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Any building or structure shall be built on a soil base, erected from soil as a building material, or located in the soil column. Its strength, stability and performance are determined not only by the structural features, but also by the properties of the foundation soils, the conditions for transferring loads and impacts from the structure to the foundation soils through its underground part - subfoundations. Civil engineer designing and erecting structures is to consider the complex task of interaction between the structure and the foundation.

The Department of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering performs a huge amount of work, conducting a set of trainings (lectures, practical classes, laboratory work and constructional design) at almost all departments of the University. The teaching staff of the Department does everything possible in order to keep the educational process at a high scientific and pedagogical level. It is subject not only to Professors and Associate Professors, but also to senior lecturers who have extensive and fruitful experience working with students, who are wonderful teachers and competent experienced engineers (case in point - L.A. Egorova (30 years of experience) enjoys great respect from students by enthusiastically conducting teaching work; A.E. Monastyrskiy (28 years of experience); S.M. Proskuryakov (25 years of experience)). The department has high authority in the preparation of the fundamental educational and methodological documentation of higher education.


The Department of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering was established in 2013 as a result of reorganization of the Department of Soil Mechanics and Foundations and consolidation with the Department of Underground Construction and Hydraulic Engineering.

Heads of the Department of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering

1951 - 1984

1984 - 2000

2000 - 2013

Since 2015

N.A. Tsytovich

Professor, D.Eng.Sc.

S.B. Ukhov

Professor, D.Eng.Sc.

Z.G. Ter-Martirosyan

Professor, D.Eng.Sc.

D.Y. Chunyuk

Associate Professor,
Ph.D. in Eng.Sc.

The Department of Foundations and Building Footing was established in 1930 at MISI. The first Head of the Department (until autumn 1931) was Prof. P.P. Smirenkin.

From 1933 to 1938 one of the largest foundation specialists of that time, Professor, D.Sc. in engineering, Major General of the Engineering Service, Vladislav K. Dmokhovskiy headed the Department.

There were few scientists of such expertise in the country at that time, and V.K. Dmokhovskiy, in addition to leading the Department at MISI, headed the departments of the same name at the Military Engineering Academy and at the Moscow Institute of Transport Engineers. He was an indispensable participant in the examinations of almost all major construction projects of the country's industrialization period.

On the proposal of Prof. V.K. Dmokhovskiy and by approvment of the MISI Council in 1938, Associate Professor N.N. Bogoslovskiy headed the Department from until 1950.

The Laboratory and study room were created at the Department, research activities were being significantly developed. In 1947 N.N Bogoslovsky published the textbook "Foundations and Building Footing", which, together with a textbook of the same name of the Leningrad scientist prof. B.D. Vasiliev, laid the methodological foundations for subsequent textbooks in this subject of study for construction universities.

In 1950 Associate Professor, Candidate of Technical Sciences Petr G. Kuzmin was the head of the Department. In 1952 one of the largest scientists in this field of knowledge, a corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Sciences, Doctor of Technical Sciences Prof. N.A. Tsytovich was invited to lead the Department. On his initiative the Department was called "Soil Mechanics and Foundations". The role of Nikolay A. Tsytovich in the development of domestic and world Science of Soil Mechanics and in the practice of foundation building is significant. As an outstanding scientist, organizer, public figure and teacher N.A. Tsytovich is rightfully considered one of the founders of modern soil mechanics, frozen soil mechanics, applied geomechanics in construction. He created new directions in the field of the foundations of permafrost science engineering and applied geomechanics in construction, as well as published in 1934 the world's first textbook "Soil Mechanics," which had 7 more editions. He was the founder and permanent president of the Soviet Committee on Soil Mechanics and Foundation Construction.

N.A. Tsytovich was engaged in studying foundations of structures on permafrost. This topic has always been significant due to the fact that over half of the entire territory of Russia is located in the permafrost zone, and the huge natural wealth is being developed there by people who need normal life and work conditions. The scientific development of N.A. Tsytovich led to the creation of a new scientifically substantiated construction method with the preservation of soils in frozen state. The geocryology and construction engineering specialists improved this method later on. In wartime and especially in the post-war years many multi-storey buildings and industrial enterprises in Yakutsk and other north places were established based on this method. Thanks to N.A.Tsytovich and other permafrost scientists, the world's largest Norilsk Mining and Metallurgical Plant and one of the northernmost cities of the planet Norilsk were formed.

In the early 1960s, the research work of the Department was successfully carried out in several areas. Studies covered the main fields of soil mechanics. The academic contribution of N.A.Tsytovich was significant not only at the Department. Large scientists in the field of Soil Mechanics and Engineering Permafrost gathered around him in Moscow, Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg), Kyiv, Minsk, Baku and many other cities.

N.A. Tsytovich did a lot of work for establishing, strengthening and expanding foreign scientific ties of Soviet scientists. This contributed to the growth of the authority of the Soviet school of Soil Mechanics, it rightfully occupied one of the first places in world science.

Under the leadership of N.A. Tsytovich the Department was one of the largest educational and scientific divisions of the MISI . In 1970s – 1980s there were about 150 people of academic and research staff, graduate students and laboratory assistants.

Already in the early 1960s the research work of the Department was successfully developing in a number of important fields:

- Permafrost Engineering in energy construction (V.A. Veselov, S.B. Ukhov, later - S.S. Vyalov and Y.A. Kronik);

- Construction on structurally unstable soils (M.Yu. Abelev, later - M.V. Malyshev);

- Сonsolidation and Сreep of multiphase soils (Z. G. Ter-Martirosyan, M.V. Proshin, L.I. Cherkasova, I.M. Yudina, D.M. Akhpatelov, V.A. Tishchenko, G.E. Shalimov, M.B. Kornoukhov, A.G. Shchebolev);

- Rock mechanics (S.B. Ukhov, A.M. Kornilov, V.N. Burlakov, V.V. Semenov, A.S. Panenkov, I.N. Ternovsky);

- Deep foundation (N.M. Doroshkevich, A.A. Bartolomey, V.V. Znamenskiy, V.D. Yablochkov, V.I. Kudinov. B.A. Salnikov, A.N. Badeev, E.M. Gryaznova) and others.

In 1958 – 1960 the trainee of N.A.Tsytovich S.B. Ukhov took part in the Antarctic expedition with a trip to the South Pole.

The success of the Department was also facilitated by the activities of several famous specialists from other organizations.

From 1959 to 1974 an Honorary Worker of Science and Technology of the RSFSR, major scientist and engineer in the field of Soil Mechanics, Hydraulic Engineering and Land-reclamation Construction, D.Eng.Sc., Professor Grigoriy M. Lomize (1899-1980) worked at the Department. He is one of the founders of the new modern field of science - nonlinear soil mechanics.

In 1966 - 1970 D.Eng.Sc., Professor Igor Cherkasov (Member of the Expert Council of the Higher Attestation Commission, Member of the National Association of the USSR on Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering, Participant in the Great Patriotic War, Colonel-Engineer of the Air Force) worked at the Department of Soil Mechanics and Foundations at MISI. The main areas of his activity were the drainage and consolidation of soils and the development of airfield coatings, research of volcanogenic rocks as a model material of lunar soils. He is the founder of research on the soils of the Moon and the creator of devices for determining their properties.

An Industrial Research Laboratory of Permafrost Engineering in Energy Construction was created at the Department in 1970. Over the years of its existence, the Laboratory has actively participated in the scientific substantiation and design, technological and industrial development of the largest hydraulic engineering facilities in the North of our country. Based on laboratory research the textbook "Prediction of temperature stability of dams made of local materials on permafrost bases" by N.A. Tsytovich, N.V. Ukhova and S.B. Ukhov was published in 1972. Under the leadership of N.A. Tsytovich, a Problematic Laboratory of theoretical and applied geomechanics in construction was organized on the basis of existing directions and laboratories of the Department in 1975.

Under the leadership of N.A. Tsytovich, a Specialized Council for the defense of doctoral and candidate dissertations was organized on the basis of the Department in 1970. Over 30 years of the existence of the Council 135 candidate and 15 doctoral dissertations have been defended, including by employees of the Department (35 candidate and 15 doctoral dissertations).

In 1983 Sergey B. Ukhov was recommended by N.A.Tsytovich as the Head of the Department, who was elected by competition.

In May 1984 N.A. Tsytovich died. The main task of the Department after the death of an outstanding scientist was to preserve and, if possible, increase the educational and methodological level and scientific potential achieved by N.A. Tsytovich.

The field of study Industrial and Civil Engineering with specialization "Foundations and Foundations" was taught at the Department already in 1983 and got the recognition it deserved. Under the leadership of Professors Ukhov and Semyonov the development of a scientific, educational and methodological base for training specialists of this new specialization was carried out by leading teachers at the Department.

Currently up to 50 young specialists of MGSU defend diploma projects in this field of study annually. The major organizational work related to diploma constructional design is carried out by Associate Professor V.N. Shramkova.

This field of specialists training created at the Department has great prospects. The proof is the current demand for specialists. Many graduates of the Department work in the largest design and construction organizations.

In the mid-1980s one of the first computational educational classes of the MISI, equipped with personal computers and a package of educational, scientific and production computer programs actively used by students at the course and diploma projects, was created at the Department.

In the last 10-15 years, the Department, largely developing the main directions of the scientific school of N. A. Tsytovich, has achieved new success.

Significant contribution to the achievement of the Department was made by D.Eng.Sc., Professor Sergey S. Vyalov (1910-1998), an outstanding scientist, honorary academician of the Russian Academy of Engineering, Academy of Architecture and Building Sciences, laureate of the USSR State Prize, honored worker of science and technology of the RSFSR, creator of the scientific school of soil rheology, author of 11 monographs and over two hundred published scientific articles.

Academician of the Academy of Water Management Sciences, Honored Scientist of the Russian Federation, Professor, Doctor of Technical Sciences Z.G. Ter-Martirosyan performed a major generalization of many years of work of his school in the field of the consolidation and creep of soils as multicomponent ambient theory. 45 candidate and 3 doctoral dissertations were defended, including employees of the Department, in the Laboratory under the leadership of Z.G. Ter-Martirosyan.

Z. G. Ger-Martirosyan described the results of works in two monographs: “Potential assessment of Mechanical Processes in Multi-Phase Soil Masses” (1986) and “Rheological Parameters of Soils and Calculations of Foundations of Structures” (1992). The second one was translated into English and published in 1994 by Oxford University Press.

Together with his student, Associate Professor I.M. Yudina, he developed an engineering calculating method for foundation bases taking into account the unloading of foundation soils at deep pits opening. Besides, he created engineering methods for predicting the creep of landslide slopes and soil masses.

Honorary Doctor of Budapest Technical University, Honorary Worker of Science and Technology of the RSFSR, D.Eng.Sc., ProfessorM.V. Malyshev made major contribution to solving issues related to the conditions of soil strength, bearing capacity and stability of the foundations of structures, the tasks of the theory of ultimate equilibrium of the loose medium and elastoplastic tasks, calculations of foundation sediments at nonlinear deformation of soils. Together with Ph.D., Associate Professor N.S. Nikitina he developed an engineering method for calculating the settlement of foundation bases beyond the limit of linear dependence between stresses and deformations.

Ph.D. in Eng.Sc., ProfessorA. L. Kryzhanovskiy, continuing the direction of nonlinear soil mechanics begun by G. M. Lomize, together with his colleagues and students, significantly developed modern ideas about the characteristics of soil behavior in conditions of spatial stress state. He developed one of the most successful instruments for testing soils with an arbitrary change in the magnitude and direction of action of all three main stresses. The research work of Professor A.L. Kryzhanovskiy largely contributed to the improvement of modern soil mechanics and was introduced during the construction of large hydropower facilities and nuclear power plants. Ph.D. in Eng.Sc., ProfessorN.M. Doroshkevich together with her students (V.V. Znamensky, V.I. Kudinov, B.A. Salnikov, A.N. Badeev, E.M. Gryaznova, I.S. Brovko, A.N. Kononov, E.P. Znamenskaya and others) created a promising direction for calculating and designing pile foundations, taking into account the interaction of piles and soil in the inter-pile space with various methods of transferring loads from the structure to the foundations.

Over the past years, employees of the Department have been actively involved in the largest tasks of the reconstruction of Moscow. S.B. Ukhov, Z.G. Ter-Martirosyan, V.V. Znamenskiy, M.V. Proshin, V.V. Semenov, A.E. Monastyrskiy and others were directly involved in the scientific justification of design and construction of the shopping and recreational center on Manezhnaya Square, the Moscow International Business Center "Moscow-City", the Third Ring Road, as well as in reconstruction of the State Historical Museum building and other unique objects of the city.

The first Moscow regulatory documents for the construction design of foundations and underground structures and recommendations of standards have been developed by Gersevanov Research Institute of Bases and Underground Structures (NIIOSP) based on the scientific and engineering achievements of the Department of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering at MGSU.

The employees of the Department continue to actively participate in scientific and social life. M.V. Malyshev was Vice President of the Russian Committee on Soil Mechanics and Foundation Construction for 25 years. In 1995 S.B. Ukhov was elected for the position of vice-president of the Committee.

In 1995 the City Expert Advisory Commission on Foundations and Underground Structures was organized by order of the Prime Minister of Moscow, Y.M. Luzhkov. S. B. Ukhov was the first deputy chairman of this Commission. In 2000 after the resignation of S.B. Ukhov, the Honorary Scientist of the Russian Federation, Academician of the Academy of Water Management Sciences Z.G. Ter-Martirosyan was elected to this position.

Department of Underground Construction and Hydraulic Engineering

The Department of Underground Construction and Hydraulic Engineering (before 1998 it was called the Department of Production and Organization of Hydraulic Engineering Works) was established at MISI as a part of the Department of Hydraulic Engineering in 1955, in the period of the rapid development of hydrotechnical construction and the integrated development of large rivers (Volga, Dnieper, Don) of the European part of the USSR.

, There was a need for scientific justification and implementation of the closure of the largest European rivers, the development of significant volumes of earthen masses by means of hydromechanization, mechanization of concrete work and special work in soils during the construction of hydroelectric power plants on a weak basis and port construction.

Over 45 years the staff of the Department has been developing and multiplying the traditions of scientific and pedagogical activity laid down by outstanding hydraulic engineers I.I. Kandalov, V.S. Eristov, A.N. Komarovskiy, I.V. Komzin, G.D. Petrov, who made a significant contribution to the theory and practice of hydrotechnical construction.

The Associate Professor P.V. Borodin headed the Department in 1955 - 1958. The theory and practice of frontal and pioneer blocking of large river beds, the technology of concreting massive structures and the development of hydromechanized works were included in the sphere of scientific problems of the Department. Professor B.A. Volnin, Associate Professor P.A. Navrodskiy, S.G. Efimov and others started their work at the Department.

A great scientist I.I. Kandalov, who laid the scientific foundations for the organization of the construction of hydroelectric power plants and the technology for the production of basic hydraulic engineering work, headed the Department in 1959. He created and published “Organization of Hydroelectric Power Plants Construction” and “Technology of Main Works at Hydroelectric Power Plants Construction” textbooks.

The non-destructive methods of concrete testing with ultrasound were introduced at a number of hydropower facilities (by A.K. Tretyakov, A.V. Filonidov and others), scientific foundations of ultrasonic control of concrete quality were laid.

The major scientist, laureate of the State Prize, Honorary Builder of the RSFSR, Professor V.S. Eristov was the Head of the Department from 1963 to 1975. Under his leadership, the issues of underground hydrotechnical construction in mining conditions got priority, a scientific school of underground hydrotechnical construction and rock mechanics was formed, new progressive methods for calculating underground hydrotechnical structures, field studies of the lining of derivation tunnels and underground turbine halls of hydroelectric power stations were introduced.

V.S. Eristov together with the leading experts of the Department of Hydrotechnics carried out a set of studies for the Kamparavat hydroelectric complex, and later the Andijan dam.

A new educational discipline "Underground hydraulic structures" was introduced at the Department in 1972.

Training of graduate students, including some from developing foreign countries in the Underground Construction specialization was actively carried out,,.

Teachers of departments took active part in the design and construction of large hydroelectric complexes (Inguri, Kolyma hydroelectric power station, Vilyuy hydroelectric power station, Aswan hydroelectric power plant, Toktogul hydroelectric power station and others). The specialists of the Department participated in the state examination of large hydropower facilities, actively worked in the National Committee on Large Dams.

During this period, the role of the Department was strengthened in such fields as the development of mechanization of concrete work (Professor G.D. Petrov, Associate Professor D.V. Chaplygin, Associate Professor A.K. Tretyakov, Associate Professor S.G. Efimov and others); special types of work in hydrotechnical construction (Associate Professor A.I. Churakov); the alluvial hydraulic structures and hydromechanization methods (prof. B.A. Volnin, Associate Professor S.G. Efimov).The Department staff prepared and published as reviewed by Professor V.S. Eristov the study letters "Hydrotechnical Work Production" (1970), "Organization and Planning of Hydrotechnical Construction" (1976), developed new programs and disciplines for Hydraulic Mechanization, Production and Organization of Hydrotechnical Works, Underground Hydrotechnical Structures and the Production of Underground Hydrotechnical Work.The staff of the Department published over 200 monographs, brochures, articles, regulatory documents, methodological guides and instructions that contribute to the further development of Hydraulic Engineering specialties and construction education of students. The scientific foreign internships were held by Ph.D. Yu.E. Khechinov (France) and Ph.D. S.A. Yufin (USA).

Associate Professor A.K. Tratyakov headed the Department in 1975 - 1981. The Department introduced computerization of calculations and design of underground structures, continued to develop specializations "Alluvial hydraulic structures" and "Underground hydraulic structures", trained specialists in the technology of general construction hydraulic engineering and special work, construction and design of underground hydraulic structures.

In 1976 Associate Professor A.I. Churakov, the Head of the Department in 1981 – 1982, published the "Production of special works in hydraulic construction" textbook.

In 1982 D.Eng.Sc., Professor V.M. Mostkov became the Head of the Department.

Under his leadership, scientific issues of the theory and practice of underground hydrotechnical construction were developed, topical work of machine methods for calculating underground structures on computers, technologies for performing underground work and fixing underground workings of large cross-section were carried out.

Specialists of the Department took part in the regulatory documents formation, publication of articles and monographs. In 1986 the team of authors of the Department (V.M.Mostkov, P.D.Stepanov, Yu.E. Khechinov, S.A. Yufin and others) prepared and published the "Underground Hydraulic Structures" textbook edited by V.M.Mostkov. The Honorary Builder of the RSFSR, Ph.D. L.A.Tolkachev, major specialists,Pprofessors L.I. Kudoyarov and A.I. Kharin worked at the Department. Great research, the transition to new study programs was carried out, methodological work was intensified, the educational process, production practice, equipping special classrooms with models and samples of drilling equipment were improved. In 1988 a textbook by Professor L.A. Tolkacheva "Modern methods of concreting high dams" was published. The educational process in the "Alluvial hydraulic structures" field also developed (Professor A.I. Kharin, Associate Professor V.A. Belov).

The Department opened a specialization "Underground Structures," allowing graduates to work in all sectors of the national economy related to the construction and design of underground structures of any purpose. The training of engineers of the submitted specialization was supervised by Professor S.A. Yufin and Associate Professor O.K. Postolskiy.

D.Eng.Sc., Professor M.G. Zertsalov headed the Department from 1995 to 2013 .

Due to the organization of new and industry Academies, a number of employees by their full members and corresponding members were elected: Professors V.M. Mostkov, L.I. Kudoyarov and M.G. Zertsalov as the full members of the Academy of Water Management Sciences; Professor A.I. Harin as a full member of the Engineering Academy; Professor S.A. Yufin as full member of the International Academy of Informatization.

Continuing the traditions of the underground and hydrotechnical direction and in order to improve the educational process, the Department organized a new specialization "Construction, restoration and repair of structures on water features" within the urban environment, including the repair and restoration of retaining and transport hydrotechnical structures (locks, embankments, canals, coastal interfaces, beaches), built including by means of hydromechanization.

The Department continues to pay great attention to educational, methodological and organizational work. Academic staff of the Department develop and improve teaching programs in taught disciplines. The training programs "Hydraulic Engineering," "Construction Process Technology," "Organization and Management of Hydraulic Engineering," "Engineering Ecology" and others have been updated.

The following scientific works were published: "Methodological guidelines for the selection and calculation of the performance of boring machines and special equipment" by Yu.E. Khechinov, E.I. Zhokhov, V.V. Sanchugov and A.A. Antipov,"Mechanics of Destruction of Engineering Structures and Mountain Massifs" by Professor V.G. Orekhova and M.G. Zertsalov (1999); "Urban Underground Structures" by Associate Professor D. S. Konyukhova and T. B. Govorova (2000); a number of serious works devoted to improving the calculations of underground structures in discrete rocks and the mechanics of rock masses by M. G. Zertsalov and S. A. Yufin.

The main goal of the Department of Underground Construction and Hydraulic Engineering is to preserve and increase achievements both in educational and methodological, as well as in scientific and production work. Powerful highly qualified staff of the Department, a laboratory base and software for solving of educational, scientific and applied problems are the reasons of the successful goal achievement. 

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