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Engineering Prof Is Lead Author of New Textbook on Soil Mechanics

Isao Ishibashi, professor of civil and environmental engineering in Old Dominion University's Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology, has co-authored what he believes is a much-needed college textbook on the basics of soil mechanics.

"Soil Mechanics Fundamentals," published by CRC Press in December, was co-written with Hemanta Hazarika, a professor of civil engineering at Kyushu University in Japan.

The book is an effort to provide a very basic, yet essential, concept of soil mechanics to students, engineers and architects learning the fundamentals of soil mechanics for the first time - what it is, how it works and why it works the way it does.

"Soil Mechanics Fundamentals" isn't meant to cover the full spectrum of geotechnical engineering, but rather to fill a need, Ishibashi said.

In the book's preface, the authors note that in their experience of teaching introductory soil mechanics courses to college students, most of the textbooks they used either lacked a comprehensive explanation of soil mechanics, or contained massive amounts of information without clear and organized contents.

In addition to their goal of producing a better introductory textbook, Ishibashi said he and Hazarika wrote their book as an antidote to the cycle of expensive, expansive, constantly updated texts that are costing students too much money.

"As all are aware, the skyrocketing cost of textbooks in recent years is really a hardship to many students," Ishibashi said. "Also, publishers repeat new editions so frequently, without much improvement in the content. Those books became thicker and thicker and more expensive every year.

"I negotiated with a publisher to produce a book at a rather low cost, without frequent revisions. We wrote this fundamental book to survive in its current form for many years."

This article was posted on: January 13, 2011

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