Module code: ENGM270

Module provider

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Module Leader

SINGH RM Dr (Civl Env Eng)

Number of Credits


ECT Credits



FHEQ Level 7

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Semester 1

Overall student workload

Lecture Hours: 36

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination 2 HOUR EXAM 60%
Coursework COURSEWORK 40%

Alternative Assessment


Prerequisites / Co-requisites

A knowledge of basic soil mechanics and structural mechanics to FHEQ Level 6.

Module overview

This module is designed to provide necessary geotechnical design concepts of deep foundation and deep geological storage facilities related to some of the current and emerging energy projects. They include renewable energy systems (offshore and onshore wind turbine generator foundations), foundations for offshore oil and gas installations, geothermal energy pile foundation and nuclear power plant foundations There will also be specialised lectures on high level nuclear waste disposal and carbon geo-sequestration, methane hydrates and compressed air energy storage.

Module aims

to discuss the energy challenge and introduce a new emerging discipline

to provide an appreciation of the complexity of foundation design in offshore and the technolgical challenges in deep water hydrocarbon exploration

to introduce the different types of foundations for energy projects and the guiding design principles

to provide ability to carry out analysis and design of foundations for offshore wind turbine, oil and gas installations, nuclear power station

to provide the ability to recognise the uncertainties in foundation design and need for site investigationĀ 

to provide a broader understanding on the geotechnical design aspects of the geothermal energy pile

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
Choose foundation options for different energy projects KCPT
. Compare the advantages and limitations of different types of foundations KCPT
Make an appropriate choice of analysis methods to be used for foundation design and evaluate the loads KCPT
Make an appropriate recommendation of soil testing required, and interprete soil testing data to obtain the design parameters.)) KCPT
Carry out design of some of the foundations using appropriate codes of practice KCPT
Perform thermo-hydro-mechanical (THM) analysis of unsaturatedĀ engineering barriers used in nuclear waste repository KCPT
Analysis of porous rock behaviour to predict its flow and mechnical behaviour to assess its suitability for carbon sequestration and compressed air storage KCPT
Independent learning skills T
Oral & written communication T
Graphical presentation of data T
Synthesis of data T
3D spatial awareness T
Use of word processor, spreadsheet, drawings T
Critical thinking T

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

Indicative content includes

Geothermal Energy Pile (Thermal Pile) Foundation

Heat transfer in the ground, ground source heat pump (GSHP), vertical loop heat exchanger, horizontal loop heat exchanger, water source heat pump (WSHP), thermal response test (TRT), ground thermal properties (thermal conductivity, heat capacity, diffusivity), design of GSHP based on British code of practice, Energy foundations and earth contact underground structures (geothermal energy pile foundation, base slab, diaphragm wall, basement wall and tunnel), heating and cooling structures (building, pavement, bridge decks), Thermo-Mechanical (TM) design of geothermal energy pile, installation of heat exchanging loops, construction of thermal pile, ground thermal recovery and recharge

Wind and marine turbine foundations

Conceptual design of wind farms (site layout, geology of the site, spacing, overall structure, types of turbines and turbine characteristics), Loading on wind turbines foundations (wind spectrum, wave spectrum, 1P loading, 3P loading),  Types of foundations (Onshore and Offshore: monopile, suction caisson, tripod, tetrapod, floating system, jacket), Installation of offshore foundations, Design considerations (effects of cyclic loading, ultimate capacity, natural frequency estimates, accumulation of rotation, fatigue design),  Dynamic-Soil-Structure-Interaction, Designing foundations based on codes of practice. 

Foundations for Offshore Oil and Gas installations

Different types of foundations, foundation design considerations for gravity base structure, jacket structures, floating structures such as FPSO's, TLP's, offshore site investigations, design of pipelines (upheaval buckling, on-bottom pipelines), design of foundations based on API method

Nuclear Power Plant foundation

Foundation design solutions for a nuclear reactor building, dynamic soil-structure issues, site investigation required for analysis and design, codes of practice, case studies.

Nuclear Waste Disposal

Type and source of nuclear waste, hazardous waste management and waste disposal policy, high-level nuclear waste disposal, design and construction of nuclear waste repository (deep geological disposal facility), design of engineering barrier, unsaturated soil behaviour, total suction, matric suction, water retention curves,  thermal properties, thermo-consolidation, Thermo-hydro-mechanical (THM) analysis, theoretical formulation and constitutive modelling, determination of material parameters for numerical modelling   

Carbon Geo-sequestration

Carbon sequestration technologies, carbon capture and subsurface geological storage (geo-sequestration), enhanced oil recovery (EOR), saline aquifers and sedimentary rocks reservoir, enhanced coal bed methane (ECBM) recovery, abandoned mines, supercritical CO2, flow and mechanical characteristics of porous rocks, stress-strain relationships, rock failure criteria, determination of mechanical properties, measurement and modelling of rock permeability

Methane hydrates and compressed air energy storage

Introduction to methane hydrates (MH) and compressed air energy storage (CAES), reserves of MH, production method, mechanical properties of MH bearing sediments, CAES using underground storage facilities

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

provide a specialist knowledge of foundation design related to energy sector, and will be delivered principally by lectures but also learning by analysing field data and through a course work.

The module is delivered principally by lectures with tutorial/question classes.

The learning and teaching methods include:

Geothermal energy pile foundation lectures/tutorials (6 hours)
Wind and marine foundations lectures/tutorials (3 hours)
Foundations for offshore oil and gas installation lectures/tutorials (3 hours)
Nuclear power plant foundations lectures/tutorials (3 hours)
Nuclear waste disposal lectures/tutorials (6 hours)
Carbon geo-sequestration lectures/tutorials (6 hours)
Methane hydrate and compressed air energy storage lectures (3 hours)
Directed and guided reading (78 hours)
Coursework (40 hours)



Assessment Strategy

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

Knowledge and understanding of principles of specialist foundation design (LO’s 1-5) through a 2 hour unseen examination.
Solving open ended problems such as a foundation design using real data, ability to interpret soil test data to obtain the design parameters (LO 5) is assessed through coursework.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

·         Examination [Learning outcomes assessed 1, 2, 3, 4, 5] (2 hours) {60%}

·         Coursework [Learning outcomes assessed 5] (40 hours) {40%}

Formative assessment and feedback

Formative Feedback will be through a range of self assessment exercises and quizzes held in the class.

Students will receive written feedback on their coursework.

Reading list

Reading list for ENERGY GEOTECHNICS :

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.