Dr. Charles D. Shackelford

Professor, Department Head

Charles Shackelford
Charles D. Shackelford is Professor and Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA. He has 40 years of experience pertaining to the geoenvironmental aspects of waste management and environmental remediation, is a registered professional Civil Engineer in California and Colorado, and has served as an expert on waste disposal issues on numerous occasions for private companies and federal agencies. Dr. Shackelford’s research is focused primarily on evaluating flow and transport of hazardous liquids and contaminants through soil and geosynthetic containment barriers, such as compacted clay liners and geosynthetic clay liners, commonly used in chemical containment applications (e.g., landfills, surface impoundments, lagoons, secondary containment of above-grade fuel storage tanks, etc.), as well as through soil-bentonite vertical cutoff walls used for in situ control and containment of polluted groundwater. His most significant contributions have related to characterizing diffusion of potential contaminants through these barrier materials. The majority of his research has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy, and he received the NSF National Young Investigator Award in 1992. In 1995, his research contributions pertaining to the role of diffusion in containment barrier design were recognized with the receipt of the Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Between 2001 and 2006, he served as the Director of the Rocky Mountain Regional Hazardous Substance Research Center (HSRC) for EPA Region 8, one of five EPA sponsored HSRCs during that period covering the 10 EPA designated geographical regions comprising the U. S. Dr. Shackelford has given 117 invited presentations in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and 18 other countries (Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Egypt, England, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Scotland, Switzerland, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, and Wales), including being selected by the Canadian Geotechnical Society to deliver the 103rd Cross Canada Lecture Tour, which comprised lectures in 12 different Canadian cities over a three-week period in May and June of 2019. He has served as an Editor for both the ASCE Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering and the Journal of Hazardous Materials published by Elsevier, Amsterdam, and currently serves as an Editor for Elsevier’s Geotextiles and Geomembranes and as an Associate Editor for  the Canadian Geotechnical Journal published by the National Research Council of Canada. He also was past chair of the Geoenvironmental Engineering Committee (GEC) of ASCE’s Geo-Institute, and past co-chair for the Environmental Geotechnics Committee TC215 of the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE), and currently is still a member of both the GEC and TC215. He also served as a member and the chair of ASCE Geo-Institute’s (GI’s) Awards Committee, as a member of the Technical Coordination Council of ASCE’s GI, and was an elected Board Member of the U. S. University Council on Geotechnical Education and Research (USUCGER). Dr. Shackelford was elected to the Academy of Civil Engineers at his alma mater, the Missouri University of Science and Technology, in 2005. Dr. Shackelford’s career contributions to the field of Environmental Geotechnics were recognized through his receipt in 2013 of the R. Kerry Rowe Honorary Lecture for Environmental Geotechnics by the ISSMGE. Professor Shackelford also was elected as a Fellow of ASCE in 2015 and a Life Member of ASCE in 2019.

Research Interests

  • Environmental Geotechnics
  • Geotechnical Engineering for Waste Containment
  • Geoenvironmental Engineering
  • Groundwater Flow, Seepage, and Contaminant Transport

Links to Other Information

International Connections

  • Country: Austria
    Contact: International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, Consultant on engineered barriers for radioactive waste containment

Contact Information

Office Location: Engineering A205F
Phone: (970)491-5049
Fax: (970)491-7727

Curriculum Vitae
Google Scholar


  • B.S. 1980, Missouri University of Science and Technology – Civil Engineering
  • M.S. 1983, University of Texas at Austin – Civil Engineering
  • Ph.D. 1988, University of Texas at Austin – Civil Engineering