91442 - Technical-Geological Design

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Alessandro Simoni

  • Credits 8

  • SSD GEO/05

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Geology and Territory (cod. 9073)

  • Teaching resources on Virtuale


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education Industry, innovation and infrastructure Sustainable cities

Academic Year 2021/2022

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. 9th ed., Spon press, 2020.
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

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.

Teaching tools

During exercises, students can use modelling tools for 2D soil seepage in the context of geotechnical problems.

Office hours

See the website of Alessandro Simoni