Geotechnical engineering is the study of the behaviour of soils under the influence of loading forces and soil-water interactions. This knowledge is applied to the design of foundations, retaining walls, earth dams, clay liners, and geo-synthetics for waste containment. The goals of geotechnical engineers could range from the design of foundations and temporary excavation support, through route selection for railways and highways, to the increasingly important areas of landfill disposal of wastes and groundwater contamination.
As such, the geotechnical engineer is involved in field and laboratory investigations to determine the engineering properties of site soils and other geo-materials and their subsequent use in the analytical study of the problem at hand. Recent computational and computer advances are extending our ability to predict the behaviour of soil and soil-water systems under a wide variety of conditions. In recent years, the activities of geotechnical engineers have also involved geo-environmental engineering.
Geo-environmental engineers design strategies for the clean-up of contaminated soils and groundwater and develop management systems for contaminated sites. Employment opportunities include geotechnical and engineering consultants, public utilities, governmental agencies, environmental agencies, specialized contractors and resource industry companies.
In the Soil Mechanics lab, test on Soil is performed such as:-
1) Field identification of different types of soil as per Indian standards [collection of field samples and identification without laboratory testing], determination of natural moisture content.
2) Determination of specific gravity of i) Cohesion less ii) cohesive soil
3) Determination of In-situ density by core cutter method & sand replacement method.
4) Grain size distribution of cohessionless soil by sieving & fine-grained soil by hydrometer analysis.
5) Determination of Atterberg’s limits (liquid limit, plastic limit & shrinkage limit).
6) Determination of co- efficient of permeability by constant head pemeameter (coarse grained soil) & variable head parameter (fine grained soil).
7) Determination of compaction characteristics of soil.
8) Direct Shear Test
9) Vane Shear Test
10) Determination of Unconfined Compressive Strength Test of Soil.
11) Determination of Consolidation of Soil.