Prof. William A. Kitch of Angelo State University has prepared a comprehensive manual for the most common Laboratory Tests in Geotechnical Engineering. The manual is intended primarily for use in an undergraduate soil mechanics lab class. It is intended neither as a guide for researchers nor as a manual of practice for commercial labs. It is instead focused on engaging students in learning fundamental soil mechanics by applying standard lab tests to the solution of realistic, applied engineering problems.
The manual presents a short description of the purpose of each test and the theory behind the test before presenting the test procedures. The purpose section is intended to tie the test to a specific applied engineering reason for performing the test. The theory section is intended to provide an overview of the theory needed to understand why the procedures work. The theory section is not intended to replace fundamentals covered in a soil mechanics class.
The manual encourages students to collect samples for testing, and therefore, the first procedures described, in Chapter 2, are for drilling and sampling. This chapter is followed by a section (Chapters 3 through 7) that covers the basic index properties needed to classify soils. The tests in these chapters should be completed before starting the strength and compressibility tests in Chapters 8 through 11. However, there is no specific order for the tests outside of the general organization just presented. Each chapter is designed to stand alone as much as possible. The final chapter of the manual provides a guideline for preparing a geotechnical data report. The outline is intended to provide a reasonable organization for a typical report of site conditions and soil data for a geotechnical project. It is modeled after state-of-the-practice geotechnical reports.
The Geotechnical Engineering Lab Manual by Prof. William A. Kitch is distributed under Creative Commons license CC BY-SA 4.0.
For the 2020 Burmister Lecture, Emeritus Professo...