ORCID Identifier(s)


Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Nur Yazdani


Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) walls have been used extensively since the first MSE wall constructed in California in the early 70’s. MSE walls proved that they are reliable, cost-effective, aesthetically pleasing, and easily constructible. However, the design criteria of an MSE wall does not always incorporate the comprehensive behavior. A reasonable number of MSE walls do not perform as expected; a few experienced catastrophic failure. The current study was inspired by multiple MSE walls showing excessive movement of the precast panels in Fort Worth and Hurst, Texas. Three most critical MSE walls were selected for this study. The main focus of this research is to 1) periodically monitor the movement of the walls; 2) evaluate the effect of wall movement on earth reinforcement, precast panels, approach slab, copings and traffic barriers; 3) recommend remedial measures on the earth reinforcement to prevent rupture or pullout; 4) perform several field and lab tests on the backfill soil material to check the integrity of the backfill soil; and 5) develop a 3D Finite Element Modeling (FEM) of an MSE wall using ABAQUS software to predict the actual behavior of an MSE wall and investigate the wall failure criteria. Several non-destructive tests were performed on the critical walls. A laser scanner was used to monitor the movement of the precast panels. Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) was used to examine the integrity of the earth reinforcement. A subsurface investigation was conducted using Resistivity Imaging (RI) technique to investigate the presence of groundwater table or perched water zones. Regression and structural reliability analyses were carried out to investigate the effect of significant parameters on wall performance and check the integrity of MSE wall design formulas of FHWA (2009), respectively.


Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) walls, Precast concrete panels (PCPs), Backfill soil, Laser scanner, Resistivity Imaging (RI), Parametric study, Finite Element Modeling (FEM), ABAQUS, High density polyethylene (HDPE) geogrids, Steel grids, Hydrostatic pressure


Civil and Environmental Engineering | Civil Engineering | Engineering


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington