Geotechnical Design

lgciv2072  2019-2020  Louvain-la-Neuve

Geotechnical Design
Note from June 29, 2020
Although we do not yet know how long the social distancing related to the Covid-19 pandemic will last, and regardless of the changes that had to be made in the evaluation of the June 2020 session in relation to what is provided for in this learning unit description, new learnig unit evaluation methods may still be adopted by the teachers; details of these methods have been - or will be - communicated to the students by the teachers, as soon as possible.
5 credits
30.0 h + 15.0 h
Holeyman Alain;
Good prior knowledge of:
  • Geomaterials, as taught in the course LGCIV1031
  • Soil mechanics, as taught in the course LGCIV1072
  • Geotechnics, as taught in the course LGCIV2071
Main themes
The geotechnical design process is put in a professional perspective integrating the following elements : identification of geotechnical issues potentially affecting a project, programming and unfolding of phases of the geotechnical investigation, assessment of geotechnical design parameters from in situ testing, choice of design approaches within the context of normalization, and formulation of a geotechnical report.

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

1 Having regard to the Learning Outcome of the program Master Civil Engineering, this course contributes to the development and acquisition of the following Learning Outcomes : AA1.1, AA1.2, AA1.3 ; AA2.1, AA2.2, AA2.3, AA2.4, AA2.5 ; AA3.1, AA3.2, AA3.3; AA4.1 ; AA5.3, AA5.6, AA6.1.
Technical skills :
  • Describe the geotechnical challenges of a project accounting for its geological setting
  • Explain the role and importance of codes and regulations in the geotechnical design process
  • Conceive a geotechnical investigation program able to yield pertinent geotechnical design parameters with the view to solve geotechnical problems prompted by the project
  • Develop a conceptual geotechnical model from the results of a geotechnical investigation and represent it
  • Establish the contents of a geotechnical report suited to a particular project
  • Articulate and defend a monitoring program adding value to the design process
Managerial skills :
  • Make decisions and defend them
  • Integrate skills acquired through other geotechnical courses towards problem solving
Relational skills :
  • Communicate efficiently with the instructor and fellow students
  • Present an idea/design and defend it.

The contribution of this Teaching Unit to the development and command of the skills and learning outcomes of the programme(s) can be accessed at the end of this sheet, in the section entitled “Programmes/courses offering this Teaching Unit”.
Ch 1 ' Role and responsibility of the Geotechnical Engineer within the design, construction and follow-up  processes ; from the understanding of the project demands to the production of a geotechnical report, importance of the geologic setting.
Ch 2 - Classes of geotechnical problems, classes of geotechnical approaches and relevant parameters; Eurocode 7 and National Application Documents ; other regulations.
Ch 3 - Pertinence, magnitude, and phasing of a geotechnical investigation, Desk studies ; Geophysical surveys, boring and logging.
Ch 4 ' The pressuremeter test : execution, interpretation of results, and application to geotechnical problem solving ; Execution and interpretation of in situ tests: SPT, DPT, VST and DMT.
Ch 5 ' Correlations between the results of laboratory and in situ tests; good practice parameters.
Ch 6 ' Emergence of a conceptual geotechnical model from results of the geotechnical reconnaissance.
Ch 7 ' Contents and use of a geotechnical report.
Ch 8 -  Control of geotechnical construction processes and elements, monitoring and follow-up of built projects.
Teaching methods
Ex-cathedra teaching on the basis of transparencies for Volume 1.
Problem solving workshops (directed exercises, case studies, etc. ) for Volume 2.
Evaluation methods
The evaluation includes two settings :
Setting 1: case study (30% of final grade)
A case study will be used to enable students to propose a geotechnical investigation program and define the contents of a pertinent geotechnical report. That work may be organized in groups, using all available resources. An individual question asked during the oral exam (setting 2) on the group report will complete the evaluation of the case study.       
Setting 2:  oral exam (70% of final grade)
Answer to questions pertaining to theory, application of methods (including on case study), technological aspects of geotechnical construction methods, on the basis of the debriefing of a closed-book written preparation.
Other information
One or more invited lectures will be delivered by experts from the geotechnical profession.
Online resources
Available on Moodle : Lecture slides, reading material.
  • Transparents et notes postés sur plateforme Moodle / Transparencies and lecture notes posted on Moodle platform
Documents listés sur plateforme Moodle                            /      Documents list posted on Moodle platform
Teaching materials
  • Transparents et notes postés sur plateforme Moodle / Transparencies and lecture notes posted on Moodle platform
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Master [120] in Civil Engineering

Master [120] in Architecture and Engineering