China-Europe Workshop on Geotechnical Education in Stift Göttweig August 17-18, 2018, in Vienna Austria

The China-Europe Workshop on Geotechnical Education (August 17-18, 2018, in Vienna Austria) is organized by the Institute of Geotechnical Engineering, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, under the auspices of the Chinese Institution of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering and the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering.


The education of geotechnical engineering is experiencing remarkable changes in both teaching content and teaching approaches. While the traditional course contained mainly the principles of soil mechanics and foundation engineering as laid out by Terzaghi, modern geotechnical engineering course includes numerous new subjects such as numerical simulation, geo-synthetics, geo-hazard, geo-environmental engineering etc. On the other hand, the internet has large impact on the teaching style. Computer aided teaching, problem based teaching and individually tailored teaching is becoming more and more popular. While the education of geotechnical engineering in China focuses on the fundamentals of soil mechanics, the education in Europe is mainly practice-oriented.

Topics of the workshop

This workshop provides a unique opportunity for teachers and engineers to share their experiences in this ever changing area. The workshop welcomes contributions related to (but not limited to) the following topics:

  • Course design
  • Course content
  • Teaching style
  • Industry involvement
  • Norms and standards

Lecturers & Lectures

Invited Keynotes:

Legacy of soil mechanics by Terzaghi, Prof. Wu Wei

Teaching the “φ=0” method in geotechnical courses, Prof Chen Zuyu

Prof. Wu is director of the Institute of Geotechnical Engineering at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Vienna, Austria. The institute has 20 people on staff and hosts a well equipped laboratory and excellent computer facilities. Before joining BOKU, Prof. Wu spent more than 10 years with leading engineering companies in Europe, where he acquired considerable experience in geohazard engineering and management. He is the editor-in-chief of Acta Geotechnica, an international journal for geoengineering, and the editor of the book series Springer Series on Geomechanics and Geoengineering. He has authored about 50 publications in peer-reviewed journals and over 100 publications in conference proceedings, which cover broad areas in geomechanics and geoengineering including constitutive modelling, numerical methods, laboratory and field testing, centrifuge model tests, slope stability, landfills etc. He was the coordinator of an INCO project in FP6 dealing with seismic hazard of landfill slopes in Central Asia. This project was funded by the European Commission with about 1.2 Million Euro. He is a full partner in an ongoing project within FP7 (Marie Curie ITN) dealing with the application of discrete element method. This project is funded by the European Commission with a total budget of about 3.2 Million Euro. Prof. Wu is the principal investigator of another ongoing collaborative research project funded by the Austrian Science Foundation on rainfall induced slope failure with Prof. Borja at Stanford University, USA. He has acquired considerable know-how in managing large interdisciplinary research and training projects with multi-cultural partners.

Prof. Chen got his PhD at the Department of Hydraulic Engineering, Tsinghua University in 1991. Since 1981, he has worked as a senior research engineer of China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research. Prof. Chen has been actively involved in research and consulting work on slope stability analysis and engineering. He has published more than 100 papers on this subject, covering his research findings on limit equilibrium and limit analysis methods. As an expert of the World Bank, China Ministry of Water Resources and China Ministry of Energy, he has been extensively involved in the consulting activities for water resources development, which includes the Three Gorges, Xiaolangdi and the Yangtze River Dyke Strengthening Projects. Prof. Chen was elected member of Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2005.

Venue of the workshop

The workshop will be held at Benedictines Stift Göttweig, one of world heritage Sites, sitting on the eastern edge of the world famous Danube valley of the Wachau.


17th August

8:40~8:50 Introduction and welcoming address
Prof. Zhang Jianmin

8:50~9:20 Legacy of Soil Mechanics by Terzaghi
Prof. Wu Wei

9:20~9:50 Teaching the “φ=0” method in geotechnical courses
Prof Chen Zuyu

9:50~10:10 Coffee break

10:10~12:00 Presentations or talks
Profs. Zhang Jianmin, Yao yangping, Zhu Hehua, Zheng hong, Zhan Liantong, Li yanlong etc.

12:00~14:00 Lunch

14:00~16:00 Discussion

16:00~ 16:20 Coffee break

16:20 Closing remarks
Prof. Yao Yangping

18th August

Technical Excursions