KB6022 - Geotechnical Engineering

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What will I learn on this module?

You will have the opportunity to build upon your learning in the second year module KB5020 ‘Engineering Geology and Geotechnics,’ applying it to geotechnical engineering design problems. You will cover the stability of earth slopes, lateral earth pressure and retaining structures, shallow and deep foundations, settlement of foundations, soil stabilization techniques, use of standards and codes of practice and the derivation of design parameters from site investigations.

How will I learn on this module?

This module will be taught by means of lectures supplemented by visiting lectures from industrial practitioners. Lectures will be supplemented by seminars in which worked examples will be presented and you will have the opportunity to work on problems. There will be coursework involving a short design problem, putting into practice the material studied, and there will be a laboratory session enabling you to revise key principles of soil mechanics learned in second year. Finally there will be a site visit to view real geotechnical structures.

All notes and seminar problems will be available on the University’s electronic learning portal to facilitate consolidation of learning and revision, and reading lists with e-books and links to relevant video materials will also be provided.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported by staff presence in lectures where you will have the opportunity to ask questions, in seminars where you will be supported in working through problems, including the coursework submission problem and in the laboratory. You will also be supported via provision of materials on the electronic learning portal. Additional support will be provided as necessary by means of consultation with staff outside timetabled teaching hours.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

1. Determine horizontal earth pressures and design a retaining wall
2. Classify and analyse earth slopes.
3. Analyze and design foundations for ultimate and serviceability limit states.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

4. Apply the appropriate analysis tools to the design of foundations and other earth or earth supporting structures.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

5. Evaluate sustainability, health and safety and design risk management issues in the context of geotechnical engineering.

How will I be assessed?

Your main element of assessment (80%) will be an examination which will assess your knowledge and understanding in the key areas of the subject needed for the development of your design skills. This assessment will address MLOs 2 to 5.

The coursework (20%) is designed for the assessment of MLO1 and will consis of a retaining wall design exercise and associated report.

Formative assessment will be through problem solving tasks in the seminar sessions on which verbal feedback will be provided.

Written feedback will be provided electronically, upon return of your coursework, via the module electronic portal site Individual feedback will be provided to coursework submissions to clarify points of learning, again this will be delivered electronically.





Module abstract

You will be introduced to the application of the principles of soil mechanics to the analysis and design of earth slopes, foundations and retaining structures. You will gain body of knowledge to allow you to specify, design, evaluate and make decisions in geotechnical problems using contemporary principles and concepts, including the standards, and codes of used in industry. You will also gain experience in dealing with the uncertainty arising from the difficulty of characterizing conditions below the ground based on limited data, and on how design and health and safety risks arising from this uncertainty can be managed. Almost all civil engineering problems involve some geotechnical engineering; for example all structures have foundations, whilst all railways and highways make use of embankments and cuttings constructed from earth. An understanding of design in this area is therefore important for a civil engineering graduate and will contribute significantly to your employability in the industry.

Course info

UCAS Code H201

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 4 years full-time or 5 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Mechanical and Construction Engineering

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

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