Engineering

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ECM2110 - Geotechnics 1 (2015)

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MODULE TITLEGeotechnics 1 CREDIT VALUE15
MODULE CODEECM2110 MODULE CONVENERProf Akbar Javadi (Coordinator)
DURATION: TERM 1 2 3
DURATION: WEEKS 11 weeks 0 0
Number of Students Taking Module (anticipated) 38
DESCRIPTION - summary of the module content

Geotechnics is the science of predicting the behaviour of the Earth and its various materials, using scientific methods and engineering principles. This module introduces the basic concepts of engineering geology, site investigation, soil classification, rock mass characterisation, seepage and shear strength of soil, and their practical applications in geotechnical engineering. It also covers a range of experiments that are routinely carried out in geotechnical investigation.

AIMS - intentions of the module

This module is designed to introduce you to the basic concepts of engineering geology, site investigation procedures, and the principles of geotechnical engineering with some applications in civil engineering. The knowledge you will acquire on this module will provide a good grounding in the topic and stand you in good stead for taking year 3 and MEng modules in geotechnical engineering.

 

This module covers Specific Learning Outcomes in Engineering, which apply to accredited programmes at Bachelors/MEng/Masters level. These contribute to the  educational requirements for CEng registration (as defined under the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence – UK-SPEC).


This module correlates to references U1, U2, E1, E2, D1, P1, P2 and P3. These references are indices of the specific learning outcomes expected of Bachelors/MEng/Masters candidates set out in UK-SPEC, codified with reference to systems used by professional accrediting institutions. A full list of the standards can be found on the Engineering Council's website, at http://www.engc.org.uk

 

INTENDED LEARNING OUTCOMES (ILOs) (see assessment section below for how ILOs will be assessed)

On successful completion of this module, you should be able to:

 

Module Specific Skills and Knowledge:
1 identify and describe geological materials (soils and rocks) and geological structures, and demonstrate understanding of their origin;
2 demonstrate a familiarity with the methods of site investigation and the most common laboratory and in-situ tests used in ground investigation;
3 comprehend physical and mechanical properties of soils and rocks, methods of determination of these properties;
4 grasp the effect of ground conditions on civil engineering structures.
Discipline Specific Skills and Knowledge:
5 understand that the value of certain theoretical treatments lies in the background they give for sharpening engineering judgement when it is necessary to use an empirical approach;
6 appreciate that empirical approaches should not be contemplated unless the underlying theory is understood;
7 show an awareness of engineering design procedures through being able to estimate the reliability of soil parameters.
Personal and Key Transferable/ Employment Skills and  Knowledge:
8 exemplify improved analytical and writing skills.

SYLLABUS PLAN - summary of the structure and academic content of the module

- the Earth, oceans and continents, plate tectonics, the geological time scale; 

- rock types: igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic;

- structural geology: folds, faults, fissures, joints, strike and dip;

- formation of soils: erosion, deposition process and ground water

- laboratory testing of soils and rocks; 

- ground investigation: methods of investigation, sampling, borehole logs, geophysical methods;

- basic characteristics of soils and rocks, volume-mass relationships;

- soil classification: including Atterberg limits, soil compaction;

- seepage: permeability, seepage theory, governing equation and methods of solution, flow nets, anisotropic and non-homogeneous soils, design of filters;

- effective stress; 

- shear strength of soils: Mohr-Coulomb failure criterion, other failure criteria, shear strength tests, shear strength of sands, shear strength of saturated clays, residual strength, pore pressure parameters;

- introduction of stability of slopes.

LEARNING AND TEACHING
LEARNING ACTIVITIES AND TEACHING METHODS (given in hours of study time)
Scheduled Learning & Teaching Activities 66.00 Guided Independent Study 84.00 Placement / Study Abroad
DETAILS OF LEARNING ACTIVITIES AND TEACHING METHODS
Category Hours of study time Description
Scheduled learning and teaching activities 48 Lectures/problem classes/tutorials

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

18 Laboratory work
Guided independent study 84 Lecture and assessment preparation; wider reading

 

ASSESSMENT
FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT - for feedback and development purposes; does not count towards module grade
Form of Assessment Size of Assessment (e.g. duration/length) ILOs Assessed Feedback Method
Not applicable      
       
       
       
       

 

SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT (% of credit)
Coursework 40 Written Exams 50 Practical Exams
DETAILS OF SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT
Form of Assessment % of Credit Size of Assessment (e.g. duration/length) ILOs Assessed Feedback Method
Written exam – closed book 50 2 hours 1-8 Revision of previous year's exam papers
Coursework – technical reports on a number of lab experiments in the context of a site investigation exercise 35 18 hours 1-8 Feedback on reports
Coursework – written assessments 15 6 hours 3-8 Feedback on reports
         
         

 

DETAILS OF RE-ASSESSMENT (where required by referral or deferral)
Original Form of Assessment Form of Re-assessment ILOs Re-assessed Time Scale for Re-reassessment
All above Written exam (100%) All August Ref/Def period
       
       

 

RE-ASSESSMENT NOTES

If a module is normally assessed entirely by coursework, all referred/deferred assessments will normally be by assignment.

If a module is normally assessed by examination or examination plus coursework, referred and deferred assessment will normally be by examination. For referrals, only the examination will count, a mark of 40% being awarded if the examination is passed. For deferrals, candidates will be awarded the higher of the deferred examination mark or the deferred examination mark combined with the original coursework mark.

RESOURCES
INDICATIVE LEARNING RESOURCES - The following list is offered as an indication of the type & level of
information that you are expected to consult. Further guidance will be provided by the Module Convener

ELE – http://vle.exeter.ac.uk


 

Reading list for this module:

Type Author Title Edition Publisher Year ISBN Search
Set Craig , R.F Soil Mechanics E and F N Spon (Chapman & Hall) 2012 000-0-419-22450-5 [Library]
Set Azizi, F Engineering design in geotechnics Fethi Azizi 2007 9780955599613 [Library]
Set Azizi, F Physical Behaviour in Geotechnics Fethi Azizi 2007 978-0955599620 [Library]
Set Blyth, F.G.H and de Freitas, M.H A Geology for Engineers 7th Butterworth Heinemann 1984 000-0-713-12882-8 [Library]
Set Budhu, M Soil Mechanics and Foundations 2nd John Wiley & Sons 2000 978-0471431176 [Library]
Set Durrance, E.M and Laming, D.J.C The Geology of Devon University of Exeter 2002 0859891534 [Library]
Set Waltham, T Foundations of Engineering Geology 3rd Taylor and Francis 2009 978-0415469609 [Library]
CREDIT VALUE 15 ECTS VALUE 7.5
PRE-REQUISITE MODULES None
CO-REQUISITE MODULES None
NQF LEVEL (FHEQ) 2 (NQF level 5) AVAILABLE AS DISTANCE LEARNING No
ORIGIN DATE Friday 09 January 2015 LAST REVISION DATE Thursday 27 August 2015
KEY WORDS SEARCH Geotechnical engineering; soil mechanics; soil classification; soil compaction; rock mass characterisation; introduction to engineering geology; site investigation; seepage; shear strength of soils.