science Research Council.Workshop to discuss research needs and the future direction of discovery and applications for the Geotechnical/Geomechanics discipline.
- Technical Advisor —Faculty Technical Advisor for MSU student engineering team that was named as a top finalist in the National ASCE GeoPrediction Contest, March 2012.
- Academic Advisor —Academic advisor to approximately 40 undergraduate students per semester (2001 — present).
- Instructor– (2005 to present)Summer Transportation Institute (STI): A summer on-campus experience for high school students to learn about transportation and civil engineering.Funding was provided by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
- Coordinator– Montana Geo-Professional Society (2001 – to present )
- Event Coordinator– Science Olympiad (2001 – 2006)
- Instructor– Fundamentals of Engineering Exam Review Sessions (2001 – to present)
- Instructor– AGC Exam Review Sessions (2002 – to present)
Registered Professional Engineer
State of Montana
State of Idaho
Courses Taught at Montana State University
Strength of Materials
Mechanics of Materials
Soils and Foundations
Ethics and Professionalism in Engineering
Earth and Foundation Engineering
Geotechnical Structures - Seepage and Slope Stability
Advanced Earth and Foundation Engineering
Dr. Robert Mokwa is an Associate Professor in the Civil Engineering Department at Montana State University and a licensed professional engineer in the states of Montana and Idaho.Dr. Mokwa teaches classes and conducts scholarly research at Montana State University in the general areas of geotechnical engineering, soil mechanics, and engineering education research.Dr. Mokwa has over 25 years of professional experience covering a broad range of geotechnical, geo-environmental, transportation, and civil engineering research and design projects.
Dr. Mokwa’s research skills were recognized by his award of the President’s College of Engineering Research Excellence Award from his alma mater Virginia Tech.Dr. Mokwa’s accomplishments in the classroom were recognized by Montana State University’s Faculty Award for Excellence for the College of Engineering in 2009 and the College of Engineering Outstanding Instructor award in 2002.
Dr. Mokwa currently teaches classes and conducts research in the areas of geotechnical and geomaterials engineering, engineering education, transportation geotechnics, slope stability and seepage, earthwork construction, deep and shallow foundations, X-ray computed tomography, cold climate engineering, soil-structure interactions, and site investigative techniques.He has authored numerous research reports, peer-reviewed technical papers, engineering manuals and other publications on these topics.(Please refer to Dr. Mokwa’s Vita for a complete listing of references.)Dr. Mokwa’s Ph.D. research involved analyses and full-scale testing of pile groups and pile caps exposed to large lateral loads.
Dr. Mokwa’s resent consulting activities include senior review and oversight of engineering activities associated with a variety of civil engineering projects including: dam and levee systems, complex deep foundation design and construction projects, settlement analyses and evaluations, forensic geo-engineering studies, and expert witness consulting services.
Prior to entering academia, Dr. Mokwa worked as a project manager and senior engineer for a large multi-discipline international engineering firm and a specialty geotechnical consulting firm.His professional experience includes engineering, design, and construction of bridges, large buildings, dams, levees, treatment plants, manufacturing facilities, transportation systems, tunnels, and geo-environmental hazardous waste projects.
Refereed (Peer-Reviewed) Archival Publications
- Mokwa, R.L., Mokwa, L.P., and Mokwa, T.P. (2011).A case study on construction dewatering-induced settlement damage: could this have been avoided?Journal of Civil Engineering and Architecture, vol. 5 (8), p. 670-678.
- Mokwa, R.L.,Nielsen, B., Morris, Z., Robbins, B. andNichols, 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.
- Mokwa, R. L.andFridleifsson, S.(2007).Earthwork compaction evaluation using soil air voids.Canadian Geotechnical Journal,vol. 44 (2):151-159.
- Mokwa, R. L.,Peebles, C., andRobinson, E.(2006).Strength, stiffness, and compressibility of RAP/aggregate blends.ASCE Geotechnical Special Publication, GSP 154,Pavement Mechanics and Performance.Proceedings of theGeoShanghai International Conference, Shanghai, China. June 2-4, 2006.
- Mokwa, R. L.andNielsen, B.(2006).Characterization of soil porosity using x-ray computed tomography.ASCE Geotechnical Special Publication, GSP 149,Site and Geomaterial Characterization, p.96-103.Proceedings of theGeoShanghai International Conference, Shanghai, China. June 2-4, 2006.
- Duncan, J. M.,Robinette, M., andMokwa, R. L.(2005).Analysis of laterally loaded pile groups with partial pile head fixity.ASCE Geotechnical Special Publication, GSP No. 132, Advances in Deep Foundations,Geo-Frontiers Conference, Austin Texas, January 24-26, p.1-16.
- Duncan, J. M.,Robinette, M., andMokwa, R. L.(2005).Analysis of laterally loaded pile groups with partial pile head fixity.ASCE Geotechnical Special Publication, GSP No. 129, Advances in Designing and Testing Deep Foundations, (special publication of selected papers), p. 235-250.
- Mokwa, R. L.and Duncan, J. M. (2005).Discussion of “Centrifuge Model Study of Laterally Loaded Pile Groups in Clay” by T. Ilyas, C. F. Leung, Y. K. Chow, and S. S. Budi.ASCEJournal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering,vol. 131 (10), p. 1305-1308.
- Mokwa, R. L., Womack, R., and Cameron, D. (2004).Quantifying the risk of construction in landslide prone areas.ASCE Geotechnical Special Publication, GSP No. 126,Geotechnical Engineering for Transportation Projects.Proceedings of the Geo-Transportation Conference, Los Angeles, California, July, 2004, p. 2010-2019.
- Sisson, R. C., Harris, C. J., andMokwa, R. L.(2004).Design of cantilever soldier pile retaining walls in stiff clays and claystones.ASCE Geotechnical Special Publication GSP No. 124,Deep Foundations, Soil Mixing, Ground Improvement.Proceedings of the Geo-Support 2004 Conference, Orlando, FL,p. 309-321.
- Mokwa, R. L.and Duncan, J. M. (2003).Rotational restraint of pile caps during lateral loading.ASCEJournal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering,vol. 129 (9), p. 829-837.
- Mokwa, R. L.and Duncan, J. M. (2001).Laterally loaded pile group effects and p-y multipliers.ASCE Geotechnical Special Publication, GSP No. 113, Foundations and Ground Improvement, Proceedings of the GEO-Odyssey Conference, Blacksburg, VA, p. 728-742.
- Mokwa, R. L.and Duncan, J. M. (2001).Experimental evaluation of lateral-load resistance of pile caps.ASCEJournal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering,vol. 127 (2), p. 185-192.
- Duncan, J. M. andMokwa, R. L.(2001).Passive earth pressures: theories and tests.ASCEJournal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering,vol. 127 (3), p. 248-257.
- Mokwa, R. L.and Duncan, J. M. (2000).Development of p-y curves for partly saturated silts and clays with both cohesion and friction.ASCE Geotechnical Special Publication, GSP No. 100,New Technological and Design Developments in Deep Foundations, Proceedings of the GEO-Denver Conference 2000, p. 224-239.
- Mokwa, R. L.(1999).Investigation of the resistance of pile caps to lateral loading.Ph.D. Dissertation, Virginia Polytechnic Institute andStateUniversity, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, September, pp. 383.
National or InternationalConference Proceedings and Technical Publications
(Student contributing authors are underlined)
- Mokwa, R.L.andMorris, 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.
- Robbins, B.,Nichols, J.,Mokwa, R.L.,Kuhn, B., MacLaughlin, M.M., and Hudyma, N. (2011).Quantifying internal macroporosity using CT scanning.American Rock Mechanics Association, 45thU.S. Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium, Fan Francisco, CA, June 26-29, 2011.
- Mokwa, R.L.,Nielsen, B., Morris, Z., Robbins, B. andNichols, J.(2011).Nondestructive Measurements of Geomaterials Using X-ray Computed Tomography:Some Practical Applications.Proceedings of the 43rdEngineering Geology and Geotechnical Engineering Symposium. Las Vegas, NV, Boise, ID, March 23-25, 2011.
- Mokwa, R.L.(2010).Classroom integration of a construction case study using active learning.Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Education (ICEE-2010), Gliwice, Poland, July 18-22, 2010.
- Mokwa, R.L.andBrooks, H.(2009).Driven pile capacity in intermediate geomaterial formations.Proceedings of the ASCE GeoInstitute International Foundation Congress (IFCEE’09).Geotechnical Special Publication, GSP No. 185, Contemporary Topics in Deep Foundations. Orlando, FL, March 15-19, 2009.
- Mokwa, R.L.,Peebles, C., and Adams, E. (2008).Laboratory testing of high density sintered snow.Proceedings of the 41stEngineering Geology and Geotechnical Engineering Symposium. Boise, ID, April 9-11, 2008.
- Scarr, K.andMokwa, R.L.(2008).Axial capacity of piles founded in permafrost: a case study on the applicability of modern pile design in remote Mongolia.Proceedings of the 41stEngineering Geology and Geotechnical Engineering Symposium. Boise, ID, April 9-11, 2008.
- Brooks, H.andMokwa, R.L.(2008).Axial capacity of piles founded in intermediate geomaterials: a state of the practice review.Proceedings of the 41stEngineering Geology and Geotechnical Engineering Symposium. Boise, ID, April 9-11, 2008.
- Mokwa, R. L., Cuelho, E., andBrowne, M. (2008).Laboratory testing of soil using the Superpave gyratory compactor.Proceedings of the88th Transportation Research Board Annual Conference, TRB 2008, Committee AFS10 (Transportation Earthworks), January 13-18, 2008, Washington DC.
- Cuelho, E,Mokwa, R. L.,Obert, K., andMiller, A.(2008).Comparative analysis of micro-deval, L.A. abrasion, and sulfate soundness tests.Proceedings of the88th Transportation Research Board Annual Conference, TRB 2008, January 13-18, 2008, Washington DC.
- Mokwa, R.andTrimble, N. (2008).Permeability of coarse-grain soil from void space and pore distribution.Proceedings of the ASCE GeoCongress-08 Conference,The Challenge of Sustainability in the Geoenvironment.New Orleans, Louisiana, March 9-12, 2008.
- Mokwa, R.(2007).Soil air voids method for geoconstruction compaction control.Proceedings of the 13th PanAmerican Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, Isla de Margarita, Venezuela, July 15-19, 2007, pp. 838-843.
- Cuelho, E.,Mokwa, R., andAkin, M.(2007).Quantifying the benefits of flexible pavement preventative maintenance techniques – a synthesis and survey.5th International Conference on Maintenance and Rehabilitation of Pavements and Technological Control (MAIREPAV5), August 8-10, 2007, Park City, Utah.
- Mokwa, R. L.,Peebles, C., andTrimble, N.(2006).Evaluation of the engineering characteristics of RAP/aggregate blends.Proceedings of the 86thTransportation Research Board Annual Conference, TRB 2006, Committee AFD70, January 22-26, 2006.
- Mokwa, R. L.andFridleifsson, S.(2006).Soil air voids method for compaction control.Proceedings of the 86thTransportation Research Board Annual Conference, TRB 2006, Committee AFS 10, January 22-26, 2006.
- Mokwa, R. L.andNielsen, B.(2006).Nondestructive measurements of soil geotechnical properties using x-ray computed tomography.Proceedings of the ASCE GeoCongress Conference,Geotechnical Engineering in the Information Technology Age, Atlanta, GA, Feb. 26-March 1, 2006.
- Browne, M.,Mokwa, R. L.,and Cuelho, E. (2006).Feasibility of using a gyratory compactor to determine compaction characteristics of soil.Proceedings of the 40thEngineering Geology and Geotechnical Engineering Symposium. Logan, UT, May 24-26, 2006.(Received 2ndplace award for best conference paper and presentation.)
- Mokwa, R. L.andTrimble, N. R.(2006).Permeability characteristics of RAP/aggregate blends for use in highway and embankment construction.Proceedings of the 40thEngineering Geology and Geotechnical Engineering Symposium. Logan, UT, May 24-26, 2006.
- Trimble, N. R.andMokwa, R. L.(2006).Permeability investigation of a silty clay alluvium as it relates to chromium contamination transport – a case study.Proceedings of the 40thEngineering Geology and Geotechnical Engineering Symposium. Logan, UT, May 24-26, 2006.
- Obert, K., Cuelho, E., andMokwa, R.L.(2006).Investigation of coarse aggregate durability using the micro-deval abrasion testing apparatus.Proceedings of the 40thEngineering Geology and Geotechnical Engineering Symposium. Logan, UT, May 24-26, 2006.
- Mokwa, R.L. (2005).Channel Tunnel.Contributing Author for the World Book Encyclopedia, World Book Publishing,Chicago,Illinois.
- Mokwa, R. L.(2004).Soil Response in sub-freezing environments; the frost heave model.Transportation Research Board,83rd Annual Meeting, Vol. 83,WashingtonD.C. 19 p.
- Mokwa, R. L.(2004).Help! I’m out of Dirt.Civil Engineering News Magazine, vol. 16, no. 11, p. 35-38.
- Mokwa, R. L.,Newell, Z., andEschbach, E.(2004). Experimental evaluation of the frost heave phenomena. Proceedings of the39thEngineering Geology and Geotechnical Engineering Symposium, Butte, Montana, May 18-21, p. 11-23.
- Mokwa, R.L.andNielsen, B. D.(2004).Geotechnical seismicity assessment of the Montana State University–Bozeman Campus. Proceedings of the39thEngineering Geology and Geotechnical Engineering Symposium, Butte, Montana, May 18-21, p. 227-240.
- Mokwa, R. L.(2004).Transportation engineering in cold regions: state of the practice review.Proceedings of the12thAnnual Cold Regions Engineering Specialty Conference,Edmonton,Canada, June 2004.
- Duncan, J. M. andMokwa, R. L.(2003).Lateral load resistance of pile groups.ASCE 20thCentral Pennsylvania Geotechnical Conference, Invited Paper, Hershey, PA, October 29-31, p. 1-20.
- Mokwa, R. L.and Duncan, J. M. (2002).Simplified method of analysis for laterally loaded pile groups.Proceedings of the 37thEngineering Geology and Geotechnical Engineering Symposium, Boise State University, Boise, Idaho, p. 133-146.
- Engineering and Educational Manuals
- Mokwa, R. L.,Robbins, B., and Nichols, J. (2010).X-Ray CT Imaging of Geomaterials — Users Manual.Instructional manual for x-ray CT scanning of geomaterials created by students as part of a MSU special studies undergraduate research project.
- Mokwa, R. L., Anderson D., Jackson, R., and Shearin, K. (2008).MDT Geotechnical Manual.Prepared for Montana Department of Transportation to provide guidance in performing geotechnical investigations and design analyses on Department of Transportation projects.July 2008.
- Mokwa, R. L.(2007).Geotechnical Laboratory Testing Manual for University Undergraduate Students.Prepared for the Montana State University Civil Engineering Department.Funded through the MSU Enhancing Scholarship and Teaching Program.January 2007,pp. 100.
- Mokwa, R. L.(2004).Advanced Soil Applications in Highway Construction. Instructional manual prepared for the Montana Department of Transportation, January 2004, pp. 77.
- Mokwa, R. L.(2004).Fundamentals of Soils and Highway Construction, 2ndEd. Instructional manual for the Montana Department of Transportation, January 2004, pp. 45.
- Nichols, J.,Robbins, B, supervised byMokwa, R.(2010).Identification of Voids in Vesicular Basalt Cores Using X-Ray Computed Tomography.Montana State University Undergraduate Research Report.May 2010, 32 pp.
- Mokwa, R.L.(2009).Lisa-Colter Inscription Stone Geotechnical Evaluation.Report prepared for the National Park Service Heritage
Partnership Program, September 23, 2009.
- Mokwa, R. L.andAkin, M.(2009).Measurement and Evaluation of Subgrade Soil Parameters: Phase I – Synthesis of LiteratureResearch Report FHWA/MT-09-006/8199 for the Montana Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Transportation. Helena, MT, September 2009.
- Mokwa, R. L.andBrooks, H. (2008).Axial Capacity of Piles Supported on Intermediate Geomaterials.Research Report FHWA/MT-08-8117-32 for the Montana Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Transportation. Helena, MT, September 2008.
- Mokwa, R. L.,Cuelho, E., andTrimble, N.(2007).Experimental Assessment of Aggregate Surfacing Materials.Research Report FHWA/MT-07-011/8117-30 for the Montana Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Transportation, Helena, MT, July 2007.
- Cuelho, E.,Mokwa, R. L., andObert, K.(2007).Comparative Analysis of Coarse Surfacing Aggregate UsingMicro-Deval, L.A. Abrasion, and Sulfate Soundness Tests.Final Report FHWA/MT-06-017/8117-27 for the Montana Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Transportation, Helena, MT.January 2007, pp. 47.
- Cuelho, E.,Mokwa, R. L., and<Akin, M. (2006).Preventive Maintenance Treatments of Flexible Pavements: A Synthesis of Highway Practice.Final Report FHWA/MT-06-009/8117-26 for the Montana Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Transportation, Helena, MT, September 2006, pp. 57.
- Mokwa, R. L.(2006).Subsurface Exploration for the MSU CO2 Injection Project – Phase I.Montana State University Research Report, Bozeman, MT, July 31, 2006.
- Mokwa, R. L.andFrioleifsson, S.(2005).Soil Air Voids Method for Compaction Control.Final Report FHWA/MT-05-010/8117-23 for the Montana Department of Transportation, Helena, MT, August 2005, pp. 104.
- Mokwa, R. L.andPeebles, C.(2005).Evaluation of the Engineering Characteristics of RAP/Aggregate Blends.Final Report FHWA/MT-05-008/8117-24 for the Montana Department of Transportation, Helena, MT, July 2005, pp. 100.
- Nielsen, B. D.andMokwa, R. L.(2004).Non-Destructive Soil Testing Using X-Ray Computed Tomography. Research report to the Western Transportation Institute, November 2004, pp. 126.
- Mokwa, R. L.(2004).Report of Seismic Piezocone Testing for Mike Horse Dam. Prepared for theU.S.Forrest Service and Hydrometrics, September 15, 2004, pp. 43.
- Nielsen, B. D. withMokwa, R. L.(2004).Bearing Capacity Reliability Analysis. Graduate Student Special Study Report prepared under the guidance of R. Mokwa for fulfillment of CE570 Graduate Individual Problems Course, May 5, 2004, pp. 20.
- Trimble, N. R.withMokwa, R. L.(2004).Permeability Characteristics of RAP/Aggregate Blends for Use in Highway Construction.National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduate Students, Western Transportation Institute Research Report, prepared under the guidance of R. Mokwa.August 10, 2004, pp. 28.
- Mokwa, R. L.(2003).Fundamentals of Soils and Highway Construction. Instructional manual for the Montana Department of Transportation, January 2003, pp. 43.
- Mokwa, R.L.andNielsen, B. D.(2003).Geotechnical Soil Assessment of theMontanaStateUniversityBozemanCampus. Research Report prepared for Montana State University Facilities Services,Bozeman,MT, October 2003, pp. 15.
- Eschbach, E.withMokwa, R. L.(2003).Examination of Frost Depth Characteristics of Subgrade Soils.National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduate Students, Western Transportation Institute Research Report, prepared under the guidance of R. Mokwa, August 1, 2003, pp. 22.
- Mokwa, R. L. andDuncan, J. M. (1999).Investigation of the Resistance of Pile Caps to Lateral Loading.Report of Research Performed under Sponsorship of the VA Transportation Research Council, VTRC 99-CR,Charlottesville,VA.