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Earth Pressure and Retaining Wall Basics for Non-Geotechnical Engineers

John C. Huang, Ph.D., PE and Richard P. Weber, PE

This course is intended for a wide range audience and in particular, the non-geotechnical engineer. Therefore it is not an exhaustive review of the subject. The objective of the course is to discuss the three types of lateral earth pressure (at rest, active and passive) that apply to a wall and describe how each is calculated. The course then uses this information and discusses the method of calculating the active earth pressure force using the Rankine and Coulomb methods described in this course. The method for calculating the factors of safety for sliding, overturning and bearing capacity are discussed. Basic examples are provided to illustrate the concepts.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

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NY PE & PLS: You must choose courses that are technical in nature or related to matters of laws and ethics contributing to the health and welfare of the public. NY Board does not accept courses related to office management, risk management, leadership, marketing, accounting, financial planning, real estate, and basic CAD. Specific course topics that are on the borderline and are not acceptable by the NY Board have been noted under the course description on our website.