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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: ENG3146 Module Title: GEOTECHNICAL ENGINEERING 1
Module Provider: Civil, Chemical & Enviromental Eng Short Name: ENG3146
Level: HE3 Module Co-ordinator: WOODS RI Dr (C, C & E Eng)
Number of credits: 10 Number of ECTS credits: 5
Module Availability
Semester 1 and 2
Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment


Weighting Towards Module Mark (%)


Unseen examination






·         Site characterisation


·         Planning a ground investigation




Qualifying Condition(s) 


An overall mark of 40% is required to pass the module.


Module Overview
Completion of the progress requirements of Level HE2 and modules ENG1017 and ENG2075
Module Aims

This module aims to:
·         Introduce students to modern processes for treating soil and rock masses in order to modify their engineering behaviour.
·         Explain the underlying principles of these different geotechnical processes.
·         Identify the circumstances in which particular processes may be necessary or beneficial, and what results can be expected.
·         Explain how to develop a geological model of a site and to carry out a conceptual design.
·         Explain the nature of geotechnical hazards and the management of geotechnical risk, including the role of the risk register.
·         Identify the most appropriate techniques to investigate the ground and to determine geotechnical parameters for design purposes.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the module, students will be able to:


·         Explain the processes of mechanical, hydraulic, chemical, and thermal modification of soils and rocks


·         Select the appropriate geotechnical process for a given geomaterial and proposed application


·         Carry out basic design calculations for selected geotechnical processes


·         Plan a site investigation


·         Analyse and evaluate raw data from site investigations.


·         Set up a geotechnical risk system.


Module Content
·         Planning and conceptual design
·         Desk study and walk-over survey
·         Geotechnical hazards and risk management
·         Common methods used for subsurface exploration
·         Parameter determination (laboratory & in situ tests)
·         Mechanical processes
·         Chemical processes

·          Hydraulic processes

Methods of Teaching/Learning

Semester 1: 22 hours of lectures/tutorials, plus 28 hours of independent learning.


Semester 2: 22 hours of lectures/tutorials, plus 28 hours of independent learning.


Total student learning time 100 hours.

Selected Texts/Journals
The module is supported by comprehensive printed notes; further reading includes:
Essential Reading
Required reading
Clayton CRI Managing geotechnical risk: time for change? Proc. ICE, Civ Eng. Paper 149, pp3-11.
Managing Health and Safety in Construction, Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2007. Approved Code of Practice L144 HSB Books 2007 ISBN 978 0 7176 6223 4.
Background reading
Clayton CRI, Matthews MC and Simons NE, Site Investigation, 2nd ed, Blackwell Science, 1995. (ISBN 06320 29080)
 [Available as a free download from]]
Bond A and Harris A, Decoding Eurocode 7, Taylor and Francis, 2008. (ISBN 978-0415409483)
Hausmann MR, Engineering Principles of Ground Modification, McGraw Hill, 1990. (ISBN 00702 72794)
Matthews, MC, Simons NE and Menzies BK, A Short Course in Geology for Civil Engineers, Thomas Telford, 2008. (ISBN 9780727733504).
Moseley MP and Kirsch K (Eds), Ground Improvement, 2nd ed, Spon, 2004. (ISBN 04152 74559)
Simons NE, Menzies BK and Matthews MC, A Short Course in Geotechnical Site Investigation, Thomas Telford, 2002. (ISBN 9780727729484).
Woodward J, An Introduction to Geotechnical Processes, Spon, 2005. (ISBN 04152 86468).

BS EN 1997 Eurocode 7 Geotechnical Design, British Standards Institution. [Available as a free download from BSI online]

Last Updated

29th September 2010