Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Committee Chair

Hema J Siriwardane

Committee Co-Chair

Udaya B Halabe

Committee Member

John D Quaranta


Buried pipes serve an important role in many engineering applications and are vital to the infrastructure of our everyday life. It is imperative that, once in place, these pipes last as long as possible to avoid failure and costly replacement. Advancements in technology and understanding of soil-pipe interactions can extend the service life of these pipes. In this study, a new approach is taken to increase buried pipe performance.;The purpose of this research work is to explore the potential improvements of pipe performance under surface loading by using a geosynthetic reinforcement in the soil layer above a buried pipe. Various aspects of soil-pipe interactions and geosynthetic-soil interactions are considered to develop a plausible scenario where geosynthetic reinforcement can be a benefit. An extensive series of numerical investigations were conducted to analyze various aspects of this buried pipe system by using the Finite Element Method. The influence of geotextile width, geotextile stiffness, pipe depth, pipe size, trench soil stiffness, and frictional interactions on the pipe performance is investigated.;Results from this study show that at shallow pipe depths a layer of geotextile soil reinforcement can reduce pipe deflections by up to 36% when the trench soil above the pipe is weak. The improvement decreases significantly when pipe depth is increased or when the soil over the pipe is stiff. Further research work including an economic analysis may prove that the ideas put forth in this study have relevance in other field applications.