Samuel P. Clemence

Meredith Professor Emeritus

Civil & Environmental Engineering


  • Georgia Institute of Technology, Civil Engineering, BS 1962.
  • Georgia Institute of Technology, Civil Engineering, MS 1964.
  • Georgia Institute of Technology, Civil Engineering, Ph.D. 1973.

Lab/Center Affiliation(s):

  • Geotechnical Engineering Laboratory, Link Hall

Research Interests:

  • Design and field application of soil anchors
  • Basic properties of soils
  • Properties of collapsible soils
  • Slurry wall containment systems
  • Movement of organics in soil/rock systems

Current Research:

During the past twenty five years, my research area has been in the design of innovative foundation systems. One system in particular which I have focused on has been helical foundations. These systems have evolved from the power transmission industry in which anchored or guyed transmission towers were supported by helical plate anchors welded to a steel shaft.

As the industry has grown, these anchors have increased in capacity (10,000 lbs. up to 250,000 lbs. in compression ) and size ( from 12 inch diam. up to 36 inch diam.) this is due to more sophisticated installation equipment and materials.

They have been widely used for building foundation systems, pipeline supports, tie-back system in construction, underpinning for damaged structures, temporary support systems and support for structures in seismically active regions. An exciting new development has been the addition of cement grout to the anchor shaft during installation which creates a composite foundation with very high strength and resistance to corrosion.

My research has focused on the development of uplift and compressive load equations to predict the capacity of the anchors as well as the relationship between the installation torque and foundation capacity that are widely used in engineering practice.

These foundations are easy to install and require minimal equipment—they are ideal for application in developing countries as well as in infrastructure rehabilitation.

Teaching Interests:

  • Geotechnical engineering
  • Soils and foundation design
  • History of technology
  • Leonardo da Vinci artist and engineer
  • Engineering history of the Erie Canal


  • Received Outstanding Teaching Award at the University of Missouri at Rolla, Rolla, Missouri, 1974-1975 and 1976-1977.
  • Elected to Tau Beta Pi as an Eminent Engineer, 1977.
  • Recipient, Outstanding Teacher Award in Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, Syracuse University, 1988-1989
  • Recipient, Outstanding Teacher Award in the College of Engineering, Syracuse University, 1988-1989.
  • Selected 1990 Syracuse University Scholar/Teacher of the Year
  • Elected to Kappa Theta Epsilon, Iota Chapter, National Cooperative Education Honor Society, Syracuse University, 1994.
  • Selected as a member of the Gateway Fellowship, Syracuse University, 1995
  • Selected as Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor of Teaching Excellence, 1996
  • Received Outstanding Educator Award from the St. Lawrence Section of the American Society for Engineering Education, 1998.
  • Received Lifetime Achievement Award for furthering the goals of technology education in Central New York, Central New York Technology Club, 2000
  • Bronze Award for Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) in 2003 IDEA Competition for Synergy Laboratory Design for enhancement of the Carrier Dome, 2003
  • Conferred Life Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, January 1, 2004
  • Designated Chapter Honor Member by National Chi Epsilon Civil Engineering Honor Society October 12, 2008.

Select Publications:


Clemence, S.P. (Editor) 1985 Uplift Behavior of Anchor Foundations in Soil, American Society of Civil Engineers, New York

Clemence, S.P. (Editor) 1986 Use of In-situ Tests in Geotechnical Engineering, American Society of Civil Engineers, New York

Meegoda, J., S.P. Clemence, et al. (Editors). 1998. Risk-based Corrective Action and Brownfields Restorations, , American Society of Civil Engineers, New York Geotechnical Special Publication 87.

Book Chapter

Clemence, S.P., S. Kohlstedt, et al. 1988 “The Varieties of Collaborative Experience,” Chapter in: P.T. March (editor), Contesting the Boundaries of Liberal and Professional Education – The Syracuse Experiment, Syracuse University Press, Syracuse, NY.

Other Publications

Clemence, S.P. et al. 1994 “Prediction of Uplift Capacity for Helical Anchors in Sand,” Second Geotechnical Engineering Conference, Cairo, Egypt, Vol. 1, pp. 332-343.

Chinniah, G., S.P. Clemence and A. Thurairajah. 1994. “Slope Stability in Residual Soils: An Overview,” Int’l Conference on Landscapes, Slope Stability and the Safety of Infrastructures, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, pp. 105-112.

Ghaly, A.M. and S.P. Clemence 1998, “Pullout Performance of Inclined Helical Screw Anchors in Sand,” J. Geotechn. Geoenviron. Engr., Amer. Soc. Civil Engr., 124 (7): 617-627.

Al-Khafaji, A.W., S.P. Clemence, V.P. Drnevich, et al. 1998 “The Scholarship Landscape in Civil Engineering: A Bridge between Rhetoric and Reality,” Report of American Society of Civil Engineers Task Force on Redefining Scholarly Work, Reston, VA.

Vickers, R.A. and S.P. Clemence, 2000 “Performance of Helical Piles with Grouted Shafts, ” New Technological and Design Developments in Deep Foundation, Geotechnical Special Publication 100, American Society of Civil Engineers, pp. 327-341.

G.L. Seider, R. Thorston and S.P. Clemence, “Helical Piles with Grouted Shafts – Practical Overview”, Deep Foundations Institute, Proceedings, Annual Conference, October 2003, pg. 219-232.

Clemence, Samuel P. 2006 “Helical Anchors Design and Application” at the 2006 Spring Engineering Festival at Montana State University, Bozeman MT, March, 2006.

Keynote Speaker at the Deep Foundations Institute Seminar on Helical Foundations and Tiebacks at the University of Southern California. Title of presentation “Review of Helical Foundations over the Past Twenty Years and Compressive Behavior of Grouted Helical Foundations”, November 7, 2008

Currently Co-PI of a three year National Science Foundation sponsored project entitled “Inspiring Innovation: Merging Pedagogical Paradigms from Engineering to Architecture” 2010 to 2012.