The Department of Geotechnical Engineering at the Central South University (CSU) was formed by consolidation of that in the former Changsha Railway University (founded in 1953) and that in the former Central South University of Mining and Technology (founded in 1952), when both amalgamated with the former Hunan Medical University (founded in 1914) into the current CSU. The Department now has 28 faculty members, of which one is a senior member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), one is brought in by the Recruitment Program of Global Experts (known as “the Thousand Talents Plan”), eight are full professors, and six are associate professors/senior engineers. Twenty-two faculty members hold their Ph.D. degrees obtained either domestically or internationally. The Master degree program in Geotechnical Engineering was first accredited in 1981, whereas the Ph.D. degree program in Geotechnical Engineering was accredited in 2000. The Geotechnical Engineering program was ranked as key provincial in 2002 and as key national in 2007, which contributed to the discipline of Civil Engineering ranked as key national in 2007.
The Geotechnical Research and Engineering Laboratory is an indispensable constituent part of the National Engineering Laboratory for High-speed Railway Construction, the Key Laboratory for Heavy-haul Railway Construction (accredited by the Ministry of Education or MOE), the Key Laboratory for Rail Transportation Safety (MOE-accredited), and the Key Provincial Laboratory for Civil Engineering Safety (accredited by Hunan Province). Supported by the nation’s competitive “Project 211” and “Project 985”, the Geotechnical Engineering program at CSU has been reinforced unprecedentedly as one of the nation’s best-equipped programs with a broad range of facilities for education and research.
Over half a century building and growth, the Department earned an outstanding reputation for excellence in education and research. Five flagship research areas have been developed, i.e., the static/dynamic behavior and treatment/reinforcement of geotechnical foundations, the slope stability and innovative retaining structures, the foundation and groundwater treatment, the bearing capacity and deformation analysis of pile foundations, and problematic soils and unsaturated soil mechanics. Led by Prof. Baochen Liu, a senior CAE member, the research areas of stochastic medium theory have advanced to gain international reputation.
The Department holds longstanding reputation of integrating education with research. In the recent ten years, the Department has undertaken over sixty national- and provincial-level research projects, among which are those funded by the national “Project 973” and “Project 863” foundations, the national science foundation of China (NSFC), and the national science foundation of Hunan Province, etc. The Department has also attained over 10 national- and provincial-level awards for excellence in research. The Department now offers undergraduate-level courses including Introduction to Civil Engineering, Soil Mechanics, Foundation Engineering, Engineering Geology, Subgrade and Retaining Structures, Foundation Treatment & Reinforcement, Geotechnical Engineering. Each year the Department is also responsible for supervising the senior design projects of about 50 undergraduate students. The graduate-level courses offered in the Department include Advanced Soil Mechanics, Soil Dynamics, Computational Geotechnical Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering Seminars, Advanced Foundation Engineering, Stochastic Medium Theory, and Frozen Soil Mechanics, etc. Each year the Department grants over 30 Master of Science (Ms.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees in Geotechnical Engineering.