Stately Killian Court serves as testing ground for new geotechnical tool

September 30, 2010

By Debbie Levey
Civil & Environmental Engineering 

In a research project run by CEE senior research associate John Germaine this past summer, a drilling rig on the lawn of Killian Court forced an experimental probe into the underlying clay to measure pore pressure, a soil characteristic that helps determine the stability of offshore oil platforms.

“Knowing the pore pressure allows engineers to more accurately determine underwater soil strength and better design wells and offshore platforms to avoid blowouts and collapse,” Germaine said. “It would be very useful to measure in-situ pore pressures very quickly, and our new design lets us predict the equilibrium pore pressures faster than any other tool.”

With previous funding from the Nati