ENG08007 2019 Geotechnical Engineering 402H

General Details

Full Title
Geotechnical Engineering 402H
Transcript Title
Geotechnical Engineering 402H
N/A %
Subject Area
ENG - Engineering
CENG - Civil Eng. and Construction
08 - NFQ Level 8
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2019 - Full Academic Year 2019-20
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Patrick Naughton
Programme Membership
SG_ECIVL_H08 201900 Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Civil Engineering SG_ECIVL_K08 201900 Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Civil Engineering (Add-on)

This module looks at design in geotechnical engineering, including the design of foundations, retaining structures, basements and piles. Ground improvement and earthworks is also examined. 

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Determine the forces, moments and pressure distributions on gravity and cantilever retaining structures


Design shallow and deep foundation systems


Determine the stability of slopes using translational and rotational analysis techniques


Design ground improvement techniques for embankments on soft soil


Determine the stress distribution in a soil mass


Evaluate and synthesise data from laboratory and field testing to determine parameters for use in geotechnical design


Apply the principles of Eurocode 7 (EN 1997) to the design of geotechnical engineering problems

Teaching and Learning Strategies

This module will be delivered to full-time learners through a mix of formal lectures and design practical classes. 

This module will be delivered to part-time online learners through a mix of live online lectures and online tutorials. The lectures and tutorials will be recorded and made available to the learners through Moodle.

Module Assessment Strategies

This modules is 40% continuous assessment and 60% final examination at the end of the semester. The continuous assessment is by both group and individual project work. Some of the project work is interdisciplinary projects and linked with Structures 402H.

The sizing the slice method of group assessment (Clelford & Hopkins, 2014) will be used to allocate marks to the individual members of the project group. A copy of this method of allocating marks will be given to the students at the start of the module. 

Clelford, T. & Hopkins, A., 2014. Sizing the Slice: Assessing Individual Performance in Group Projects, CEBE Funded Case Study retrieved on 5/12/2014 from http://www‑new1.heacademy.ac.uk/cebe/themes/alldisplay? type=resources&newid=casestudies/cebe/sizing_the_slice&site=cebe

Repeat Assessments

The learners must pass both the continuous assessment and final examination.

Where a learner or group of learners fail the project element of the module they will be required to resubmit the project for assessment at the repeat examination session.

Learners who fail the end of module terminal examination will have the opportunity to resit the examination during the repeat examination session.

Module Dependencies

ENG07017 201300 Geotechnical Engineering 301H ENG08010 201300 Geotechnical Engineering 301H ENG07018 201200 Geotechnical Engineering 302H ENG08011 201300 Geotechnical Engineering 302H

Indicative Syllabus

Indicative Syllabus

  1. Introduction; Determination of design parameters from standard laboratory tests, interpretation of characteristic values, Introduction to design codes, Eurocode and British Standards.
  2. Stresses within a soil mass; stress distribution due to foundation loads, bearing capacity, calculation of bearing capacity by semi-empirical and prescriptive methods, settlements of foundation.
  3. Lateral earth pressure; design of earth retaining structures, gravity and cantilever walls, secant and contiguous piled walls, cantilever sheet pile walls, anchored or propped sheet pile wall.
  4. Foundations; Design of strip and pad foundation. Eccentrically loaded and unsymmetric spread foundations. Settlement of foundations on fine and course soil.
  5. Piles; classification of piles, design of single piles and pile groups in fine and course soils; negative skin friction
  6. Slope stability; basic concepts; general methods of analysis and method of slices; the effect of water. Analysis of a plane translation slip, end of construction and long-term stability.
  7. Ground improvement; design of vertical drains, surface and deep lime/cement stabilisation; compactive techniques; sand and stone columns.
  8. Introduction to numerical analysis in geotechnical engineering; Cam Clay and modified Cam Clay models, sand models. Advanced laboratory testing, small strain stiffness, nonlinear analysis.

Indicative Practicals/Projects

  1. Consolidation settlement calculations
  2. Design of system of vertical drains
  3. Design of earth-retaining structure
  4. Design of strip, pad and piled foundations
  5. Method of sections for slope stability analysis
  6. Slope stability using proprietary software
  7. Two dimensional and axi-symmetric modelling of foundations problems using proprietary software
  8. Case studies

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
40 %
End of Semester / Year Formal Exam
60 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Project work Continuous Assessment Project 40 % OnGoing 1,2,3,4,5,6,7

End of Semester / Year Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Final Exam Final Exam Closed Book Exam 60 % End of Semester 1,2,3,4,5,6,7

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Flat Classroom Lecture 4 Weekly 4.00
Design Projectwork Flat Classroom Design Project 2 Weekly 2.00
Independent Learning UNKNOWN Independent learning 2 Weekly 2.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 6.00 Hours

Part Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Classroom Equipped for OLL. Lecture 4 Weekly 4.00
Design Projectwork Flat Classroom Design project 30 UNKNOWN 30.00
Independent Learning UNKNOWN Independent learning 2 Weekly 2.00
Total Part Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 34.00 Hours

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources
  1. Knappett, J., Craig, R.F. Craig's Soil Mechanics CRC Press 2012
  2. Barnes, G. Soil Mechanics Princples and practice, Palgrave, 2016
  3. Powrie, W. Soil Mechanics Concepts & Applications Third Edition CRC Press 2013
  4. Smith, I. Elements of Soil Mechanics 9th Edition 2014
  5. Whitlow, R Basic Soil Mechanics Prentice Hall 2001
  6. Bell, F.G. Engineering Geology Butterworth-Heinemann 2007
  7. IS EN 19972 (2007), Eurocode 7 Geotechnical Design Part 1: General Rules.
  8. IS EN 19972 (2007), Eurocode 7 Geotechnical Design Part 2: Ground Investigation and Testing.
  9. BS 5930 (2015). Code of practice for ground investigations
  10. BS 6031 (2009). Code of practice for earthworks
  11. BS 8002:2015 Code of practice for earth retaining
  12. BS 8004:2015 Code of practice for foundations
  13. BS 8006‑1:2010 Code of practice for strength/reinforced soils and other fills
  14. BS 8006‑2:2011 Code of practice for strengthened/reinforced soils, soil nail design.
  15. Anon (2016). TII Design Manual for Roads and Bridges, TII Standards website.
  16. Anon (2016). TII Manual of Contract Documents for Roadworks, TII Standards website.
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Additional Information