Briaud writes introductory geotechnical engineering textbook

Photo of Dr. Jean-Louis BriaudDr. Jean-Louis Briaud has completed the first introductory geotechnical engineering textbook to cover both saturated and unsaturated soil mechanics.

Briaud is the Spencer J. Buchanan Chair in the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University. He is past president of the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering and a research engineer with the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. During the past 30 years, he has conducted extensive research on various aspects of geotechnical engineering and has been a consultant on numerous large-scale projects in several countries.

Briaud said that most books designed for an introductory course in geotechnical engineering focus on saturated soil mechanics. His book, "Geotechnical Engineering: Unsaturated and Saturated Soils," takes a new approach, based on the fundamentals of unsaturated soils and extends the description to a wide variety of applications.

This comprehensive introduction presents geotechnical engineering as dealing with a true three-phase soil while treating saturated soil as a special case, rather than the other way around. The book covers numerous topics that reveal the vast domain covered by geotechnical engineering and its important contributions to many elements of infrastructure. In addition to conventional subjects, the book includes a number of topics typically left out of undergraduate geotechnical courses, such as: 

  • Engineering geology
  • Rocks
  • Site investigation and in situ tests
  • Geophysics
  • Problem solving methods and soil models
  • Thermodynamics for soils
  • Earthquake geo-engineering
  • Erosion
  • Geoenvironmental
  • Geosynthetics
  • Ground Improvement
  • Technical communications

"Geotechnical Engineering: Unsaturated and Saturated Soils" takes students beyond the usual confines of an undergraduate introduction to become a useful reference as they enter graduate studies or begin their careers.