Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering: Innovative Solutions in Modeling, Design, and Education


Home  |  Research  |  Teaching  |  People  |  Publications  |  Resources  |  Contact
 Devils Tower


Shawn Griffiths teaching outside in dirt

"Educating future engineers is an important job responsibility that I enjoy immensely. Investigating how engineers learn and develop in school and throughout their careers is an area for future research. I aspire to become an expert educator by questioning how engineering programs are structured, what can be improved, and how to prepare better engineers to solve the problems of the future. I am especially interested in working with students to develop engineers that are more cross-disciplinary in nature and can work effectively in teams where members have individual expertise in a specific area.” - Shawn Griffiths

Shawn outside in safety vestOur current research focus is in site response analyses, which can be tied to seismic surface wave and borehole testing. These methods are used to evaluate ground conditions and develop models that help determine seismic loads for bridges, buildings and other engineered structures. While these methods have been used successfully for many years, they continue to grow in complexity and are continually updated with new/better data. Current research efforts are focused on quantifying the uncertainty associated with the collection and analyses of these methods and their models, with an emphasis in site response analyses and surface wave measurements.

Seismic Site Response Analyses

Site response analyses are computational tools that allow engineers to better estimate seismic forces at a particular location. The most common computational models in order of least-to-most complex include linear elastic, equivalent linear and fully nonlinear analyses, which can be performed in one, two and three dimensions. Current research concerning how to properly account for the uncertainties in these models in ongoing. Efforts to include measured uncertainty from surface wave data, as well as improve methods to account for large shear strain behavior are two areas of ongoing research.

Pavement Foundation

Surface Wave and Borehole Testing
Surface wave and borehole testing techniques can provide information concerning groundwater depth, soil layering, and stiffness. This information can be used for seismic site response analyses, site classification, and void detection. We are looking forward to expanding these test methods into Wyoming and the surrounding regions, especially in areas with high seismic risk.

Shawn at worksite with quote overlayed that says "We often miss opportunity because it's dressed in overalls and looks like work" -Thomas Edison
Contact Us

Civil and Architectural Engineering and Construction Management

EN 3074

Dept. 3295

1000 E. University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307)766-2390


Find us on Instagram (Link opens a new window)Find us on Facebook (Link opens a new window)Find us on Twitter (Link opens a new window)Find us on LinkedIn (Link opens a new window)Find us on YouTube (Link opens a new window)