Programme And Module Handbook
Course Details in 2023/24 Session

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Module Title LI Geotechnical Engineering 1
SchoolSchool of Engineering
Department Civil Engineering
Module Code 04 29651
Module Lead Nicole Metje
Level Intermediate Level
Credits 20
Semester Semester 1
Restrictions None
Contact Hours Lecture-50 hours
Tutorial-13 hours
Supervised time in studio/workshop-8 hours
Guided independent study-129 hours
Total: 200 hours
Description Engineering Soil: Geology for engineers, 3-phase model of soil, soil descriptions and classification.

Compaction: compaction theory, compaction testing, earthworks.

Stress in soils:vertical and horizontal stresses, states of shear, Mohr's circles of stress, effective stress.

Seepage: Hydraulic head, Darcy's law, permeability and its measurement, flow through layered soil, flownets, piping, drainage and groundwater control

Compression and consolidation: Compression and consolidation, Consolidated states, laboratory testing, 1-D theory of consolidation, settlement predictions

Shear strength: Shear failure (Peak, ultimate and residual), Mohr-Coulomb criterion, undrained vs. drained shear, laboratory testing.

Site Investigation: Stages of a SI desk study, exploratory investigations (trial pits and boreholes), soil samples, Field tests (plate bearing tests, SPT, cone penetration test and their uses, SI reports).

Learning Outcomes By the end of the module students should be able to:
  • explain the geotechnical properties of soils and rocks for civil engineers, and how soil/rock can be described for engineering purposes
  • assess effective stress on the engineering behaviour of soil and how changes can be determined during different loading and ground water environments
  • explain why water flows through soils, how seepages affects the behaviour of a soil
  • measure permeability and understand what controls the permeability of a soil
  • identify volume changes that occur in soils by using theoretical prediction, laboratory measurements and their use in settlement predictions
  • estimate the response of a soil to shear stresses through the Mohr-Coulomb criterion, un-drained and drained responses, laboratory measurements and considering peak, ultimate and residual strengths
  • value site investigations and the various stages undertaken, including desk study, exploratory investigations, field and laboratory testing and reporting
Assessment 29651-01 : Assessment : Coursework (50%)
29651-02 : Exam : Exam (Centrally Timetabled) - Written Unseen (50%)
Assessment Methods & Exceptions Assessment:

Main assessment:
(50%) Assessment 1 – Online assessment
(50%) Assessment 2 – 2-hour closed book written unseen examination


100% Written closed book unseen examination (3-hr)
Reading List