GEOTECHNICAL ENGINEERING 1 - 2017/8

Module code: ENG3175

Module provider

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Module Leader

WOODS RI Dr (Civl Env Eng)

Number of Credits

15

ECT Credits

7.5

Framework

FHEQ Level 6

JACs code

H250

Module cap (Maximum number of students)

N/A

Module Availability

Semester 1

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 115

Lecture Hours: 36

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination EXAMINATION 80
Coursework COURSEWORK 20

Alternative Assessment

None.

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

Completion of the progression requirements of FHEQ Level 5, or admission to FHEQ Level 6.

Module overview

Virtually all civil engineering structures are in contact with the ground. Sometimes the ground exerts a force to be carried by the structure (e.g. retaining walls, tunnels), or provides a reaction which helps support the structure (e.g. a foundation). In some cases the ground is the structure and must be designed to support itself (e.g. embankments and slopes). This module deals with the latter two categories and applies the basic principles of soil mechanics to the safe and sustainable design of foundations and soil slopes.

Module aims

Provide students with basic analytical tools for designing both shallow and deep foundations, cut slopes and embankments – satisfying relevant stability and deformation criteria, and distinguishing between short and long-term conditions

Impart an understanding of why foundations and slopes become unsafe, what the possible consequences are, and how the risk of failure can be managed

Introduce relevant site investigation and in-situ testing methods for identifying ground conditions and determining geotechnical parameters for design purposes

Provide students with an understanding of some fundamental design issues through case studies and assignment work.

Provide students with an understanding of health and safety, and of sustainability issues in foundation and slope design and construction.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
Calculate the ultimate and safe bearing capacity of a shallow (spread footing) foundation,distinguishing between drained and undrained loading conditions. KC
Calculate the ultimate and safe working capacity of a deep (pile) foundation, distinguishing between drained and undrained loading conditions. KC
Compute stress distributions in the ground resulting from foundation loading. KC
Predict the likely settlement of a footing or deep foundation during its working life, distinguishing between immediate and long-term settlement. KC
Design a simple footing, raft or pile group to carry a specified imposed load, so that it has an adequate margin of safety against collapse, and acceptable settlement performance. KCT
Calculate the stability of a fill or cut slope, using an appropriate failure mechanism and drainage conditions and compare with suitability criteria. KCT
Devise appropriate drainage measures to improve the stability of a slope. KCP
Identify appropriate site exploration and testing techniques relevant to the analysis and design of foundations and soil slopes. KP
Consider sustainability issues relating to foundation and slope design. KP
Appreciate that changes to a foundation or slope design require a reassessment of risks K
Synthesis of data T
Technical report writing T
Reviewing, assessing, and critical thinking T
Use of spreadsheets T

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

Indicative content includes:

Foundation Engineering


Foundation types and construction methods
Limit states, safety, and drainage conditions
Bearing capacity of shallow and piled foundations
Stress distributions, theory of elasticity
Settlement of shallow and piled foundations
Sustainability in foundation design
Practical design issues and case histories


Soil Slopes


Slope types, limit states and drainage conditions
Planar, circular and non-circular failure mechanisms
Force and moment equilibrium
Total and effective stress analysis
Practical design issues


Site Characterisation


Exploration and sampling
In-situ testing
Interpretation of test data

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Build on students’ knowledge of soil mechanics acquired in FHEQ Level 5 and help them to apply it to the design and analysis of foundations and slopes.  The module forms part of the key theme of Geotechnical Engineering which runs through all Levels on BEng and MEng programmes in Civil Engineering.

The learning and teaching methods include:


Combined lectures/problem-solving classes on foundations(2hrs per week for 11 weeks)
Combined lectures/problem-solving classes on soil slopes(1hr per week for 11 weeks, plus 3 additional 1hr slots for tutorials)
Independent learning (reading, tutorials, coursework assignments, and revision) (112hrs)
Unseen written examination (closed book) (2hrs)

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate the following:

1/  The ability to choose appropriate strength parameters (LO8) and drainage conditions and carry out the necessary computations using the most appropriate method in order to assess the stability of a slope in soil (i.e. fill or cut slope) (LO6) is assessed principally through a coursework assignment. The assignment also calls for issues of drainage (LO7) sustainability (LO9), risk (LO10) to be considered in the context of suggestions for improvements to the design slope given. The examination focuses on testing those aspects of LOs 6, 7 and 8 not fully covered by the coursework assignment.

2/  The ability to choose appropriate strength parameters (LO8) and drainage conditions and carry out the necessary computations to assess the load bearing capacity and settlement of a foundation (shallow or deep) (LO1, 2, 3, 4, 5) is assessed principally through a coursework assignment. The assignment also calls for issues of sustainability (LO9) and risk (LO10) to be considered in the context of the overall foundation design, and suggestions for improvements to it. The examination focuses on assessing those aspects of LOs 1-5 not fully covered by the coursework assignment.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

·         Soil slope stability coursework [Learning outcomes assessed 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, a, b, c, d] (12 hours, 8%)

·         Foundation design coursework [Learning outcomes assessed 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, a, b, c] (18 hours, 12%)

·         Examination (2 hours, closed book, 80%)

Formative assessment and feedback

Feedback will be given on both coursework assignments, in the form of generic comments through SurreyLearn and more detailed and individualised feedback given on the marked assignments within the time allowed for marking coursework. Formative assessment will be through solving problems in class (and getting feedback on the correct solution there and then) and also through tackling tutorial sheets – for which feedback takes the form of full worked solutions posted on SurreyLearn after the student has had an opportunity to try the problems for him/herself.

Reading list

Reading list for GEOTECHNICAL ENGINEERING 1 : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/eng3175

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Civil Engineering MEng 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Civil Engineering BEng (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Liberal Arts and Sciences BA (Hons)/BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2017/8 academic year.