ENG07017 2019 Geotechnical Engineering 301H

General Details

Full Title
Geotechnical Engineering 301H
Transcript Title
Geotechnical Engineering 301H
N/A %
Subject Area
ENG - Engineering
CENG - Civil Eng. and Construction
07 - NFQ Level 7
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2019 - Full Academic Year 2019-20
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Patrick Naughton
Programme Membership
SG_ECIVL_H08 201900 Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Civil Engineering SG_ECIVL_K08 201900 Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Civil Engineering (Add-on)

The module looks at permeability, soil strength, consolidation and lateral earth pressures in a soil mas.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Define, quantify and formulate the concept of effective stress in geotechnical engineering problem.


Use graphical and computational techniques to determine seepage quantities and pore pressures and to assess the stability of soil masses subjected to seepage forces.


Analyse the strength characteristics of saturated soil.


Formulate and apply consolidation theory to estimate settlement rates and amounts.


Describe, formulate and implement critical state theory to model the behaviour of soi.


Use standard engineering laboratory equipment to perform experiments in teams, observe and record data and experimental evidence.


Design, implement and analysis experimental methods in the soil mechanics laboratory.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

This module will be delivered to full‑time learners through a mix of formal lectures and practical classes.  

Module Assessment Strategies

This module is 30% continuous assessment, consisting of individual practical write‑ups, and 70% final examination at the end of the semester.  

Repeat Assessments

Where a learner fails the continuous assessment element of the module they will be required to resubmit the practical reports for assessment at the repeat examination session.

Learners who fail the end of module terminal examination will have the opportunity to resit the examination during the repeat examination session.

Indicative Syllabus

Indicative Syllabus

  1. Total and effective stress; porewater pressure.

  2. Permeability; seepage theory, general differential equations of flow; flow nets; associated laboratory and field tests

  3. Soil strength; MohrCoulomb failure criterion; shear box; conventional triaxial testing; interpretation of shear box and triaxial test results; stress path analysis; pore pressure coefficients; normal and overconsolidated soils; preconsolidation pressure

  4. Consolidation theory, laboratory testing, oedometer testing, constant rate of strain/load testing, interpretation of test data, Terzaghi's theory of one dimensional consolidation, settlement of embankments on soft soil, creep soils

  5. Introduction to critical state theory stress paths, Isotropic consolidation and stress paths in three dimensional space, representation of triaxial test in p'qv space, the critical state line and its equation, The Roscoe surface, The state boundary surface.

  6. Lateral earth pressure: Active and passive earth pressures, design parameters for different soil types, earth pressures at rest, operative values for passive pressure.

Indicative Practicals/Projects

  1. Permeability tests and flow net construction

  2. Shear box testing

  3. Undrained and drained stress paths triaxial test

  4. Oedometer test

  5. Consolidation settlement calculations

  6. Case studies

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
30 %
End of Semester / Year Formal Exam
70 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Practical Evaluation Continuous Assessment Practical Evaluation 30 % OnGoing 2,3,4,6,7

End of Semester / Year Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Final Exam Final Exam Closed Book Exam 70 % End of Semester 1,2,3,4,5

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Flat Classroom Lecture 2 Weekly 2.00
Supervision Engineering Laboratory Practical 1 Weekly 1.00
Independent Learning UNKNOWN Independent learning 5 Weekly 5.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 3.00 Hours

Online Learning Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Online Lecture 2 Weekly 2.00
Practical/Laboratory Engineering Laboratory Laboratory Practical 15 Once Per Module 1.00
Independent Learning Not Specified Independent learning 5 Weekly 5.00
Total Online Learning Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 3.00 Hours

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Knappett, J., Craig, R.F. Craig's Soil Mechanics CRC Press 2012

Barnes, G. Soil Mechanics Princples and practice, Palgrave, 2016

Powrie, W. Soil Mechanics Concepts & Applications Third Edition CRC Press 2013

Smith, I. Elements of Soil Mechanics 9th Edition 2014

Whitlow, R Basic Soil Mechanics Prentice Hall 2001

Bell, F.G. Engineering Geology Butterworth‑Heinemann 2007  

Parriaux, A. 2009. Geology; Basics for Engineers, 1st Edition, CRC Press.


Journal Resources


URL Resources


Other Resources


Additional Information