Date of Award

Summer 7-5-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE)


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Kershaw, Kyle

Second Advisor

Lovell, Matthew

Third Advisor

Sutter, Kevin


This thesis presents the monitoring of a 28-foot high retaining wall located on the Rose- Hulman Institute of Technology (RHIT) campus and compares inclinometer and load cell data with common design methods. In addition, it briefly provides discussion regarding how the retaining structure is used to enhance student learning. The wall consists of soldier piles and wood lagging with tiebacks that vary from 22.5 to 40 feet. Construction was completed in 2017. Instrumentation, including load cell and inclinometers were installed to measure deflection, tieback load, and water level. This thesis describes the construction activities and the data gathered to date. It also compares the RHIT retaining wall data with other similar cases. In addition, it analyzes if deflected shape predictions from common design methods match with the field data. Finally, it presents lessons learned from developing a full-scale structure into a living laboratory that can be used directly in engineering courses.