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CEG3201 : Geotechnical Design

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Agostino Bruno
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


This module aims:
1. To demonstrate through examples, the applications of concepts, principles and theories of the design of geotechnical structures.
2. To develop the design skills of a geotechnical engineer.
3. To introduce examples of geotechnical construction techniques.

This module will build upon basic soil mechanics principles and demonstrate how they are used for the design and analysis of slopes, retaining walls and foundations. Reference will be made to codes of practice currently used in industry.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module will provide an introduction to detailed design of key geotechnical structures. It will introduce numerical software and its role in the design process. Students will perform detailed design exercises. Including principles of design of foundations, slopes and retaining walls: failure mechanisms, forces, partial factors. Shallow foundations: methods of construction design based on presumed values, theory, and in situ tests. Structural walls: actual and theoretical behaviour, groundwater and earth pressure on rigid structures, design of gravity and sheet pile walls.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion110:305:30Revision for exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion13:003:00Exam
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion21:303:00Online Blackboard Questionnaire Assessment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical11:001:00Lab Exercise
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00Tutorials
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops11:001:00Industrial Speaker
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study153:3053:30Includes background reading and reading lecture notes for a full understanding of material
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The principles of 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. These principles will be put to use in the design exercises set as the assessment for the module.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1801A80Unseen, written examination.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Computer assessment1M202 x Blackboard Questionnaire, both with an equal 10% weighting
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The examination will allow students to demonstrate their knowledge of the geotechnical design process and the engineering theory it is based upon.

Semester 1 Study Abroad students would be assessed with a 3 hours unseen written exam. The examination will allow students to demonstrate their knowledge of the geotechnical design process and the engineering theory it is based upon. The exam will consist of 3 parts: one on foundation design, one on retaining structures and one on slope stability. The use of Eurocode 7 concepts in the design of geotechnical structures will be tested.

Reading Lists