6 Free Sites for Geotechnical Webinars and Technical References

Are you itching for some geo-education? The following is a list of 6 free and awesome sites that provide free webinars, papers, and technical reference manuals for you to get some more in-depth knowledge about our awesome geotech profession:

1) National Highway Institute (NHI) Free Webinars:

NHI is an organization that is a division of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) that provides top-level seminars and training classes regarding a plethora of topics in the geotechnical engineering field. They also publish some of the best technical manuals in our field. As part of their services, they provide some interesting webinars on topics such as the Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil Integrated Bridge System, drilled shaft design and testing, tunneling, pile driving technologies, auger-cast piles, and a whole lot of other topics. Just register for a free account and you’ll be ready to go.

2) FDOT Construction Learning:

FDOT provide free lectures/slides on inspection of construction for auger-cast piles and MSE walls. These are very good specifications for construction of these geotechnical systems. They also provide lectures for materials testing (i.e. concrete, asphalt, earthwork, etc.). Register for a free account and you can view those that interest you. The best part is that you get a little certificate at the end and can add this achievement as part of your resume!

3) NCS Consultants, LLC – Downloads:

This firm provides some excellent technical publications (available in PDF format). What’s nice about the documents available is that they emphasize the Load and Resistance Factor (LRFD) design methodology, which is the current and future of design philosophy for geotechnical design. If you need more information regarding LRFD design for foundations, they provide detailed explanation of industry standard methods and also they provide test data to compare with design methods. These are some of the most up-to-date references for LRFD based design that are available today.

4) Vulcanhammer.net:

This site should be at the top of every geotechnical engineer’s bookmark list. They seriously have a reference for just about every reference in our field. Go check it out right now!

5) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Geotechnical Publications:

The FHWA is a go-to resource for anyone who is working on transportation-related projects. They have some very old (i.e. 1970s) manuals as well as some that they update every few years on topics such as foundations, retaining walls, earthquake engineering, laboratory testing, foundation testing, and more.

6) U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Engineering Manuals:

Another resource that provides PDF documents for manuals regarding design of foundations, retaining walls, dams, geophysical testing, safety, sheet pile walls, and more. This is based on experience from one of the best engineering groups in our country. Don’t let the date of the publications steer you away as there are some very good charts and data in these manuals.

So, there you have it. These are 6 of my favorite free sites to get some geo-education. Do you have any other interesting sites that provide free webinars or technical publications? Please share it with us!

About the Author

Mr. Rey Villa is a registered professional engineer in the State of Florida who obtained a Master’s Degree from the Missouri University of Science and Technology. His practice involves mainly transportation related projects, particularly design-build contracts. He is the web developer responsible for Geotech-Apps.com, which is a site that provides geotechnical web apps for use in foundation and retaining wall analyses and design. You can find him on Google+.