The Department of Geotechnical Engineering at College of Civil Engineering of Tongji University was initiated in 1952 and later formally established in 1958 with a glorious development. As the forerunner engaged in research and education of geotechnical engineering in China over the past sixty years, the department is proud of being the influx of the traditional leading disciplines of civil engineering that embraces the disciplines of tunneling and underground structural engineering, geotechnical engineering and the disciplines of geological engineering. Now the department offers two undergraduate programs, two master programs and three Ph. D. programs under two first class disciplines, i.e., civil engineering and geological resource and geological engineering. Two Postdoctoral mobile stations are set up for three research topics including Tunneling & Underground Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering and Geological Resources & Geological Engineering. These are subordinated to the two first-class disciplines, which are included as a state key discipline, Shanghai key discipline and the key discipline supervised by chair professors of Chang Jiang Scholar Award Scheme. The discipline was listed as the first stage and second stage key discipline development program of State 10th 5-Year Period 211 Projects, 985 Projects and Double Top-Class University. Besides, it runs key laboratories of the Ministry of Education of China for geotechnical and underground engineering. .

    There are currently over 90 faculty members working for the department, including 47 full professors, 16 associate professors, four Academicians from Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Academy of Engineering (including foreign academcian), three Changjiang Scholars, four recipients of National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars and other over seventy recipients of the international-level, state-level and province- or ministry-level of young talent programs.

    The faculty has undertaken key education reform programs such as the Research and Fulfillment on Reform of Educational Program and Course Contents in Civil Engineering Specialty by the Ministry of Education, and Reform on Course Contents and Curriculum Setting for Structural Engineering by the Ministry of Construction. All these work help to accentuate the driving momentum of education reform in civil engineering specialty.

    The department takes active roles in organizing seminars and initiating academic communications. In the last decade, the department has organized over ten seminars/conferences at both national level and international level, respectively. A high proportion of faculty members have been sent abroad for post doctoral research or joint research programs, which helped to promote the international influence of our department. On the other hand, many well-known scholars have been invited to visit the department and delivered lectures for broadening our visions and enhancing our understandings of the worldwide specialty advances.

    The Experiment Center of Geotechnical Engineering equipped with advanced laboratory facilities provides technical support for geotechnical testing related to teaching, research and special consulting projects. Some newly set-up facilities are advanced in China and have served for many key research programs such as Electro-hydraulic triaxial testing device for gas hydrate soils, Model test system of geological disaster prevention and control, GDS Triaxial Unsaturated Soil Testing System, the Triaxial Soil Rheometer, the Biaxial Rock Creep Testing System, GDS Cyclic Triaxial Compression System, GDS Stress Path Triaxial Testing System, Hollow Cylinder, TLJ-150 Composite Centrifugal Machine for Geotechnical Engineering, Large-scale Triaxial Testing Apparatus, Scanning Electron Microscope, Cone Calorimeter, Particle Size and Shape Analyser (QICPIC), 3D Tunnel Lining Segment Joint Testing System, 3D Waterproof Testing System for Lining Segment Joint, and Geotechnical Physical Modelling System.

    Our faculty spares no effort in working for China’s strategy of Large Scale Development of Infrastructure and “The Belt and Road” development strategy while unceasingly tracks the international academic frontiers. By conducting our tasks to the research on key problems and key techniques of geotechnical engineering and underground engineering that rises through the Large Scale Development of the Western Regions of China, through the China’s Accelerated Urbanization Process and the implementation of China’s Sustainable Development Strategy, we gradually formed a discipline featured by an integrity of theoretical research, laboratory test and onsite practice and finally became the state base and an international hub that stands in line with international frontiers of geotechnical engineering and underground engineering for cultivating specialty talents, doing high level scientific research and initiating academic exchange.

    The department puts great emphasis on forming a complete chain of research, practice and industrialization in order to transfer scientific research achievements to practical applications. Our staff members are very active in substantial projects and mostly as in-charge persons of research programs for construction projects such as Shanghai Yangtze River Tunnel, Xiang’an Oversea Tunnel, Qingcaosha Reservoir Raw Water Project, Shanghai Expo, Shanghai Center, Shanghai Disneyland, Zhongnanshan Road Tunnel, Wuqiaoling Railway Tunnel, Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, Shenzhong Chanel, Qingdao Urban Underground Space Planning Project, Hongqiao Transportation Hub, Shanghai Dee-buried Water Supply Tunnel, North Water Diversion Project and Bohai Oversea Tunnel, etc.. In past five years, over 30 progress awards at province/ministry or state level were endorsed for the faculty’s great contributions and devoting work. To our department, it was a period of great harvest and glorious talents.

    Looking back, we have marched forward through the arduous path. With unremitting efforts, now we come to a stage of honor and success. Looking ahead at the prospects of our department at the memorable time of 61th anniversary of the department, we are clear in mind that we should guard against self-conceit, keep on advancing with time and prepare ourselves for future challenges. We are deeply convinced that by doing so we would make further contributions to the education course of China and to create another crest of achievements.