Geotechnical Engineering

The Kaw Valley Engineering geotechnical department is comprised not only of the experts your job needs, but the equipment needed to get the job done right. Our staff combines decades of technical knowledge with a deep understanding of regional field conditions, and our array of testing equipment is the most extensive in the Midwest.

Subsurface Exploration

Our geotechnical fleet is ready to service your project, anywhere in the Midwest. We operate a fleet of four drill rigs with two all-terrain vehicles, allowing for access to any site regardless of site conditions. Specialized field equipment includes pressure meters, inclinometer instrumentation, dynamic cone pentrometers, resistivity meters, ground penetrating radar, traditional continuous sampling capability and NQ2 coring.

Full Service Soils Laboratory

Our geotechnical department is comprised of the Midwest’s most extensive array of testing equipment. Traditional equipment includes unconfined compression frames, Atterberg limits devices, hydrometers and sieves. More specialized equipment includes 16 triaxial cells with boards, 8 pneumatic consolidometers and 2 direct sheer frames. All equipment is integrated with continuous data-recording devices. The vast array of equipment and continuous data-recording devices allows us to process any project size in a timely manner.

Engineering Analyses and Report Preparation

Our geotechnical staff combines decades of technical knowledge with extensive understanding of regional field conditions. Our philosophy is to understand the project requirements and anticipate integration into site conditions prior to initiating field and laboratory activities. The continued involvement of our professional staff allows for the field and laboratory activities to be comprehensive for the specific site. Once field and laboratory activities are completed, our geotechnical professionals develop reports providing cost effective foundation and site development recommendations. We take pride in maintaining communication with the entire project team including designers and owners, allowing for complete understanding of the recommendations provided.

Pavement Design

We have extensive experience in understanding the varied concerns associated with developing pavement recommendations in the Midwest. Our staff utilizes various design guidelines developed by AASHTO and the Asphalt Institute to provide designs which merge client requirements and specific site conditions.

Slope Stability Analysis

The easy sites have been developed, leaving the more interesting sites available. One of the more common features of the available sites is unique topography. Our geotechnical staff is knowledgeable in dealing with stabilizing slopes. Our recommendations and designs include general analysis of existing and proposed slopes utilizing ReSSA, evaluation of reinforced earth elements and designing of earth-retaining structures. Our expertise allows our clients to fully utilize the sites they are developing.


KVE provides quick response in developing Environmental Phase I reports in accordance with “ASTMD1527-05.” When project sites indicate the need for an Environmental Phase II investigation, we maintain the equipment, staff and certifications needed to complete the required evaluation.


For more information about our geotechnical engineering services please contact:

Michael R. Osbourn, P.E.
Director of Field Services