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CEG8218 : Foundation Design and Retaining Structures

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


This module aims:
1)       To explain the principles and theories of the design of shallow and deep foundations and retaining structures
2)       To apply the concepts of foundations design through practical examples including problems involving partially saturated soils
3)       To develop the design skills of a geotechnical engineer
4)       To show the different foundation construction techniques
Summary: This module will build upon the soil mechanics principles including aspects of partially saturated soils and demonstrate how they are used for the design of shallow and deep foundations and retaining walls.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module will provide an introduction to the design of both shallow and deep foundations. Different types of shallow foundations will be presented: pad footing, strip footing and raft footing. Students will learn to calculate settlements in both cohesive and granular soils. Students will get practical experience assessing computationally the settlement of shallow foundations. The bearing capacity of shallow foundations will be calculated accounting for the shape of the foundation and inclination of the loads. This module will also present deep foundations. Classification criteria and methods of installation of piles will be presented. Students will calculate settlements of deep foundations. The bearing capacity of piles subjected to vertical actions will also be determined. Structural walls: actual and theoretical behaviour, groundwater and earth pressure on rigid structures, design of gravity and sheet pile walls. All verifications will be conducted according to the Eurocode by considering both Serviceability Limit States (SLS) and Ultimate Limit States (ULS). Students will be able to design shallow foundations and retaining walls accounting for the saturation condition of the soil.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion115:0015:00Coursework Design Exercise
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials102:0020:00Structured guided learning lecture.
Guided Independent StudySkills practice110:0010:00Structured guided learning (Canvas quizzes, Numbas exercises)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching43:0012:00Tutorials
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery81:008:00Online - Drop In Sessions
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study115:0015:00Project work
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study120:0020:00Includes background reading and reading lecture notes for a full understanding of materials
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The principles of foundations design and analysis are taught in lectures with several problem-solving small group teaching activities in order to gain an understanding of the design procedures. Analytical and numerical methods are taught during lectures and applied during the tutorial sessions. These methodologies will be used in the design exercise set as the assessment for the module.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Design/Creative proj2M100Design exercise – equivalent to approximately 2000 words
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Prob solv exercises2MStudents will be given the opportunity to complete problem-solving small group teaching activities as well as online Canvas quizzes.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The coursework is designed to allow students to demonstrate their understanding and knowledge of the foundations design and the engineering theory it is based upon. The use of Eurocode 7 concepts in the design of shallow and deep foundations will be tested.

Reading Lists