Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!
  • Students Click Here

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

Structural v Geotechnical Forums

Structural v Geotechnical Forums

Structural v Geotechnical Forums

I think most of the people that use this site come to discuss, learn, debate, argue, etc about geotechnical engineering. Its a great website that I dont feel guilty spending hours on. Better than spending hours looking at VR fail videos on Youtube (check them out, very funny, a personal favorite of mine)

From looking at the structural engineers forum they get between 8-10 new threads a day on their various forum rooms.

Us unfortunates probably only get 2-3 a day if we are lucky.

This indicates there is up to 5 times the number of structural engineers as there is geotechnical engineers. I think its probably close to that in real life.

Is there a way to generate more discussion for geotechnical engineers on this site?

I personally would be all for it.

RE: Structural v Geotechnical Forums

I rather like the smaller number of posts in the geotech fora: it's harder for your issue to go overlooked by those that regularly visit. The structural fora new and updated posts can spill over the fist "page", rendering some of them less "visible".

I will usually refrain from posting a response if the initial responses seem reasonable, as I only have so much time.

RE: Structural v Geotechnical Forums

Maybe the Soil Mechanics Engineering forum should be merged with the Geotechnical Engineering General Discussion forum?


RE: Structural v Geotechnical Forums

"This indicates there is up to 5 times the number of structural engineers as there is geotechnical engineers. I think its probably close to that in real life."

Look at the hours spent on the average job. The number difference actually may be much higher.

RE: Structural v Geotechnical Forums

Check out the number of structural PE exam test takers vs geotechnical PE exam test takers on the NCEES website.

RE: Structural v Geotechnical Forums

Merging Geotechnical with Soils makes sense to me.

Mike McCann, PE, SE (WA, HI)

RE: Structural v Geotechnical Forums

When I look at the structural forums discussion I can honestly say that the subject line to 50% of the posts, lead me to believe the question refers to ASCE or other design codes.

When posts show up in the geotechnical forums I believe that a lower percentage requests clarification on building codes.

RE: Structural v Geotechnical Forums

PE Exam takers in 2019 from NCEES. Nothing too surprising, maybe tansport. I figured a site engineer could be onsite for the complete build time. Structural involved for may 70% of the build, Geotechnical maybe 10%. I thought transportation would be similar to Geo but involved in the planning stage. I know in the UK there are requirements for traffic plan monitoring for a number of years after construction is complete.

PE Civil: Construction 817
PE Civil: Geotechnical 515
PE Civil: Structural 1438
PE Civil: Transportation 1674

GeoEnv - I suppose that comes down to the fact the structural is much more codified given that there material is a lot more predictable than our dirt. Still though there always seems to be good debate going on in the structural forums. They have some good guys that contribute alot - Ktook, Hokie, Jayrod, Ron etc. and alot of guys with "retired" in their name that share lots of good knowledge.

Also, while I agree merging the soil mechanics and geotech forums makes sense it doesn't really generate any more discussion...

RE: Structural v Geotechnical Forums

I see many posts in the Structural Forum that could be considered to be in the "gray area" that is a blend of structural and geotechnical. Some generic topics as examples:
  • Can a pile be considered a column?
  • How to calculate buoyancy for a foundation below the water table?
  • For my project, will differential settlement be a problem?
Posting is probably in the Structural Forum for a simple reason... it is the most popular forum. Make a (polite) post explaining why this type problem can be better addressed as a geotechnical issue in one of the Geotechnical Forums. The explanation is not only for the OP, but also for the numerous (mute) visitors who read these posts for information... perhaps because they have similar issues.

www.SlideRuleEra.net idea

RE: Structural v Geotechnical Forums

SRE - all those dam structurals thinking they can do it without us :P.

and Jdonville - I can see what you mean re the volume of structural posts. I posted a thread but its now nearly on page 3!! Maybe due to the large volume or maybe because its not interesting enough to bait a response.

RE: Structural v Geotechnical Forums

EireChch's original question was "Is there a way to generate more discussion for geotechnical engineers on this site?" The answer is to combine the Geotechnical and Soil Mechanics forums. Even together, the number of threads will never equal those in the Structural forum, but there will appear to be more action in the Geotechnical forum. Anyway, the term "soil mechanics" isn't used much any more.


RE: Structural v Geotechnical Forums

Eat your hearts out guys! bigsmile

Mike McCann, PE, SE (WA, HI)

RE: Structural v Geotechnical Forums

I'll weigh in on this since I have significant experience in both realms....translate...great career exposure and lots of diversity plus gray hairshadeshappy

As others have noted, structural engineering is significantly more codified. To code authorities, geotechnical engineering is a mystery. It is not something they even remotely understand and they avoid at all costs. Structural engineering is more direct and you can see a beam, a column, a frame, a slab...whatever. They can't get touchy/feely with a 4-foot layer of soft clay 10 feet below the surface that can present shallow foundation problems, so they don't address it in the code.

Secondly, geotechnical engineering is actually more specialized than structural engineering. It has an ethereal aura that requires a lot of experience, testing, sampling and engineering judgment, whereas structural engineering is much more predictable. As an example, settlement calculations are a lot more nebulous than computing the deflection of a beam.

Thirdly...boredom. Many engineers consider geotechnical engineering to be one-dimensional and boring. While it is not, that is a clear perception. Structural engineering can have a lot of pizazz, particularly on those highly visible, ornate albatrosses that architects tend to create.

I have had the opportunity to work with some phenomenal geotechnical engineers in my career. I've also had to the opportunity to manage and operate a geotechnical laboratory for one of the major geotechnical firms in the US and to do geotechnical investigations from the typical "three holes and a cloud of dust" to some significant structures including all of the harbor expansion for the cruise ship berths in Nassau, Bahamas and several of the out islands. I suppose I could sum it up as my exposure to geotechnical engineering has made me a better structural engineer.

RE: Structural v Geotechnical Forums

Well said Ron! PEInc - there is also the soil/groundwater envinronmental forum - perhaps take out soil in the title as this one gets from time to time, geo queries.

RE: Structural v Geotechnical Forums

I would only add that the difference may be more akin to Science versus Art----you pick which is "science" and which is "art".

RE: Structural v Geotechnical Forums

Very nice post Ron, which remembered me that I have been talking with some young engineers in my office and the thing that I most repeat is that geotech projects are always different and you do not have a defined recipe from the cookbook...so you need to use your engineering judgment a lot...

Eng-tips is great and helped me a lot to advance in my carrer... thanks much guys !

Also, perhaps the earthwork forum can be moved to the geotechnical forum?

RE: Structural v Geotechnical Forums

I would leave the Earthwork/grading engineering forum separate - as it is now. Most of its posts have to do with excavation and estimating earthwork. I don't see much soils or geotech info in that forum.


Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login


Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close