43740 - Technical Geology

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

Students learn to solve main engineering geology problems which can be encountered in professional practice. The course emphasizes the importance of the geological and geotechnical model and parameter selection in calculations of ultimate and serviceability limit state calculations for both shallow and deep foundations, and discusses methods of soil improvement. Earth retaining structures considers systems ranging from gravity walls to composite construction (reinforced earth). Underground excavation, earth dams and artificial slope design are also treated with respect to possible geological problems.

Course contents

Soil exploration, methods and design. The definition of engineering geological model.
Geological media, their behaviour and mobilized resistances.
Earth pressure and retaining structures.
Shallow and deep foundations: calculation of bearing capacity and settlement.

Earth dams, levees and embankments. Ground improvement.

Susceptibility of soils to liquefaction.

Artificial slope design.

Soil stabilization methods.

Basic principles of underground excavation.


Students rely on the course notes, and chose between the following textbooks:

Knappet J.A. and Craig R.F. "Craig's soil mechanics. 8th ed., Spon press, 2012.
Colombo P. and Colleselli F. "Elementi di Geotecnica". 3^ ed. Zanichelli
Terzaghi K., Peck R.B., Mesri, G.  "Soil Mechanics in Engineering Practice". 3^ ed. John Wiley and sons.
other recommended:
Price D.G. "Engineering Geology". Springer.

Teaching methods

lecturing assisted by video-projector
calculus and design exercise
field lectures

Assessment methods

written exam: solution of a simple numerical problem, written comments may be required to discuss adopted choices (time: 2 hours). Passing grade required to access the oral exam.

oral exam: 3 theoretical questions are discussed.

Office hours

See the website of Alessandro Simoni