Graduate Research and Discovery Symposium (GRADS)


C. Hsein Juang, Sez Atamturktur

Document Type



Civil Engineering

Publication Date

Spring 2013


In routine geotechnical engineering practice, the engineer has to work with a small sample of data due to budget constraint. Because of complexity of soil deposits, it is often difficult to determine correctly the statistics of soil parameters that are required for reliability-based design of foundations. Furthermore, the traditional reliability-based design is sensitive to the variation of noise factors such as uncertain soil parameters. To address this dilemma, the authors present a new design methodology, termed robust geotechnical design. This new design methodology aims to make the response of a geotechnical system immune to, or robust against, the variation of noise factors by carefully adjusting the design parameters. This methodology is realized through a multi-objective optimization, in which all the design requirements such as safety, robustness, and cost are explicitly considered. The results of such optimization are often expressed as a Pareto Front, which defines a trade-off relationship between cost and robustness, whereas safety is guaranteed. This enables the engineer to make an informed design decision according to a target cost or robustness. The significance of new design methodology is illustrated with an example of shallow foundation design.