C&ENVENG 4112 - Advanced Civil Geotechnical Engineering

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2016

This course seeks to extend students who wish to attain advanced knowledge and skills in geotechnical engineering. The course includes the treatment of problematic soils, the design of foundations on expansive soils, engineering logging of soils, critical state soil mechanics and advanced topics in the design of deep foundations.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code C&ENVENG 4112
    Course Advanced Civil Geotechnical Engineering
    Coordinating Unit School of Civil, Environmental & Mining Eng
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact 3 hours
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites C&ENVENG 2069 and C&ENVENG 3012
    Restrictions BE (Civil & Struc), BE (Civil & Env), BE (Architectural)
    Assessment 50% Exam, 35% Design, 15% Practical Report
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr An Deng

    Course Coordinator and Lecturer: Dr An Deng
    Room N144, Engineering North Building, an.deng@adelaide.edu.au, phone: 8313 2830

    : Professor Mark Jaksa
    Room N140, Engineering North Building, mark.jaksa@adelaide.edu.au, phone: 8313 4314
    Course Timetable

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

    A weekly timetable will be available to students through MyUni.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1. Explain and differentiate between the nature, formation and behaviour of the following problematic soils: expansive soils, collapsing soils, soft, quick and dispersive clays, liquefiable soils, organic soils and acid sulphate soils;
    2. Calculate the characteristic surface movement of a soil profile;
    3. Evaluate total soil suction and interpret soil suction profiles;
    4. Design residential footings founded on expansive soils using the following methods: deemed-to-comply; engineering principles; and probabilistic charts;
    5. Assess and report on the likely cause of distress to residential structures and recommend appropriate remediation options;
    6. Recommend appropriate design solutions for each the following problematic soils: collapsing soils, soft, quick and dispersive clays, liquefiable soils, organic soils and acid sulphate soils;
    7. Create engineering borelogs by manually logging soils;
    8. Estimate soil reactivity using the visual-tactile method;
    9. Design pile foundations to support lateral loads; and
    10. Calculate and interpret soil properties using the critical state soil mechanics theoretical framework.
    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)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1 - 10
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    1 - 10
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    4, 7, 10
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    1 - 10
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    1 - 10
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    1 - 10
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Lectures notes will be provided and these will be available on MyUni. The computer analysis program, SLOG, will be used to design footings on expansive soils and it will be available in the CATS (Computer Assisted Teaching Suites) in the Inkgarni Wardli Building.
    Recommended Resources
    References for additional resources are provided in the lecture notes.
    Online Learning
    All required learning resources and course information will be made available on MyUni.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course will be delivered in the format of lectures and interactive learning modules supported by problem-solving tutorials developing material covered in lectures. In addition, laboratory classes will be used to develop skills in the engineering logging of soils.

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

    Activity Contact Hours Independent Study Hours Total
    Lectures & interactive learning modules
    26 0 26
    Tutorials 6 12 18
    Practical 1 2 3
    Assignments (x4, formative) 0 50 10
    Exam preparation 0 48 48
    Exam (x1, summative) 2 0 2
    Total 35 112 147
    Learning Activities Summary
    The course will explore the following topics:
    • Expansive Soils
      • Characteristics of Expansive Soils
      • Design of Residential Footings on Expansive Soils
      • Assessment and Rehabilitation of Cracked Structures
    • Collapsing and Other Problematic Soils (soft, quick and dispersive clays, liquefiable soils, organic soils and acid sulphate soils)
    • Engineering Logging of Soils
    • Advanced Pile Design
    • Critical State Soil Mechanics
  • 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
    Learning Outcomes
    Assignment 1: Soil Borelog Report (formative) 15% Group One week after lab session 7, 8, 2
    Assignment 2: Residential Footing Design (formative) 25% Group Five weeks after being assigned 4
    Assignment 3: Advanced Pile Foundation (formative) 10% Individual One week after being assigned 9
    Assignment 4: Critical State Soil Mechanics (formative) 10% Individual One week after being assigned 10
    Examination (2 hrs, open book) (summative) 40% Individual During exam period 1-10
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Assignments 1 and 2 will be undertaken in pairs and students will submit a joint report.

    Students will be permitted to choose their partners on MyUni.

    For Assignment 2, the commercial software SLOG will be used to assist in the design of the residential footing founded on expansive soil. The software will be made available to students and will be demonstrated in lectures.

    Assignments 3 and 4 will be undertaken individually.

    There is no hurdle requirement for this course.

    Requests for exemption from coursework components will only be considered when presented on an Exemption from Attendance Form. All exemption requests must be made by the end of Week 3 of Semester. Exemptions will not be considered for exams or in-class quizzes.

    This course includes peer assessment for the tasks undertaken within groups. Further detail of the peer assessment is contained on
    MyUni. To maintain the integrity of the assessment tasks there is a requirement that all students within a group contribute to each assessment task. Where there is evidence that group members have not sufficiently contributed to a group assessment task, the Academic Honesty policy may be applied.
    Assessment Detail
    Further details of each assignment will be provided in lectures and via MyUni well before the due date.
    The submission time for all assessment tasks in this course is 4 pm on the due date, unless otherwise specified.

    Details of the submission process will also be provided in lectures and via MyUni as part of the information provided relevant to the assignments.
    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
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