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Opportunity at Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil (GRS) Analysis


Federal Highway Administration

RO# Location
27.01.00.B7929 McLean, VA 221012296


Name E-mail Phone
Nicks, Jennifer E 202.493.3075


The geotechnical research program at FHWA has ongoing research related to design and construction of geosynthetic reinforced soil (GRS), specifically its use for load bearing applications such as foundation systems and Integrated Bridge Systems (IBS). Efforts related to instrumentation of in-service structures, along with large-scale laboratory and field testing, are underway. There are currently four IBS’ that are being monitored, with another scheduled for construction in 2014. Each was selected to investigate the influence of features such as extreme skew, superelevation, ADT. Large-scale GRS performance tests are also planned to investigate different materials with the addition of uniform confining pressure to define the composite properties of the GRS. In addition, material testing on the individual components of GRS (i.e., the backfill, geosynthetic, and facing elements) will continue to advance the state-of-the-art.

Analytical and experimental research conducted under this opportunity could refine and add to the body of knowledge on the design, construction, and performance of GRS structures. Performance data from tests and in-service structures can be integrated and analyzed to evaluate results and identify trends, issues, and opportunities. Additional material and component testing in FHWA laboratories will complement full-scale performance data. The analysis of these experimental results can be utilized to investigate issues such as long-term design requirements for geosynthetics and to develop innovative solutions to improve the deployment and performance of GRS structures.



Wu JTH, et al: International Journal of Geotechnical Engineering (5)4: 2011

Adams M, Nicks J, et al: “Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil Integrated Bridge System Interim Implementation Guide.” Report No. FHWA-HRT-11-026, Federal Highway Administration, McLean, VA, 2011


Geotechnical; Soil mechanics; Aggregates; Geosynthesis; Reinforced soil; Laboratory and field testing; Materials; Bridges; Foundations;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens, permanent residents and non-U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral and Senior applicants
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