Volume 38, N. 2

May-August 2015

Emerging Trends in Geotechnical Engineering (Manuel Rocha Lecture)


Volume 38, N. 2, May-August 2015 | PDF (6 downloads)


Geotechnical engineering is one of the first technical and scientific fields to intervene in any infrastructure or urban development project and, in many cases, it is the most important. In the course of time many methodological, analytical, numerical and technological innovations have been discovered and used both in field and in laboratory investigations in the analysis, design and construction of geotechnical structures. The fields in which geotechnical engineering plays an important role and where these innovations have been introduced are very wide and spread out by very different scales. The world globalization, the unsustainable use of resources, the climate changes caused by human activities, the increase of natural disasters, the recognized lack of infrastructure to meet people’s needs and also to protect against the consequences of climate changes, decisively condition the evolution of engineering and obviously also of geotechnical engineering. These factors require the problems and their solutions to be addressed in a global, integrated and multidisciplinary way. This lecture outlines a perspective on the future of geotechnics, starting by characterizing various conditioning factors and society’s needs. The developed prospect is naturally fragmented and incomplete, and it could not be otherwise, as it is a personal perspective conditioned by the interests and limitations of the author.

Keywords: future development of geotechnics, social, economic and environmental conditioning factors, geotechnical issues,

Submitted on May 01, 2015.
Final Acceptance on May 01, 2015.
Discussion open until May 01, 2015.