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CEG8217 : Ground Engineering Practice and Professional Skills

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Ross Stirling
  • Lecturer: Dr Jean Hall
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


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

Topics will be informed by Industrial case studies and current research areas, these may include the following themes:
Transport Infrastructure: design, construction and failure mitigation/remediation
The use of specialist ground improvement techniques
The standards and regulation landscape
Management of major infrastructure projects
The application of monitoring, measurement and characterisation in ground engineering challenges
Translating fundamental understanding to offshore contexts
Mineral and resource recovery
Emerging and non-traditional applications of Geotechnical understanding
Digital tools and techniques (e.g. BIM) for ground engineering

Guided study will address:
Research project planning and presentation skills linked to CEG8296 and CEG8297
Synthesis and communication of technical information

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00Project inception presentation preparation. Non-sync
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture11:001:00Q&A with staff on research presentation and dissertation top areas (sync online)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture41:004:00Thematic Seminars (external speakers) - on campus (PIP)
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials90:304:30Academic staff research presentation (non-sync online)
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials181:0018:00Thematic seminars and articles(Non-sync online)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture60:303:00Thematic seminars (external speakers) (sync online)
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading360:053:00Dissertation project title descriptions (non sync online)
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion12:002:00Discussion based on thematic seminars (non-sync online)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery11:001:00Assessment Presentation feedback session (121)
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study130:0030:00Theme Report preparation time. Non-sync
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision30:301:30Dissertation supervision meeting.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time11:001:00Seminar series plenary and assessment setting (theme report allocation and project title allocation)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:001:00Module introduction including seminar themes, timetable and assessment (Sync online)
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

This module introduces students to a variety of ground engineering challenges and how these are approached by both consultancy and research. An industry-led, synchronous seminar series will be conducted that 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 non-synchronous seminars from appropriate learned societies, industrial bodies and previous contributors will be 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 followed by a session delivered by the NU Careers Service to provide timely information regarding the support available to students on their next steps.

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 their thematic report and ultimately, feed into the development of their individual projects later in the Programme.

The students will be presented with the available dissertation titles from which they will select prior to allocation at the end of the week. During the module, supervisors will provide information on these titles via a face-to-face drop-in session. Following project allocation, students will meet individually with their supervisors to enable them to hone their thinking ahead of delivering a formative project inception presentation. Presentation skills will be delivered to the whole cohort and 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 and critique
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Oral Presentation2MPresent on project topic, inception/introduction/aim/objectives/ anticipated methods. Allows feedback on presentation/project
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

An article is required with a given title based on a theme that brings together topics from the seminar series. This will require the student to synthesise information from synchronous and non-synchronous materials in the form of an ICE Ground Engineering article. 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