Engineering Outreach
Assistant Dean and Director: Kathy Werrell
Academic Support Assistant: Nadine Neiger
Phone: (302) 831-8302
Fax: (302) 831-1468

Mechanically Stabilized Earth Walls and Reinforced Soil Slopes
Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) and Allowable Stress Design (ASD)
(Based on AASHTO LRFD Specifications, 5th Edition )

Register Online!

September 16-18, 2014

University of Delaware, DuPont Hall, Newark Campus
Directions will be sent to all registrants

(2.4 ceu's or 24 professional development hours awarded for full participation**)

This popular course, MSEW & RSS, presents the latest national recommendations for design and construction practice for reinforced soil structures AND it includes wall design guidance on LRFD and ASD plus hands-on instruction in using two powerful software packages, MSEWand ReSSA, licensed to the FHWA as well as State DOT's.
Note that the AASHTO LRFD Specifications are federally mandated . This is YOUR chance to be at the forefront!

Course Description

This practical training program, based on AASHTO and FHWA technical specifications and design and construction recommendations on soil reinforcement, is presented by two nationally recognized geotechnical experts who will help YOU appreciate and implement mechanically stabilized earth walls and reinforced soil slopes (MSEW/RSS). Discussions will involve civil and geotechnical design issues. You will learn how to combine soil reinforcing materials made of steel and polymers with an appropriate facing to produce a composite structure with improved engineering properties. These earth fill construction methods are extremely cost effective and aesthetically pleasing, and they provide substantial construction time-savings compared to conventional types of earth retaining systems used in the transportation community. Registration will be limited in order to facilitate discussion and learning that takes place not only through lectures, but also through working with your peers on sample problems and getting hands-on experience with theMSEWandReSSA software. (A calculator for problem-solving sessions and your laptop computer, on which the software will be temporarily loaded to run on Windows operating system, are required.)

Who Should Attend

Geotechnical engineers, design specialists (geotechnical, structural, roadway), engineering geologists and construction engineers; consulting engineers; technical representatives and academic community representatives who work on earth retaining structure selection, design and contracting will also find this course extremely valuable. Attendees should have a basic knowledge of soil mechanics.


"Excellent course.
Great interaction with instructors.
Relevance of material well-matched to the practicing engineer. "

Jamie Johnson
Redi-Rock International

Another course participant, JBK, wrote:
"Course was very informative, the best continuing education course I have participated in. The three person instruction team [which includes Ora Leshchinsky, co-developer of the MSEW and ReSSA software] was awesome - all experts! I learned big picture theories and design specific details & procedures. Good job!


  • This course enables you to gain practical knowledge in all areas of mechanically stabilized earth walls and reinforced soil slopes, including:
    • selection
    • design (LRFD, Allowable Stress for MSE Walls, designs beyond AASHTO)
    • construction
    • monitoring
    • contractual aspects
  • Use sophisticated MSEW and ReSSA software, temporarily loaded on your own laptop, to perform hands-on exercises -- even using the software as a forensic tool.
  • Understand the advantages and limitations of each reinforcement system.
  • **You will receive a Continuing Education Unit (CEU) certificate upon successful completion of this course. (Note that CEU requirements for P.E. licence renewal vary from state to state. If your state registration board has any questions about the course, please have them contact Kathy Werrell (; 302-831-4863).

The Presenters

Dov Leshchinsky, PhD, is Professor Emeritus of civil engineering at the University of Delaware (since 1982), contributing to research in the areas of slope stability engineering, soil reinforcing and ground improvement. He has developed design methods, including those for geosynthetic reinforced slopes and walls, that are being used internationally. Co-developer of software used by the USCOE, FHWA and private industry, Dr. Leshchinsky's commercial software - specifically MSEW and ReSSA, FoSSA, ReSlope, and GeoCoPS - has been used in the design of major structures around the world. His expertise is called upon in forensic studies of failed MSE walls, and he has taught numerous courses on MSE walls and slopes worldwide as well as NHI courses for state DOTs. Dr. Leshchinsky holds the PhD in geotechnical engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago, as well as bachelor and master's degrees in civil engineering from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. Prior to joining Delaware's faculty, he was a research engineer with the Association of American Railroads. He has received numerous honors over the years, including the 2010 Martin S. Kapp Foundation Engineering Award from the ASCE, presented in recognition of "his innovative contribution to the unified method of design and analysis of earth retaining structures and slopes as well as the implementation of such technology through computer software and continuing education."

James G. Collin, PhD, P.E., is President of The Collin Group, Ltd, the firm he founded in 1995, specializing in soil-structure interaction, numerical modeling, earth retaining structure design, ground improvement, geosynthetics, mechanically stabilized earth and reinforced soil slopes, soil nailing, and forensic evaluation of geotechnical structures. Author of numerous geotechnical engineering manuals published by the National Highway Institute (NHI), he is also a certified instructor for the U.S. DOT and a wide range of Federal Highway Administration courses. In 2008, 2009, 2011 and again in 2012, the NHI recognized Jim as an "Instructor of Excellence." In 2013, the ASCE Geo-Institute presented Jim with the Wallace Hayward Baker Award in recognition of ingenious innovation in the field of ground modification. In addition to teaching and serving on the Geotechnical Review Board for Fairfax County, VA, since 1995, Jim has served as expert witness for more than 100 geotechnical and/or construction-related failures both in the U.S. and abroad, has continued to engage in research projects, notably in the area of column supported empankments across the U.S. Jim holds civil engineering degrees from Union College (BS), George Washington University (MS), and the University of California, Berkeley (PhD).

Ora Leshchinsky, P.E., Consultant and Owner of ADAMA Engineering, Inc., is also part of this dynamic, hands-on teaching team! Ora provides the guidance needed to thoroughly grasp the benefits of the MSEW and ReSSA software that YOU will use during the course - and will want to use when you return to the job!

(PDF flyer you can print and share!)

Each day:
7:30 a.m. continental breakfast

Class Times:
Tues, Wed, Thurs: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Through a combination of lectures, example problems, student exercises and discussion, this course covers the following topics:

  • MSE wall systems, applications and description
  • Site & project evaluation
  • Construction methods
  • Soil reinforcement principles
  • System design properties
  • Reinforced soil slopes: project evaluation
  • Specifications and contracting methods
  • Field inspection and monitoring
  • Multiple student exercises dealing with MSE Walls and Reinforced Soil Slopes
  • Design of reinforced slopes
  • Hands-on exercises using ReSSA software, including one on global stability of MSE Walls
  • Design of MSE Walls (ASD & LRFD) - including numerous student exercises
  • Seismic design of MSE walls and slopes
  • Design of walls with complex geometries
  • Hands-on exercises using MSEW software applying the AASHTO LRFD Specifications

Registration and General Information

Program Fee includes extensive course notes/FHWA manuals; continental breakfasts, lunches, and all breaks.

Be sure to bring your laptop with you. The MSEW and ReSSA software will be temporarily loaded for you to do the class exercises.

SAVE $200/PERSON with group registrations!
Group Registrations
(3 or more from the same company): $995/person
Individual Registrations: $1,195/person

REGISTRATIONS due by received by Aug. 29. Later registrations accepted pending available space.

A 10% discount coupon toward the purchase of MSEW and ReSSA software packages will be available to all participants in these courses.

REGISTRATION CONFIRMATION:  A confirmation e-mail will be sent on or before Friday, August 29th.
CANCELLATIONS and SUBSTITUTIONS: Refunds granted if the request is received in writing by August 29th. No refunds after August 29th, but substitutions are permitted up to the first day of class.

ACCOMMODATIONS and TRANSPORTATION: Participants are responsible for making their own housing and transportation arrangements.  Air transportation should be arranged to either Philadelphia or Baltimore airport.  Call early and ask if the University of Delaware affiliated rates are available for the dates you are requesting from the following hotels:
Courtyard by Marriott - UD Campus Hotel - 400 Pencader Way, Newark, DE, 1-302-737-0900
The following are each less than two miles from campus:
Sleep Inn - 630 S. College Ave.(Rt.896N), Newark, DE, 1-302-453-1700
Howard Johnson Inn - 1119 S. College Ave., Newark, DE, 1-302-368-8521
Embassy Suites - 654 S. College Ave., Newark, DE 1-302-368-8000
Homewood Suites - 640 S. College Ave., Newark DE 1-302-453-9700

Bookmark and Share