C&ENVENG 3012 - Geotechnical Engineering Design III

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2015

The course is intended to reinforce the fundamentals of Soil Mechanics, in particular the analytical and design aspects of the subject. Design procedures will be introduced through problem solving, emphasising the role of idealisation of the field problems. Topics covered in the course include: site investigations and in situ testing; lateral earth pressures and retaining wall design; foundation design; loading induced stresses and displacements; bearing capacity of shallow foundations; design of shallow foundations; analysis and design of pile foundations; pavement design.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code C&ENVENG 3012
    Course Geotechnical Engineering Design III
    Coordinating Unit School of Civil, Environmental & Mining Eng
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 4 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assumed Knowledge C&ENVENG 2069
    Restrictions Available to BE(Civil & Struct), BE(Architectural) & associated double degree students only
    Assessment exams 60%, coursework 40%
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Brendan Scott

    Course Coordinator and Lecturer:  Brendan Scott

    Design Sessions: Dr. Matthew Duthy, Dr. Issa Kousa, Brendan Scott

    Practical Coordinator: Dr. Issa Kousa

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    Design Sessions:
    Commence in Week 2.

    3 x 45 min experiments.  Commence in Week 4. 

    Students need to enrol in the practical sessions.  Practicals are held in the Geotechnical Engineering Laboratories, Ground Floor, Engineering Annex.

    Schedules and group numbers will be posted on MyUni.  Prior to the start of your practical, you must have read the 'Practical Notes' and completed the 'Online Learning Modules' (both will be available on MyUni) for your relevant practical.

    Before entering the laboratory, Students must have also completed an online induction (available on MyUni).

    Closed toe and sturdy shoes must be worn in the laboratories. Students failing to comply with this will not be allowed to enter the laboratories. 

    Failure to attend a practical class will result in zero marks for that practical; attendance records will be kept.  The group with whom you conduct the practical is the same group with whom you contribute towards the practical report.  No ‘extra’ laboratory sessions will be held for students who miss their allocated session. Students who miss a laboratory class due to medical reasons should present proof to the practical coordinator who will then arrange for you to join another group.  Students who miss their allocated practical session must consult with the Practical Coordinator who will schedule you into another session if there is one available.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    This course builds on the fundamental concepts of geotechnical engineering and soil mechanics introduced in Geotechnical Engineering IIA and focuses on geotechnical design.  Specifically, this course aims to:

    1.     Develop an understanding of site investigations, ground characterisation and in situ testing;

    2.     Develop an understanding of lateral earth pressures and retaining wall design;

    3.     Develop an understanding of foundation settlement;

    4.     Develop an understanding of the bearing capacity of foundations;

    5.     Develop an understanding of the design and construction of shallow and deep foundations;

    6.     Develop an understanding of pavement design;

    7.     Develop a proficiency in handling experimental data; and

    8.     Develop the ability to report the results of a laboratory experiment at a professional standard.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1-8
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1-8
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 1-8
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 1-8
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 1-8
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1-8
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 1-8
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1-8
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Electronic copies of lecture notes and other relevant learning resources, such as copies of PowerPoint slides and audio recordings of lectures, will be made available to students, at no cost, via MyUni. 

    In addition, hard copies of lecture notes can be purchased from 'Image and Copy'.

    Recommended Resources
    Students are encouraged to purchase text books; they will be beneficial for this course (although not essential). 

    Recommended text books:

    Atkinson, J., The Mechanics of Soils and Foundations, 2nd ed., 2007, Spon Press.

    Knappett, J. A. and Craig, R. F., Craig's Soil Mechanics, 8th ed., 2012, Spon Press.

    Smith, I., Smith's Elements of Soil Mechanics, 9th ed., 2014, John Wiley and Sons Ltd.

    Online Learning
    MyUni will be used to disseminate learning resources and information relevant to the course.  Online learning modules will be used to assist your preparation for laboratory experiments and these are available on MyUni.  In addition, the MyUni Discussion Boards and Gradebook will also be utilised in this course.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course involves the following teaching and learning approaches:

    Software and physical demonstrations
    Design sessions
    Practical classes


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging
    appropriately with the course requirements.

    Lectures and tutorials:  3.0 hours / week contact;
    Design classes:  1 to 2 hours / week contact;
    Practical classes:  2.25 hours contact plus 1.5 hours work online for the semester;
    Tutorial and practical submissions:  2.0 hours / week;
    Design submissions:  2.0 hours / week;
    Self-study:  2.0 hours / week.

    Learning Activities Summary
    Refer MyUni
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task [type] Due Date Weighting Learning Objectives
    Tutorials:  5 in total [formative] Refer MyUni 10% 1-6
    Practicals: 3 in total [formative] Two weeks after attending the practical 10% 7,8
    Design: 3 phases [formative] Refer MyUni 20% 1-5
    Examination: (3 hrs, open book) [summative] November 60% 1-6
    Assessment Related Requirements
    The tutorials will be individual submissions, whereas the design and practical reports will be submitted as a group – one submission per group.  Students will be assigned to practical groups with up to 4 students in each group.  Students will be able to choose their own design project groups, but the total number of persons in each group should not be less than 5 and not greater than 7.

    Assessment Detail
    Further details of each assignment will be provided in lectures and via MyUni well before the due date.

    All tutorials must be submitted electronically on MyUni.  Design project and practical reports must be submitted in the course submission box in front of the School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering Office (Eng. North N136) at or before 5pm on the nominated due date.  

    Late submissions will be penalised at the rate of 5% per day unless an extension was granted by the course coordinator prior to the nominated due date due to medical or extenuating circumstances.  Any requests for extensions must be communicated via email prior to the deadline.  No credit will be given for submissions received more than five working days after the nominated due date unless an extension was granted by the course coordinator.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.