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Invigorating Geotechnical Engineering Education at the University of Illinois

Sadrekarimi, Abouzar
Huvaj Sarıhan, Nejan
Olson, Scott M
In recent years, U.S. geotechnical academic programs have experienced decreasing numbers of enrolled students; meanwhile, the demand for qualified, professional geotechnical engineers has increased. The Geo-Institute (G-I) of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) was founded primarily to advance and promote the geo-engineering community. As part of its recent strategic plan (Geo-Institute 2005), the G-I plans to increase its membership and expand its programs for students at all levels, as well as to promote and support G-I student chapters. As part of this effort, graduate students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) recently established a G-I student chapter. Since its founding, the UIUC G-I student chapter has organized numerous educational, research, and outreach programs and activities. These activities already appear to reaping benefits by raising civil engineering undergraduate student awareness of geotechnical engineering and increasing graduate enrollment in geotechnical engineering. This study demonstrates the activities of this student chapter and their effectiveness in fulfilling the goals of this organization.