In-Situ and Laboratory Testing of Static and Dynamic Properties of Earth Materials

Brief description

Using new and improved techniques to characterize the static, and especially the dynamic properties of soils, is a major focus of my research program. Field approaches have involved the use of large mobile vibroseis to dynamically test materials in the field not only in the linear strain range, but also in the nonlinear strain range, and the use of non-invasive seismic surface-wave based methodologies that are enabled by Unmanned Aerial Autonomous Vehicles (aka drones). In the laboratory, numerous laboratory testing techniques are used to assess the properties of earth materials. Among those a unique, 300-mm diameter Cyclic Simple Shear Apparatus has been developed and is used to test materials, such as gravel and waste materials that cannot be tested using conventional laboratory testing apparatuses.


Journal Papers

  • Zekkos, D., Athanasopoulos-Zekkos, A., Hubler, J., Fei, X., Zehtab, K. H., Marr, W. A. (2017) “Development of a large-size cyclic direct simple shear device for characterization of ground materials with oversized particles”, ASTM Geotechnical Testing Journal (accepted)
  • Hubler, J., Athanasopoulos-Zekkos, A., Zekkos, D. (2017). “Monotonic, Cyclic and Post-Cyclic Simple Shear Behavior of Three Uniform Gravels.” ASCE Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, DOI:
  • Greenwood, W., Zekkos, D., Sahadewa, A. (2014). “Spatial Variation of Shear Wave Velocity of Waste Materials.” Environmental and Engineering Geophysics (in press).
  • Ohm, H-S, Sahadewa, A., Hryciw, R. D., Zekkos, D., and Brant, N. (2013). “Sustainable Soil Particle Size Characterization through Image Analysis”, Journal of Geotechnical and Geological engineering, DOI 10.1007/s10706-013-9657-z (Published online 03 May 2013).
  • Zekkos, D. Kabalan, M., Syal*, S. M., Hambright, M. Sahadewa, A. (2013). “Geotechnical Characterization of a Municipal Solid Waste Incineration Ash from a Michigan Monofill”, Waste Management Journal, 33 (2013) 1442–1450.
  • Fei, X., Zekkos, D. (2012). “Factors Influencing Long Term Settlement of Municipal Solid Waste in Meso-Scale Laboratory Bioreactor Landfill Simulators”. ASCE Journal of Hazardous, Toxic, and Radioactive Waste (published online, in press for November 2013 issue).


  • Greenwood, W., Zekkos, D., Lynch, J., Clark, M. (2017). Data Fusion of Digital Imagery and Seismic Surface Waves for a Rock Road Cut in Hawaii. 3rd International Conference on Performance-based Design in Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering, July 16-19 2017, Vancouver.
  • Hubler, J., Athanasopoulos-Zekkos, A., Zekkos, D. (2017). Pore pressure generation of pea gravel, sand and Gravel-Sand Mixtures in Constant Volume Simple Shear. 3rd International Conference on Performance-based Design in Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering, July 16-19 2017, Vancouver.
  • Hubler, J., Athanasopoulos-Zekkos, A., Zekkos, D. (2017). Monotonic and Cyclic Simple Shear Response of Gravelly Soils. Geotechnical Frontiers, March 12-15 2017, Orlando, FL.
  • Zekkos, D. and Lynch, J., Sahadewa, A., Hiroshi, M. (2014).  “Proof-of-Concept Shear Wave Velocity Measurements Using an Unmanned Autonomous Aerial Vehicle”, Geocongress 2014, Atlanta, Georgia, February 23-26 2014, 953-962.
  • Sahadewa, A., Zekkos, D., and Woods R. D. (2012). “Observations from the Implementation of a Combined Active and Passive Surface Wave Based Methodology”, Geocongress 2012: State of the Art and Practice in Geotechnical Engineering Conference, 25-29 March 2012, Oakland, California, edited by Hryciw, Athanasopoulos-Zekkos and Yesiller, ASCE Geotechnical Special Publication No. 225, pp. 2786-2795.

Students Involved


Andhika Sahadewa
Xunchang Fei
Matt Hambright
Mohammad Kabalan


Sita Syal
Fall 2009-Winter 2011 (freshman, sophomore), UROP program
Xavier Rivera-Hernandez
Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP) , Spring-Summer 2013
Calvin Nyakundi
College Outreach and Diversity Program, Spring-Summer 2013
Theau Heral
UROP, Fall 2014 – Winter 2015
Danielle Park
UROP Fall, 2014 – Winter 2015
Rebecca Martin
UROP, Fall 2014 – Winter 2015
Scroll to Top