Engineering Institute of Technology

 

Unit Name

GEOTECHNICAL ENGINEERING

Unit Code

BCS303S

 

Unit Duration

Term

Award

Bachelor of Science (Engineering)

 

Duration 3 years

Year Level

Three

Unit Creator/Reviewer

 

Core/Elective

 

Pre/Co-requisites

BCS207S

Credit Points

3

 

Total Program Credit Points 81 (27 x 3)

Mode of Delivery

Online or on-campus

Unit Workload

(Total student workload including “contact hours” = 10 hours per week)

Pre-recordings / Lecture – 1.5 hours Tutorial – 1.5 hours

Guided labs / Group work / Assessments – 2 hours

Personal Study recommended - 5 hours

The objective in presenting this unit is to provide students with an introduction to advanced geotechnology. Knowledge of geotechnology is required in civil, environmental, and mining engineering, and on a smaller scale, in domestic building construction.

The subject matter covered in this unit will include the physics and mechanics of soil and rock and the underlying principles and theory The unit covers the engineering aspects or geotechnology including the application to typical problems ranging from studying the dynamics of groundwater flow to assessing the stability of different kinds of earthworks and from soil analysis for various possible applications to designing advanced soil retaining structures and deep foundations.

Geotechnical components that will be covered in detail will include: lateral earth pressures and their computation using Rankine, Coulomb, and curved failure surface methods; the design of earth retaining structures; ultimate bearing capacity of shallow foundations; drained and undrained slope stability and justifying solutions for these using the method of slices, design charts, and applicable computer software. Practical application of various geotechnical principles to particular soil structures such as landfill liners is also covered.

At the conclusion of this unit, students will have been provided with the knowledge and skills to manage a variety of geotechnical issues on a practical level, by being able to conduct various analyses using a number of software packages, and on a theoretical level by assisting them to apply this information to possible scenarios.

 

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this Unit, students are expected to be able to:

  1. Express lateral earth pressures using Rankine, Coulomb and curved failure surface methods and justify the selection of methods to design appropriate earth retaining structures and prove the ultimate bearing capacity of shallow foundations.

  2. Evaluate and resolve drained and undrained slope stability problems using appropriate methods of slices, design charts and applicable computer software to determine the stability of slopes.

  3. Justify and apply practical application of various geotechnical principles to particular soil structures such as landfill liners, and etc.

  4. Conduct geotechnical practical experiments and consolidate results.

    Completing this unit may add to students professional development/competencies by:

    1. Fostering personal and professional skills and attributes in order to:

      1. Conduct work in a professionally diligent, accountable and ethical manner.

      2. Effectively use oral and written communication in personal and professional domains.

      3. Foster applicable creative thinking, critical thinking and problem solving skills.

      4. Develop initiative and engagement in lifelong learning and professional development.

      5. Enhance collaboration outcomes and performance in dynamic team roles.

      6. Effectively plan, organise, self-manage and manage others.

      7. Professionally utilise and manage information.

      8. Enhance technologist literacy and apply contextualised technologist skills.

    2. Enhance investigatory and research capabilities in order to:

      1. Develop an understanding of systematic, fundamental scientific, mathematic principles, numerical analysis techniques and statistics applicable to technologists.

      2. Access, evaluate and analyse information on technologist processes, procedures, investigations and the discernment of technologist knowledge development.

      3. Foster an in-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge, computer science, engineering design practice and contextual factors applicable to technologists.

      4. Solve basic and open-ended engineering technologist problems.

      5. Understand the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds associated with sustainable engineering practice.

    3. Develop engineering application abilities in order to:

      1. Apply established engineering methods to broadly-defined technologist problem solving.

      2. Apply engineering technologist techniques, tool and resources.

      3. Apply systematic technologist synthesis and design processes.

      4. Systematically conduct and manage technologist projects, work assignments, testing and experimentation.

The Australian Engineering Stage 1 Competency Standards for Engineering Technologists, approved as of 2013. This table is referenced in the mapping of graduate attributes to learning outcomes and via the learning outcomes to student assessment.

 

Stage 1 Competencies and Elements of Competency

1.

Knowledge and Skill Base

1.1

Systematic, theory based understanding of the underpinning natural and physical sciences and the engineering fundamentals applicable to the technology domain.

1.2

Conceptual understanding of the, mathematics, numerical analysis, statistics, and computer and information sciences which underpin the technology domain.

1.3

In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the technology domain.

1.4

Discernment of knowledge development within the technology domain.

1.5

Knowledge of engineering design practice and contextual factors impacting the technology domain.

1.6

Understanding of the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds of sustainable engineering practice in the technology domain.

2.

Engineering Application Ability

2.1

Application of established engineering methods to broadly-defined problem solving within the technology domain.

2.2

Application of engineering techniques, tools and resources within the technology domain.

2.3

Application of systematic synthesis and design processes within the technology domain.

2.4

Application of systematic approaches to the conduct and management of projects within the technology domain.

3.

Professional and Personal Attributes

3.1

Ethical conduct and professional accountability.

3.2

Effective oral and written communication in professional and lay domains.

3.3

Creative, innovative and pro-active demeanour.

3.4

Professional use and management of information.

3.5

Orderly management of self and professional conduct.

3.6

Effective team membership and team leadership.

Successfully completing this Unit will contribute to the recognition of attainment of the following graduate attributes aligned to the AQF Level 7 criteria, Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency Standards for Engineering Technologists and the Sydney Accord:

 

Graduate Attributes

(Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Professional and Personal Development)

EA Stage 1 Competencies

Learning Outcomes

A. Knowledge of Science and Engineering Fundamentals

A1. Breadth of knowledge of engineering and systematic, theory-based understanding of underlying principles, and depth of knowledge across one or more engineering sub- disciplines

 

1.1, 1.3

 

1, 2, 3, 4

A2. Knowledge of mathematical, statistical and computer sciences appropriate for engineering technology

 

1.2

 

1, 2, 3, 4

A3. Discernment of knowledge development within the technology domain

1.4

1, 2, 3, 4

A4. Knowledge of engineering design practice and contextual factors impacting the technology domain

 

1.5

 

1, 2, 3, 4

B. Problem Solving, Critical Analysis and Judgement

B1. Ability to research, synthesise, evaluate and innovatively apply theoretical concepts, knowledge and approaches across diverse engineering technology contexts to effectively solve engineering problems

 

1.4, 2.1, 2.3

 

1, 2, 3, 4

B2. Technical and project management skills to design complex systems and solutions in line with developments in engineering technology professional practice

 

2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.2

 

1, 2, 3, 4

C. Effective Communication

C1. Cognitive and technical skills to investigate, analyse and organise information and ideas and to communicate those ideas clearly and fluently, in both written and spoken forms appropriate to the audience

 

3.2

 

1, 2, 3, 4

C2. Ability to engage effectively and appropriately across a diverse range of cultures

3.2

4

D. Design and Project Management

D1. Apply systematic synthesis and design processes within the technology domain

2.1, 2.2, 2.3

1, 2, 3, 4

D2. Apply systematic approaches to the conduct and management of projects within the technology domain

 

2.4

 

4

E. Accountability, Professional and Ethical Conduct

E1. Innovation in applying engineering technology, having regard to ethics and impacts including economic; social; environmental and sustainability

 

1.6, 3.1, 3.4

 

1, 2, 3, 4

E2. Professional conduct, understanding and accountability in professional practice across diverse circumstances including team work, leadership and independent work

 

3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6

 

1, 2, 3, 4

This table details the mapping of the unit graduate attributes to the unit learning outcomes and the Australian Engineering Stage 1 Competency Standards for the Engineering Technologist.

 

 

 

Graduate Attributes

A1

A2

A3

A4

B1

B2

C1

C2

D1

D2

E1

E2

 

Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency Standards for Engineering Technologist

1.1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unit Learning Outcomes

LO1

LO2

 

 

LO3

 

 

LO4

 

 

Student assessment

Assessment Type

When assessed

Weighting (% of total unit marks)

Learning Outcomes Assessed

 

Assessment 1

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation

Example Topic: Fundamentals & Retaining Walls.

Students may complete a quiz with MCQ type answers and solve some simple equations to demonstrate a good understanding of the fundamental concepts

 

Week 3

 

15%

 

1

 

Assessment 2

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation

Example Topic: Slope Stability.

Students may provide solutions to simple problems on the listed topics

 

Week 6

 

20%

 

2

 

Assessment 3

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation / Project

/ Report

Example Topic: Slope Stability and Foundations – simulations using Strand 7 or SpaceGas.

Students may complete a quiz with MCQ type answers or solve some simple problems or using software to complete a practical.

 

Week 9

 

20%

 

3, 4

 

Assessment 4

Type: Examination Example Topic: All topics

An examination with a mix of detailed report type questions and/or simple numerical problems to be completed in 3 hours

 

Final Week

 

40%

 

1 to 4

 

Attendance / Tutorial Participation

Example: Presentation, discussion, group work, exercises, self-assessment/reflection, case study analysis, application.

Continuous

5%

1 to 4

Prescribed and recommended readings

 

Required textbook(s)

Das, B.M. (2010), Principles of Geotechnical Engineering, SI version, 7th Edition, Cengage Learning, Stamford, Conn.

 

Reference Materials

Craig, R.F., 2004. Soil Mechanics and Foundations, 7th Edition, Taylor & Francis Budhu, M., 2007. Soil Mechanics and Foundations, 2nd Edition, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., USA

Budhu, M., 2011. Soil Mechanics and Foundations, 3rd Edition, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., USA

 

Unit Content:

One topic is delivered per contact week, with the exception of part-time 24-week units, where one topic is delivered every two weeks.

 

Topic 1

Introduction

  • Outline & Introduction

  • Fundamentals of Geotechnical Engineering

     

    Topics 2 and 3

    Retaining Walls

  • Lateral earth pressure and retaining walls

  • General retaining wall design – Culmann Method

     

    Topics 4, 5 and 6

    Slope Stability

  • Modes of failure, factors of safety, and critical height

  • Finite slopes

  • Mass procedures – drained and undrained

  • Method of slices

  • Stability analysis of seepage

  • Slope stabilisation

     

    Topics 7, 8 and 9

    Foundations

  • Ultimate soil-bearing capacity – shallow foundations

  • Bearing capacity safety factors

  • Plate-load test

  • Pile foundations

  • Pile foundation load capacity

     

    Topic 10

    Soil Construction Materials

  • Steel, Concrete, Timber

  • Geotextiles

 

Topic 11

Geotechnical Site Investigation

 

Topic 12

Unit Review

In the final week, students will have an opportunity to review the contents covered so far. Opportunity will be provided for a review of students’ work and to clarify any outstanding issues.