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CEG8202 : Ground Investigation - Design, Principles and Practice

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Jean Hall
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


1. Students should be able to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of essential facts, concepts, theories and principles of ground engineering in designing a ground investigation.
2. Students should be able to demonstrate an ability to organise a desk study and site reconnaissance to assemble data to design a ground investigation.
3. Students should be able to understand risk assessment and methods in the context of ground investigations.

This module will provide a introduction to the design and philosophy of geotechnical site investigations and a legislation element incorporating contaminated land. Students will learn about the range of exploration and testing techniques available to geotechnical engineers. Students will also learn how investigations are planned and how the results of investigations relate to the design process.

Outline Of Syllabus

Philosophy and Design, What is ground investigation, Reasons for ground investigation, The objectives, The design process, The requirements, legislation, desk study, Site reconnaissance, Design of a ground investigation; Field Operations, Philosophy, Shallow Exploration Techniques, Medium Exploration Techniques, Deep Exploration Techniques, Sampling, Other In Situ Tests, Field Permeability Tests, Geophysical Tests, Laboratory Tests, Classification Tests, Strength Tests, Lab Permeability, Deformation, Soil Behaviour and its relation to soil testing; Factual and Interpretative Reporting, Definitions, Test Schedule Method Statements, Factual Report, Interpretative Report, Bill of Quantities, Risk Assessment.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture151:0015:00Non-synchronous – recorded presentation
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion110:0010:00Coursework preparation – presentation and desk study
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion125:0025:00Coursework preparation – conceptual model and ground investigation design report
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical31:003:00In small groups of 6-7 students – Present in Person (PiP)
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities92:0018:00Non-synchronous online structured guided learning
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork13:003:00Site visit – in small groups to respect social distancing rules - PiP
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study113:0013:00Includes background reading and reading lecture notes for a full understanding of the material
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time41:004:00Synchronous – via Zoom, Teams, etc.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time12:002:00Synchronous – via Zoom, Teams, etc. Conceptual Model development
Guided Independent StudyOnline Discussion51:005:00Online Discussion Forum
Guided Independent StudyDistance Learning Advance Preparation12:002:00Introduction to module structure and delivery on CANVAS
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Students will aquire knowledge through lectures, small group teaching activities, directed self study (independent study) and site visits (fieldwork). Skills will be practiced through formative exercises, small group teaching activities and a short group presentation. Ground interpretation and application to investigative techniques will be assessed through an individual coursework exercise.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M75An individual timed piece of coursework which amounts to approx 25hrs of student time in preparation
Prof skill assessmnt1M25Group presentation (15 mins) which amounts to approximately 10 hrs of student time.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Design skills, that is, creative and innovative ability through application of essential facts, concepts, theories and principles of geotechnics to produce a relevant ground investigation will be developed through formative exercises, coursework and private study. They will be assessed through the production of a major exercise to design and cost an investigation. Individual performance is assessed by peer review, timesheets and continuous assessment.

Reading Lists