Unless you plan to spend your career working on the space station, everything you design as a civil engineer has to eventually be connected to the earth. Research in geotechnical engineering at UNH concentrates on field and laboratory measurements of the material properties required to predict how different soils will behave under the static and dynamic loads. In some cases, the structure will be made of soil (earth dams, for example) so you will need soil properties to design the structure itself. As computer models of soils grow more sophisticated and complex, more and different soil properties have to be fed to them as input, including not only stresses and strains at failure, but also at working-stress levels.
Geotechnical Engineering group at UNH offer a variety of geotech related courses and research areas from field to laboratory testing and from numerical to physical modeling. Exceptional equipment and facilities provide a unique opportunities fro learning and research for undergraduate and graduate students.