Burak Tanyu


Associate Professor, Geotechnical and Geological Engineering, Volgenau School of Engineering, George Mason University


Web: Personal website  Volgenau page  Google Scholar   LinkedIn

Email:  btanyu@gmu.edu
Phone:  (703) 993-5621
Address:  Nguyen Engineering Building, 1409
4400 University Drive, MS 6C1
Fairfax, VA 22030   


Prior to joining George Mason in 2011, Dr. Tanyu was a senior engineer at Geosyntec Consultants. In his eight years of practice he worked on landslide forensic analyses, earth retention system designs, design and permitting of residual waste landfills, and seep investigation and embankment stability. Since 2008, he has been a National Highway Institute certified instructor teaching design of earth retaining structures.

Dr. Tanyu’s dissertation focused on use of recycle materials and geoesynthetics to improve soft subgrade in the State of Wisconsin. His research  resulted in developing methodologies to incorporate the contributions of these materials into pavement design. His masters thesis focused on evaluating the sulfate-induced heave problems in Tarrant and Dallas counties in the State of Texas. Both of his research results have been adopted by the Department of Transportation agencies to develop practical guidelines.


University of Wisconsin-Madison
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
1999 – 2003

Graduate Research Assistant: 1999-2003
Dissertation Focus: Use of recycled materials and geosynthetics to improve poor subgrade conditions and developing a design methodology to incorporate the contribution of these structures into pavement profiles.
Advisors: Prof. Tuncer Edil and Prof. Craig Benson

University of Texas at Arlington
Master of Science (M.S.)
Engineering Geology
1996 – 1999

Graduate Teaching Assistant: 1996-1999
Thesis Focus: Developing a methodology to quantify the contribution of gypsum in high plastic clays to form ettringite when the soil is treated with lime in light of understanding the sulfate-induced heave problems on roadways in Dallas and Tarrant Counties in Texas.
Advisor: Prof. Burke Burkart

Dokuz Eylul Universitesi
Bachelor of Applied Science (BASc)
Geological Engineering
1991 – 1996
Graduated as the best student among 1996 graduates.
Thesis focus: Evaluating the complex geology of Afyon region in Turkey to determine the source of Luecite, which is a mineral that is used to create high-end glass-ceramics with uses in medical field.
Advisor: Prof. Cahit Helvaci



Associate Professor
George Mason University
Aug 2011 – Present

Dr. Tanyu’s profile within the University can be viewed at:

Dr. Tanyu’s web site summarizing his research group can be viewed at:

Senior Engineer
Geosyntec Consultants
Sep 2003 – Jun 2011
LocationChicago, IL

Selected publications

Tanyu, B.F., Aydilek, A.H., Lau, A., Edil. T.B., and Benson, C.H. (Under Review) “Laboratory Evaluation of Geocell-Reinforced Gravel Subbase over Poor Subgrades”.

Martinez, B. C., Dejong, J.T., Mortensen, B.M., Barkouki, T.H., Ginn, T.R., Hunt, C., Tanyu, B.F., Major, D. (2012) “Experimental Optimization of Microbial Induced Carbonate Precipitation”, Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, ASCE, accepted for publication.

Tanyu, B.F., Neal, W., Seymour, J.P., Bodine, D., Bozok, O. (2011) “Case Study: Stability of Two Horizontal to One Vertical Embankment” ASCE, Geo-Frontiers Conference, March, Dallas, Texas.

Tanyu, B. F., Sabatini, P. J., and Berg, R. R. (2007) NHI Course Manual for “Earth Retaining Structures-Load and Resistance Factor Design”, An update of the 2005 course, NHI Course Manual Number FHWA-NHI-05-046, NHI Course Number 132036, National Highway Institute, Federal Highway Administration, Washington, D.C.

Tanyu, B. F., Edil, T. B., Benson, C. H and Kim, W. H. (2005) “Development of Methodology to Include Structural Contribution of Alternative Working Platforms in Pavement Structure”, Journal of Transportation Research Record, 1936, 70-77.

Tanyu, B. F., Benson, C. H, Edil, T. B. and Kim, W. H. (2004) “Equivalency of Crushed Rock and Three Industrial By-Products For Working Platforms During Pavement Construction”, Journal of Transportation Research Record, 1874, 59-69.

Edil, T. B., Benson, C. H., Bin-Shafique, M. S., Tanyu, B. F., Kim, W. H., and Senol, A. (2002) “Field Evaluation of Construction Alternatives for Roadway Over Soft Subgrade”, Journal of Transportation Research Record, 1786, 36-48


  • Sources of geotechnical data
  • Earth retaining structures and slope stability
  • Introduction to groundwater
  • Construction systems
  • Engineering geology
  • Soil mechanics

Professional service

  • Transportation Research Board (TRB), Chairman, Physicochemical and Biological Processes of Soils AFP40, 2012 – present
  • American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Committee Member, Geoenvironmental Engineering, 2011-present
  • Transportation Research Board (TRB), Committee Member, Geosynthetics AFS70, 2009-present
  • National Highway Institute (NHI), Certified Instructor, 2008-present

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