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College of Engineering, Computer Science, & Technology 

Department of Civil Engineering 

Mark R. Tufenkjian 

Office: E&T A-410
Phone: (323) 343-4434
FAX: (323) 343-6316


Dr. Tufenkjian is in charge of the geotechnical engineering program and teaches all geotechnology related courses (lecture, lab, and design) at the undergraduate and graduate level in the Civil Engineering Department. He possesses more than 20 years of geotechnical engineering research and practice experience and is a registered civil engineer in the state of California. Prior to joining academia, Dr. Tufenkjian practiced as a geotechnical engineer for several prestigious firms, where he worked on a wide array of projects of varying complexity over land and water as an engineer and project manager. 


My teaching interests cover the full range of geotechnical engineering and includes laboratory testing to determine soil strength properties, soil dynamics, slope stability, foundation engineering, and stability of earth structures. I especially enjoy teaching concepts on earth retaining structures and geotechnical earthquake engineering, which is particularly relevant in a seismically active region such as Southern California. I bring relevance to my classroom by emphasizing "real-life" problems and solutions. 


My areas of research interest are in seafloor engineering, in-situ testing, soil nailing, engineering education, and nondestructive testing of pile foundations. 


Representative Publications


“Shear Strength of Soft Clay using a Ball Penetrometer,” Proceedings ISOPE-2010, ISBN 978-1-880653-77-7, Beijing, June.


“Comparison of cone and minicone penetration resistance for sand at shallow depth,” 2nd International Symposium on Cone Penetration Testing, Huntington Beach, CA, May.


Shallow Penetration Resistance of a Minicone in Sand, Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, Osaka, September.


Nondestructive Testing for Quality Assurance & Quality Control of Drilled Shafts at State Departments of Transportation, Final Report, U.S. Dept. of Transportation, FHWA, August.

Professional Affiliations

  • American Society of Civil Engineers 
  • Earthquake Engineering Research Institute 
  • American Society for Engineering Education


Ph.D., Civil Engineering, 1993
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M.S., Civil Engineering, 1989
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B.S., Civil Engineering, 1986
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