Burak F. Tanyu, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Geotechnical & Geological Engineering
Telephone: (703) 993-5621
Email: btanyu@gmu.edu
4461 Rockfish Creek Ln., Krasnow Institute, Suite 105

Tanyu’s Research Group Website


  • PhD, University of Wisconsin – Madison,
    Geo-Engineering Program, 2003
  • MS, University of Texas-Arlington,
    Earth and Environmental Sciences, 1999
  • BS, Dokuz Eylül University, Geological Engineering, Izmir-Turkey, 1996


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


Recycled materials in geo-engineering and transportation; ground improvement (physical, chemical, and biological methods); earth retaining structures and reinforced soil; and slope instabilities and landslide prediction

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

Faculty Profile:

Burak F. Tanyu is an associate professor of geotechnical engineering. He joined the Sid and Reva Dewberry Department of Civil, Environmental, and Infrastructure Engineering in the Volgenau School at George Mason University in 2011. Prior to joining George Mason, 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.

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.