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Unit information: Geotechnical Engineering Practice in 2015/16

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Unit name Geotechnical Engineering Practice
Unit code CENGM0038
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Vardanega
Open unit status Not open

Applied Soil Mechanics and Engineering Geology, Design of Geotechnical Structures.



School/department Department of Civil Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering


To enhance students' geotechnical capabilities in analysing geo-data and practical problems.


Site investigation objectives; ground investigation techniques; sampling techniques and sample disturbance; in-situ testing techniques; interpretation of borehole logs and test data; empirical correlations


Topics may include: parameter selection, choice of geotechnical reduction factors, foundation serviceability criteria and the applicability of critical state concepts to design problems and selection of parameters.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the course, successful students will:

ULO 1. Appreciate the relationships between theory and practice; design and construction – including the role of modelling in geotechnical practice; (SS 4,6; PLO B9)

ULO 2. Know the range of geotechnical tests and instrumentation available, and know their advantages and disadvantages; be able to interpret some geotechnical testing data; (SS 2; SS7, PLO A2)

ULO 3. Understand how the ground response influences structural performance; (SS 7; PLO A7)

ULO 4. Understand some of the important factors which govern the choice of soil parameters for design, and have some ability in their selection. (SS 5; PLO A2,B2)

Teaching details

24 hours lectures

2 x 3 hour seminar classes (optional)

Assessment Details

3 hour examination (100%)

Reading and References

  1. Wood, D. M. (1990). Soil behaviour and critical state soil mechanics. Cambridge University Press, UK.
  2. Tomlinson M & Woodward J (2014) Pile Design and Construction Practice, 6th ed CRC Press