University of Surrey - Guildford

Registry > Module Catalogue
View Module List by A.O.U. and Level  Alphabetical Module Code List  Alphabetical Module Title List  Alphabetical Old Short Name List  View Menu 
2010/1 Module Catalogue
Module Provider: Civil, Chemical & Enviromental Eng Short Name: SE1M90
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: WOODS RI Dr (C, C & E Eng)
Number of credits: 15 Number of ECTS credits: 7.5
Module Availability
Spring Semester
Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment




Weighting Towards Module Mark (%)




2 hour examination








Coursework 1 – Analytical solution for beam on elastic foundation








Coursework 2 – Comparison of finite element and finite difference modelling








Qualifying Condition(s) 




An overall mark of 50% is required to pass the module.




Module Overview
A knowledge of soil mechanics and foundation engineering to Level HE3
Module Aims

To provide students with




  • an understanding of how real structures interact with the surrounding soil


  • a knowledge of the different idealisations which have been devised, including their limitations and appropriateness
  • tuition in using soil-structure interaction software for some typical cases, and how to interpret output for design purposes
Learning Outcomes

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




  • Select the most appropriate analytical model for a given application


  • Collect and format data the required for a given analytical model


  • Use commercially available soil-structure software packages
  • Validate the solutions obtained from commercially available software packages
Module Content

Analytical Models for Interaction




Winkler spring (subgrade reaction) models




continuum models




constitutive models for soils




Solution Methods




semi-analytical methods




finite difference methods




finite element methods




Applications and Case Histories




beams and rafts on elastic foundations




embedded walls and deep basements




pile groups and piled rafts




tunnels and culverts




other interaction problems




Practical Content




commercial geotechnical finite element software




in-house finite difference programs for beams, rafts and piles
other relevant commercial packages

Methods of Teaching/Learning

18 hrs lectures, 3 hrs tutorial/question classes, 9 hrs practical classes, 38 hrs assignment work, 2 hrs examination and 80 hrs independent learning.




Total student learning time 150 hours.

Selected Texts/Journals

The module will be supported by comprehensive printed notes, with relevant journal and conference papers cited in individual lectures.  Further recommended reading includes:





Bowles JE Foundation Analysis and Design, 5th ed, McGraw Hill. 1996.  (ISBN 00791 22477)





Britto AM and Gunn MJ, Critical State Soil Mechanics via Finite Elements, Ellis-Horwood, 1978.  (ISBN 08531 29371)





Hemsley JA, Elastic Analysis of Raft Foundations, Thomas Telford, 1998.  (ISBN 07277 25947)





Jones G, Analysis of Beams on Elastic Foundations, Thomas Telford, 1997.  (ISBN 07277 24886)





Naylor DJ, Pande GN, Simpson B and Tabb R, Finite Elements in Geotechnical Engineering, 2nd ed, Pineridge Press, 1984.  (ISBN 09066 74115)





Ng CWW, Simons NE and Menzies BK, A Short Course in Soil-Structure Engineering, Thomas Telford, 2004.  (ISBN 07277 32633).





Potts DM and Zdravkovic L, The Finite Element Method in Geotechnical Engineering : Theory, Thomas Telford, 1999.  (ISBN 07277 27532)





Potts DM and Zdravkovic L, The Finite Element Method in Geotechnical Engineering : Application, Thomas Telford, 2001.  (ISBN 07277 27834)
Selvadurai APS, Elastic Analysis of Soil-Foundation Interaction, Elsevier, 1979.  (ISBN 04444 16633)

Last Updated

21 July 2009