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National Design, Construction, and Soil Mechanics Center

The National Design, Construction, and Soil Mechanics Centers (NDCSMC) for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) are located in Fort Worth, Texas and Lincoln, Nebraska. 

About the National Design, Construction, and Soil Mechanics Center 

The NDCSMC staff members, that aside from the Co-Directors, include an interdisciplinary engineering group consisting of subject matter experts to support the States in all aspects of engineering design and construction, and implementation. The Centers are assigned to lead NRCS acquisition & development of science-based engineering technology with special emphasis areas in natural resources conservation. The NDCSMC engineering projects are essential to resource conservation, enhancement & agricultural productivity.


The multidisciplinary Design and Construction Team provides direct technical assistance and technology transfer to NRCS engineers and technicians. The team acquires and develops new technology, maintains national engineering standards and references, and builds collaboration and partnerships that lead to cutting-edge technology support and training.  Typical engineering consultation and design services are:

  • Dam Design and Review
  • Hydraulic and Hydrology
  • Geologic Investigation 
  • Urban Agriculture
  • Agriculture Waste Storage Structures
  • Stream Restoration
  • Seismic Analysis
  • Engineering Deficiency Investigation


Soil Mechanic Laboratories (SML)

The SML activities are in response to customer identified needs and/or requests.  The laboratories perform a wide range of tests to determine various site-specific engineering (not agronomic) properties of soils.  The laboratories utilize highly sophisticated and technologically advanced precision equipment to perform these tests.  Engineers associated with the laboratories provide detailed geotechnical engineering analysis and project-site reports on complex structures based on test results.  The reports help ensure that structures meet the requirements of agency criteria and standard engineering practice.  Typical analyses performed are:

  • Slope Stability Analysis
  • Settlement Analysis
  • Seepage Analysis and Flow Nets
  • Recommendations for low permeable soil liners for Animal Waste Storage Structures
  • Filter Design
  • Seismic Analysis
  • Engineering Reports


Tests Performed by the Soil Mechanics Laboratories:

SML Test Service