Jonathan Lawrence Gardner


Presentation: 10:45-12:00, Kennedy Union Ballroom



Download Project (84.0 MB)


Mechanically stabilized earth walls (MSEWs) are an increasingly popular type of retention structure being constructed in the United States. According to the Federal Highway Association, it is estimated that over 9,000,000 square feet of MSEWs are constructed in the United States each year. These types of structures make use of a reinforced soil mass to support the retained soil or backfill. There are two primary categories of reinforcement used in mechanically stabilized earth walls: inextensible and extensible reinforcement. However, in each of these categories there are various types of reinforcement that can be utilized in the design. With all the available options for different kinds of reinforcement, it can be difficult for an engineer to determine the best type of reinforcement for a given project. The primary objectives of this project include: analyzing the effects of using various types of reinforcement on computing the required length to satisfy internal stability requirements in MSE walls, studying the effects of changing the spacing of reinforcement elements when performing internal stability analysis, studying the effects of total wall height when performing internal stability analysis, and evaluating the potential for over-design and under-design along the height of the wall when using the initial design assumption that L=0.7H.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Course Project - CEE 598 01

Primary Advisor

Omer Bilgin

Primary Advisor's Department

Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering Mechanics


Stander Symposium, School of Engineering

Institutional Learning Goals

Practical Wisdom

A Numerical Study on the Effects of Varying Types and Spacing of Reinforcement Elements in Mechanically Stabilized Earth Walls (MSEW)