Welcome to the Department of Geotechnics and Transportation, School of Civil Engineering. This Department comprises two main sections; the geotechnical engineering section and the transportation and highway engineering section.
Geotechnical engineering which generally deals with natural materials near the earth’s surface utilizes the principles of soil mechanics and rock mechanics in designing safe, economical and environmentally sustainable foundations, retaining structures and earth structures. Transportation and highway engineering meanwhile is a broad discipline which involves planning, designing, construction, operation, maintenance and control of transportation facilities to ensure the provision of safe, economical, effective and efficient as well as environmentally sustainable transport services.
Presently each section has 14 academic staff in addition to 2 academic staff in the area of civil engineering surveys. In order to ensure quality services, a total of 9 well-trained technical/laboratory personnel are available to assist academic staff, students, researchers and other parties in carrying out experiments and related testing in the laboratories or on sites. Besides academic related duties, both the academicians and technical staff are often referred to by industry players to participate and/or to solve geotechnical engineering and/or transportation engineering related problems faced by those practitioners. Such collaborations are normally translated to consultancy projects and/or contract researches. The academic staff, laboratories personnel and students also involve in community services such as installing tubed wells for water supply for an indigenous community and a religious school in Johor, cleaning houses and schools affected by flood in Kelantan, and delivering motivational talks to secondary school students.
In line with the aspiration of the University to be one of the renowned global academic centers in the field of engineering and technology, the government of Malaysia provides financial supports to the University to improve the infrastructure to fulfil the demands from the students, academicians, researchers and other stake holders. With the provision of the financial supports (in terms of research grants, 10th and 11th Malaysia Plans, etc), both the soil laboratory and transportation laboratory have been equipped with up-to-date equipment and machines. By having such facilities, teaching and learning as well as researches can be performed effectively and efficiently to ensure the quality of graduates and research outputs.
As for research activities, different research groups associated with different sub-areas were formed. The Soft Soil Research Group (SSRG), the Ground Improvement Research Group (GIRG) and the Geohazard Research Group (GRG) are associated with geotechnical engineering, whereas the Pavement and Transport Research Group (PTRG) is linked to transportation and highway engineering. Research outputs are normally shared with interested parties via journal papers, seminars, conferences, short courses and colloquiums. As can be seen, hundreds of technical papers produced by the academic staff and researchers in the Department have been published in renowned journals and proceedings, in addition to innovative research products. Moreover, a center of excellence specifically related to tropical geoengineering (GEOTROPIS) was recently formed.
In summary, the Department has actively played the roles in the disseminations of knowledges and expertise to produce quality human capitals (engineers, researchers, consultants) besides to provide innovative and sustainable engineering solutions. For further information related to geotechnical engineering, transportation and highway engineering as well as civil engineering surveys, kindly visit the School of Civil Engineering website at civil.utm.my.
DR. NOR ZURAIRAHETTY MOHD YUNUS
Department of Geotechnics and Transportation,
Faculty of Civil Engineering,
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia,
UTM Skudai, 81310 Johor,