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GTE Laboratory gets a Major Equipment Upgrade

07 Oct 2018
Sanjeet Amatya

As the global community unites in building disaster resilient communities, the AIT School of Engineering and Technology (SET) advances the field of Geotechnical Engineering in the ASEAN region through partnerships from esteemed donors and continued innovation. 

The Geotechnical Engineering Laboratory (GTE Laboratory) is used by students in research as well as commercial testing. It provides testing on soil mechanics testing, rock mechanics testing, geophysical testing. GTE Laboratory also has laboratory for geosynthetics testing, which belong to Asian Center for Soil Improvement and Geosynthetics (ACSIG). Presently, GTE Laboratory has conducted the Dynamic Triaxial Testing System, which use to perform cyclic loading testing to understand post-cyclic shear strength, dissipation of excess pore pressure developed during cyclic loading, resilient modulus, liquefaction potential, etc. for local soils and site conditions.

On August 30th 2018, Dr. Za-Chieh Moh made significant contribution in AIT SET Geotechnical Engineering research field through his donation of equipment for Dynamic Triaxial Testing.

Dr. Za-Chieh Moh joined the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) in 1965 and was given the special task of establishing a field of study in Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering. From the outset, Dr. Moh stressed to the Institute the importance of close cooperation and exchange of information with universities and institutions abroad. The research conducted by Dr. Za-Chieh has always been directed toward an understanding of engineering problem; much of this has been concerned with the local behaviour of soils, insitu and large-scale testing, the performance of earth structures, and the stabilization of soil for foundations, highways, airfields and earth dams. He has also conducted extensive research and had much practical experience with problems related to soft clays and lateritic soils. At the Asian Institute of Technology, Dr. Za-Chieh Moh’s capability was well-recognized and he was appointed to the position of Vice-President and Provost. It was a time when the Institute had only one Vice-President.

He had his undergraduate education at National Taiwan University in 1953, and then moved to the United States to join Iowa State University where he received his Master’s degree in 1955. The opportunity then arose for him to go to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to carry out doctoral studies under Prof. T.W. Lambe. Dr. Moh graduated with the Sc.D. degree from MIT in 1961. In early 1976, Dr. Za-Chieh Moh moved to consulting practice, and soon established himself as a leading geotechnical consultant in Southeast Asia, including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong, China and Taiwan. Dr. Moh’s creation of this consulting organization was an achievement remarkable for its vision.

Some of the important projects carried out by Dr. Za-Chieh included geotechnical and seismic study of the Kaohsiung Cross Harbour Tunnel; geotechnical study for the reclamation of an abandoned river channel for development in Taipei; design and instrumentation of a 30-m retaining structure; and instrumentation for deep excavations and geotechnical studies for mass rapid transit systems.

Dr. Za-Chieh Moh founded the Southeast Asian Geotechnical Society (SEAGS) in 1967 and was its founder-President until 1973. Dr. Za-Chieh Moh made tremendous contributions to the development of the profession of geotechnical engineering, not only in Asia, but engendering close cooperation among other geographic regions in the entire geotechnical community. In the international field, Dr. Moh made notable contributions when he served as the Vice-President for Asia of the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering (ISSMFE) in 1973 to 1977. Additionally, he has served as a panelist, a general reporter and session chairman in many international and regional conferences. Dr. Za-Chieh Moh has received several awards and honours. He is listed in the International Scholars Directory, American Men and Women of Science, the Directory of Selected Scholars and Researchers in Southeast Asia, and in 5,000 Personalities of the World.

Recently, Dr. Za-Chieh Moh’s received the award of “Men of the Year” from the China Road Federation and the “Gold Medal Award for Academic Achievement” from the Chinese Institute of Civil and Hydraulic Engineering.  Dr. Moh belongs to that rare cohort of men who combine intense enthusiasm with good intelligence, an infinite capacity for hard work and is one of AIT School of Engineering pillars in the field of Geotechnical Engineering.