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BEng Civil Engineering

Year of entry: 2021

Course unit details:
Geotechnics 2

Unit code MACE20221
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Civil Engineering Division L5
Available as a free choice unit? No

Overview

This is an introductory course to Soil Mechanics that covers the following fundamental concepts:

1)   Strength of soils: Definition of strength in particulate multi-phase materials under different stress paths (drained and undrained conditions). Derivation of strength parameters from laboratory tests, including: triaxial, direct and simple shear tests. Introduction to main constitutive models used for saturated and dry soils, including the Mohr-Coulomb yield criterion and more advanced constitutive models based on the critical state soil mechanics.

2)   Compressibility of soils: Introduction to Terzaghi’s theory of one-dimensional consolidation. Derivation of compressibility and stiffness parameters from conventional laboratory test (oedometer test). Definition of degree of consolidation. Application of the theory of consolidation for evaluation of consolidation settlement in clay.

3)   Stability of earthworks: Classification of landslides. Use of limit equilibrium method to determine stability of slopes, embankments and excavations. Introduction to methods of analysis used in routine practice, outlining their assumptions and limitations.

4) Introduction to Critical State Soil Mechanics: Introduction to critical state framework to link compressibility, stress path and strength of soils.

This course unit detail provides the framework for delivery in 20/21 and may be subject to change due to any additional Covid-19 impact.  Please see Blackboard / course unit related emails for any further updates

Pre/co-requisites

Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Geotechnics 1 MACE10212 Pre-Requisite Compulsory

Aims

To introduce the fundamental concepts of soil mechanics and demonstrate through the use of case histories and laboratory activities how geotechnical aspects influence design, construction and maintenance of engineering structures, with emphasis on earthworks (slopes, embankments, excavations)

Syllabus

 1) Strength of soils: Definition of strength in particulate multi-phase materials under different stress paths (drained and undrained conditions). Derivation of strength parameters from laboratory tests, including: triaxial, direct and simple shear tests. Introduction to main constitutive models used for saturated and dry soils, including the Mohr-Coulomb yield criterion and more advanced constitutive models based on the critical state soil mechanics.

2)   Compressibility of soils: Introduction to Terzaghi’s theory of one-dimensional consolidation. Derivation of compressibility and stiffness parameters from conventional laboratory test (oedometer test). Definition of degree of consolidation. Application of the theory of consolidation for evaluation of consolidation settlement in clay.

3)   Stability of earthworks: Classification of landslides. Use of limit equilibrium method to determine stability of slopes, embankments and excavations. Introduction to methods of analysis used in routine practice, outlining their assumptions and limitations.

4) Introduction to Critical State Soil Mechanics: Introduction to critical state framework to link compressibility, stress path and strength of soils.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 80%
Report 20%

Feedback methods

Feedback provided within two weeks from coursework submission thorough general feedback, detailed solution, individual feedback form, highlighting strength and weaknesses

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 22
Practical classes & workshops 1
Tutorials 6
Independent study hours
Independent study 71

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Domenico Lombardi Unit coordinator

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