November/December 2022 - 103

foundation design solution that is
effective yet minimizes social and
environmental impacts. In the process,
they consider the need for, and benefit
of, the project, any disruption or hazards
associated with construction, and
environmental aspects of their design
such as embodied carbon and energy
via streamlined life-cycle assessment
methods (e.g., the EFFC-DFI Geotechnical
Carbon Calculator).
Institutions have the freedom to
meet ABET student outcomes how they
choose. There is no requirement that
students complete geotechnical courses
as part of a bachelor's degree program,
and no mandate that sustainability be
covered in any specific course. With
respect to sustainability integration into
u n d e r g r a d u a t e g e o t e c h n i c a l
instruction, the feasible worst-case
scenario is having no treatment of the
subject in a geotechnical context. While
the best-case scenario may be having all
undergraduate geotechnical courses
include aspects of sustainability, the
most likely scenario is having upperlevel
geotechnical design courses
addressing aspects of sustainability,
while introductory geotechnical
courses may not. Despite the fact that
graduates may not receive education in
sustainability in a geotechnical context,
all graduates with a bachelor's degree in
civil engineering from an ABET
accredited program must be able to
apply principles of sustainability in
design and consider social, economic
and environmental factors.
Graduate Education
At the post-graduate level, the forces
guiding engineering curricula are
different. Generally, civil engineering
graduate programs are not accredited,
and a civil engineering graduate degree
involves focused study in one subdiscipline
within the field (e.g., geotechnical,
structural, transportation). In
contrast, undergraduate study has an
emphasis on the breadth of civil
engineering. Graduate curricula are
driven by the needs and demands of
professional practice within the subdiscipline
rather than accreditation
criteria, and the content of graduate
courses is more technical than that of
undergraduate courses. Addressing
technical content in a course at sufficient
depth generally precludes the
incorporation of stand-alone content on
sustainability. This state of affairs is not
likely to change unless industry demands
more training in sustainability.
sustainability be incorporated into any
p a r t i c u l a r c o u r s e , p l e n t y o f
opportunities exist for instructors to
link the content of geotechnical courses
to sustainability. Doing so at the
undergraduate level reinforces student
knowledge, bolstering attainment of
accreditation outcomes and skills with
respect to the ASCE Body of Knowledge.
It also helps individuals who go on to
graduate s tudy and careers in
geotechnical engineer ing make
Since geotechnical courses are not required for an
accredited degree, there is no significant incentive to
include substantial sustainability content in introductory
undergraduate geotechnical engineering or soil
mechanics courses.
Of note, the ASCE Body of Knowledge
does not list post-graduate education as
a typical pathway to achieving the
sustainability outcome; it is achieved
through undergraduate education,
mentor ed expe r i ence and se l f
development. To facilitate the latter,
seminars and the publication of case
histories and research on sustainability
in geotechnical engineering are
particularly important as professionals
seek to expand their knowledge and
abilities. Much of this pathway to
knowledge is encountered outside the
curriculum during the typical graduate
educat ion experience, and i t is
important for graduate students and
young professionals to be encouraged
and supported in their continued
development through the resources
and information they consume.
Opportunities for
Sustainability Content in
Geotechnical Courses
Despite the fact that geotechnical
courses are not explicitly required for
an undergraduate civil engineering
degree and there is no mandate that
connections between sustainability
and sustainable design principles and
their application in the practice of
geotechnical engineering. Instructors
can use the United Nations' Sustainable
Deve l opmen t Goa l s and make
connections for students between
course topics and achieving one or
more of the goals as indicated in Table 1.
Rewriting typical course content to
address sustainability aspects in
extens ive detai l i s not always
necessary. Making a topical connection
with a few minutes of lecture or
i n c o r p o r a t i n g a c a s e h i s t o r y
assignment with some reading and or
documentary video, can lay the
groundwork for short (or long) class
discussions, and help students make
connections between the sustainability
and resilience of infrastructure and
geotechnical engineering.
In summa ry , sus t a inab i l i t y
education is a key component of all
undergraduate civil engineering
prog rams acc r ed i t ed by ABET.
Individuals earning an undergraduate
degree from an accredited program
today should be able to recognize their
DEEP FOUNDATIONS * NOV/DEC 2022 * 103

November/December 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of November/December 2022

TOC
November/December 2022 - Intro
November/December 2022 - 1
November/December 2022 - 2
November/December 2022 - TOC
November/December 2022 - 4
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