Ben’s primary field of research interest is natural hazards engineering. Within this broad field, he has interests in geotechnical earthquake engineering, including soil-structure interaction and residual soil liquefaction as well as coastal geotechnical engineering, including fluid-soil-structure interaction, momentary soil liquefaction, and tsunami-induced scour. He has a particular interest in how a combined earthquake and tsunami event affects coastal soil instability and ultimately the stability of coastal buildings and infrastructure. He uses physical modeling techniques coupled with numerical and analytical modeling to investigate his aforementioned research interests. He is also interested in the fields of sustainable geotechnical engineering and geotechnical engineering education. He participates in post-earthquake reconnaissance events to motivate and strengthen his research and teaching interests.
Ben’s teaching interests are natural hazards engineering, such as geotechnical earthquake engineering, soil dynamics, and coastal geotechnical engineering as well as soil mechanics and behavior. He applies the inductive learning technique, wherein students first observe phenomena and then develop the underlying theory, to engage students interactively.