It is typical for an introductory undergraduate course in geotechnical engineering to expose students to the subjects of lateral earth pressure and bearing capacity. An understanding of bearing capacity and lateral earth pressure is essential for the design of foundations, retaining walls, and anchoring systems. This paper describes ongoing work to develop equipment, software, and hands-on teaching activities that apply Digital Image Correlation (DIC) to enhance a student’s first exposure to lateral earth pressure and bearing capacity. The approach described herein enables students to observe the relationship between load acting on the soil and structural displacement for conditions similar to those of a loaded footing, retaining wall, or embedded ground anchor. The DIC system allows the students to see the magnitude, direction, and distribution of soil displacements. The ability to simultaneously observe load, structural displacement, and soil displacement provides a powerful teaching tool to show the connection between geotechnical analyses performed to estimate failure loads with analyses used to estimate deformations. In addition to discussing the proposed methodology and initial results, this paper provides relevant background information related to DIC, lateral earth pressure, and bearing capacity. A literature review was performed to compile previous efforts to use DIC as an educational tool in undergraduate engineering education. Proposed teaching activities are briefly outlined. A followup paper will discuss the proposed teaching activities in detail and the impacts on student learning.
Visualizing soil deformation in the undergraduate classroom using Digital Image Correlation (DIC)
McGuire, M. P. and J. D. Helm. (2015) "Visualizing soil deformation in the undergraduate classroom using Digital Image Correlation (DIC)." ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition Proceedings. Paper 13758.