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Unit information: Geomechanics in 2020/21

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Unit name Geomechanics
Unit code CENG20018
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Diambra
Open unit status Not open

Field Methods (CENG10005) or equivalent, and Engineering Mathematics 1 (EMAT10100) or equivalent



School/department Department of Civil Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering


To enable students to gain a sound grasp of the fundamentals of soil material behaviour. To introduce students to some analytical methods for use in Geotechnical Engineering.

Intended learning outcomes

At the end of the unit the student will be able to:

1. Explain the nature of stress and pore water pressure in soils

2. Apply the definitions of soil phase relationships and soil properties to basic geotechnical calculations

3. Explain and be able to apply the basic principles of one-dimensional stiffness and groundwater seepage

4. Draw, interpret and use Mohr's circle of stress and stress paths

5. Explain the concept of drained and undrained shear strength and the implications for typical geotechnical design problems.

6. Appreciate geotechnical laboratory investigations and the interpretation of results with an appreciation of parameter uncertainties in a geotechnical design case study.

Teaching details

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions, which may include lectures, practical activities supported by drop-in sessions, problem sheets and self-directed exercises.

Assessment Details

Short coursework assignment (1 week) 100%

Reading and References

Muir Wood D. "Soil mechanics: a one-dimensional introduction". CUP, 2009

Craig RF. "Soil Mechanics". 8th Ed. E & FN Spon, 2012

Scott CR. "An Introduction to Soil Mechanics and Foundations". Applied Science, 1980

Powrie W. “Soil Mechanics, concepts and applications” 2nd Edition, Spon, 2014