Engineering

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ECM2203 - Geotechnics 1 (2019)

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MODULE TITLEGeotechnics 1 CREDIT VALUE15
MODULE CODEECM2203 MODULE CONVENERDr Raffaele Vinai (Coordinator)
DURATION: TERM 1 2 3
DURATION: WEEKS 4 0 0
Number of Students Taking Module (anticipated) 25
DESCRIPTION - summary of the module content

As civil engineers, almost everything we design and build at some point comes in contact with the earth. So, it is essential that you understand the fundamental mechanics that govern soil behaviour. This module introduces the basic concepts of soil classification, soil compaction, site investigation, 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. The knowledge you will acquire in this module will provide a good grounding in the topic and stand you in good stead for your further study of geotechnical engineering later in your studies. You will also get the chance to interpret geological features in the field and gain experience of field observation and measurement techniques, site investigation and preliminary design of a civil engineering structure. You will also get introduced to the use of geotechnical software commonly used in the professional practice.

AIMS - intentions of the module

This module introduces the main concepts for the introduction to Geotechnical Engineering. It will provide the fundamental knowledge required for the characterisation and classification of geomaterials that are encountered in the professional practice, and for the understanding of soil physical and mechanical behaviour when subjected to loads, excavations, changes in the groundwater regime or in its internal structure. Laboratory experiments that are typically run for geotechnical investigation will be described and carried out in the practical sessions. 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 advanced modules in geotechnical engineering.

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, laboratory and writing skills;

9. Understand the different roles within an engineering team;

10. Apply your skills in problem solving, communication, teamwork, information retrieval and IT facilities use;

11. Show initiative and personal responsibility as a team member or leader, fostering self-learning and peer evaluation.

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;

- 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;

- effective stress;

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

LEARNING AND TEACHING
LEARNING ACTIVITIES AND TEACHING METHODS (given in hours of study time)
Scheduled Learning & Teaching Activities 44.00 Guided Independent Study 106.00 Placement / Study Abroad 0.00
DETAILS OF LEARNING ACTIVITIES AND TEACHING METHODS
Category Hours of study time Description
Scheduled learning and teaching activities 32 Lectures/problem classes/tutorials
Laboratory work 12 Laboratory work
Guided independent study 106 Lecture and assessment preparation; wider reading

The module will be delivered in residential block 1 and 2 through lectures (10 hours each residential block), tutorials and guided work (5 hour/residential block) and laboratory activities (2 sessions in each residential block). The introduction of a professional geotechnical software will be carried out through a Problem Based Learning (PBL) approach as a self-learning activity from students during independent study hours, with the support of the teaching staff when required.

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
       
       
       
       
       

 

SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT (% of credit)
Coursework 50 Written Exams 50 Practical Exams 0
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 - Winter Exam 1-8 Revision of previous year’s exam papers
Coursework – technical report on a number of lab experiments and experimental data analysis in the context of a site investigation exercise. Each group will submit a written report (that will be marked). 50 24 hours 1-11 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-assessment
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

Basic reading:

 

ELE: http://vle.exeter.ac.uk/

 

Web based and Electronic Resources:

 

Other Resources:

 

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 Budhu, M. Soil Mechanics and Foundations 2nd John Wiley & Sons 2000 978-0471431176 [Library]
Set Holtz, R.D., Kovacs, W.D., Sheahan, T.C. An Introduction to Geotechnical Engineering 2nd Prentice Hall Pearson 2011 978-0-13-249634-6 [Library]
CREDIT VALUE 15 ECTS VALUE 7.5
PRE-REQUISITE MODULES None
CO-REQUISITE MODULES None
NQF LEVEL (FHEQ) 5 AVAILABLE AS DISTANCE LEARNING No
ORIGIN DATE Thursday 09 March 2017 LAST REVISION DATE Thursday 04 July 2019
KEY WORDS SEARCH Geotechnical engineering; soil mechanics; soil classification; soil compaction; introduction to engineering geology; site investigation; seepage; shear strength of soils.