Skip to main content


CEG8217 : Ground Engineering Practice & Professional Skills

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Ross Stirling
  • Lecturer: Dr Jean Hall
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
European Credit Transfer System


The aim of this module is to expose Students to the breadth of ground engineering practice, including current research topics and prominent industrial projects.
The objectives of this module are:
(i)       To expose the students, through an industrially-led seminar series, to current ground engineering projects and challenges.
(ii)       To expose the students to active research topics undertaken at Newcastle University and in collaboration with experts in their field.
(iii)       To enable students to develop and extend their knowledge and understanding of current ground engineering and construction related practice, including digital techniques.
(iv)       To equip students with an understanding of professional conduct and relevant career pathways.
(v)       To develop the students’ ability to synthesis information on a relevant engineering topic.
(vi)       To enable students to develop and extend their research and problem solving skills in application to a relevant civil or environmental engineering area.
(vii)       To gain experience in conveying technical information in an informative and concise manner for a professional audience.

Outline Of Syllabus

Outline of Syllabus      
Representation from professional societies (e.g., Geological Society of London, Institution of Civil Engineers) will provide information on the benefits and expectations of professional membership, including route to Chartership.

Session(s) on career progression (beginning and development) will be provided, this may contribution from an external recruitment agent with expertise in the Ground Engineering sector and/or University Careers Service.

Academic skills session(s) including sourcing, referencing and communicating information, from/to both academic and industry sources/audiences, will be delivered and may include contributions from the University’s Philip Robinson Library.

An industrial seminar series will be presented (in-person where possible, plus online depending on speakers’ availability) and will feature material from industrial case studies and major projects, and current research. Themes may include the following:
Linear Infrastructure: design, construction and failure mitigation/remediation The use of specialist ground improvement techniques
The standards and regulation landscape
Management of major infrastructure projects
Asset Management
Monitoring, measurement and characterisation in ground engineering challenges
Translating fundamental understanding to offshore contexts
Mineral Extraction
Geo-energy (e.g. geothermal)
Ground Engineering Net-Zero
Digital tools and techniques (e.g. BIM) for ground engineering

Guided study will expand this topics addressed by the industrial seminar series, including contemporary press, webinars and reports.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials101:0010:00Thematic materials and supporting background reading
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture101:0010:00Thematic seminars
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00Project inception presentation preparation
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading17:307:30N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching11:001:00Seminar series plenary and assessment setting (theme report allocation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching21:002:00Seminars: Professional membership
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops13:003:00Careers: Presenting yourself and recruitment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops12:002:00Library and academic skills workshop
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery10:300:30Theme Report preparation feedback session 1-2-1
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study130:0030:00Theme Report preparation time
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision31:003:00Dissertation supervision meetings re. presentation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:001:00Module introduction including seminar themes, timetable and assessment
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

This module introduces students to a variety of ground engineering challenges and how these are approached in consultancy. An industry-led, seminar series addresses a selection of ‘hot topic’ themes in the fields of Engineering Geology and Geotechnical Engineering, typically based on major, current infrastructure engineering projects and challenges. To complement these seminars, a curated library of additional seminars from appropriate learned societies, industrial bodies and previous contributors is used to broaden the range of speakers, perspectives and topics.

Sessions are provided by appropriate learned societies covering topics such as membership, professionalism, ethics and opportunities. This is supported by session(s) covering career development delivered by the NU Careers Service and/or external recruitment consultants who provide timely information regarding the support available to students on their next steps and how to best present themselves.

Additionally, sessions are provided in collaboration with the NU Library around the techniques and issues associated with the sourcing of published reference material. This is intended to support the production of the assessed thematic report and ultimately, feed into the development of their individual projects later in the Programme.

Following dissertation project allocation in semester 1, students will meet individually with their supervisors to enable them to hone their thinking ahead of delivering a formative project inception presentation at the end of the module delivery week. Presentation skills will be addressed by supervisors during the preparation period.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report2M100Seminar theme report (or equivalent) - 4 page limit
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Oral Presentation2MProject inception presentation
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

A (given title) report based on a theme that brings together topics from the seminar series. This will require the student to synthesise information from presented and additionally sourced materials in the form of an ICE Ground Engineering article (or equivalent). Assessment of this report will be based on both the technical content and subject understanding as well as the ability of the student to write for a learned but non-specialist audience in an informative style.

Reading Lists