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CIV3403 Geotechnical Engineering

Semester 2, 2012 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Engineering & Surveying
School or Department : Agricultural, Civil, Environmental Engineering
Version produced : 30 December 2013

Contents on this page

Staffing

Examiner: Jim Shiau
Moderator: Kazem Ghabraie

Requisites

Pre-requisite: CIV2401 or CIV2403 or Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: GCEN or GDET or METC or MEPR or GCNS or GDNS or MENS

Synopsis

Geotechnical Engineering is concerned with the stability analyses of soil structures. Topics covered in this course include soil shear strength, slope stability analysis, retaining wall analysis, shallow foundations, landfill liners and subsoil exploration.

Objectives

The course objectives define the student learning outcomes for a course. On completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. understand what is meant by the shear strength of a soil and the implication of loading duration on the measured shear strength of a soil and become familiar with the terminology of "drained" and "undrained" loading and procedures involved in various shear strength tests;
  2. determine lateral earth pressures using Rankine, Coulomb and curved failure surface methods and use this knowledge for the basis of designing earth retaining structures;
  3. analyse drained and undrained slope stability problems using the method of slices, design charts and computer programs;
  4. determine the ultimate bearing capacity of shallow foundations and use this knowledge for the basis of designing shallow foundations;
  5. understand the use of liners and geosynthetics in landfill application;
  6. understand the processes involved in subsoil exploration.

Topics

Description Weighting(%)
1. SHEAR STRENGTH OF SOILS AND FAILURE CRITERIA The Mohr circle of stresses, Coulomb's failure criterion, Mohr Coulomb failure criteria, review of strength tests. 20.00
2. LATERAL EARTH PRESSURES Rankine, Coulomb and curved failure surface methods. Stability of gravity and cantilever retaining walls. Design of bracing systems for cuts. 25.00
3. STABILITY OF SLOPES Method of slices, total stress analysis, effective stress analysis, and computer analysis. 25.00
4. SHALLOW FOUNDATIONS Ultimate bearing capacity of shallow foundations. 20.00
5. LANDFILL LINERS AND GEOSYNTHETICS Application of geosynthetics, geotextiles, geomembranes and geonets in landfills. 5.00
6. SUBSOIL EXPLORATION Planning for soil exploration. Boring methods. Sample disturbance. Soil exploration report. 5.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (https://bookshop.usq.edu.au/bookweb/subject.cgi?year=2012&sem=02&subject1=CIV3403)

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (https://bookshop.usq.edu.au/contact/)

  • Das, BM 2010, Principles of Geotechnical Engineering , SI version, 7th edn, Cengage Learning, Stamford, Conn.
    (ISBN: 9780495411321.)

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Craig, RF 2004, Craig's soil mechanics, 7th edn, Spon Press, London.
  • McCarthy, DF 2006, Essentials of soil mechanics and foundations, 7th edn, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.
  • Powrie, W 2004, Soil mechanics: concepts and applications, 2nd edn, Spon Press, New York.
  • Whitlow, R 2001, Basic soil mechanics, 4th edn, Pearson/Prentice Hall, Harlow.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 35.00
Examinations 2.00
Lectures 26.00
Private Study 66.00
Tutorials 26.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 200 20 13 Aug 2012
ASSIGNMENT 2 300 30 14 Sep 2012
2 HOUR OPEN EXAMINATION 500 50 End S2 (see note 1)

NOTES
  1. Student Administration will advise students of the dates of their examinations during the semester.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks or a grade of at least C-. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.)

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded. No assignments will be accepted after model answers have been posted.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade in a course a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks (or grades) obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    In an Open Examination, candidates may have access to any material during the examination except the following: electronic communication devices, bulky materials, devices requiring mains power and material likely to disturb other students.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the examination period at the end of the semester of the next offering of this course.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at http://policy.usq.edu.au.

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner.

  2. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be despatched to USQ within 24 hours if required by the Examiner.

  3. In accordance with University Policy, the Examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

  4. If electronic submission of assessments is specified for the course, students will be notified of this in the course Introductory Book and on the USQ Study Desk. All required electronic submission must be made through the Assignment Drop Box located on the USQ Study Desk for the course, unless directed otherwise by the examiner of the course. The due date for an electronically submitted assessment is the date by which a student must electronically submit the assignment. The assignment files must be submitted by 11.55pm on the due date using USQ time (as displayed on the clock on the course home page; that is, Australian Eastern Standard Time).

  5. If the method of assessment submission is by written, typed or printed paper-based media students should (i) submit to the Faculty Office for students enrolled in the course in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail to the USQ for students enrolled in the course in the external mode. The due date for the assessment is the date by which a student must (i) submit the assessment for students enrolled in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail the assessment for students enrolled in the external mode.

  6. The Faculty will NOT normally accept submission of assessments by facsimile or email.

  7. Students who do not have regular access to postal services for the submission of paper-based assessments, or regular access to Internet services for electronic submission, or are otherwise disadvantaged by these regulations may be given special consideration. They should contact the examiner of the course to negotiate such special arrangements prior to the submission date.

  8. Students who have undertaken all of the required assessments in a course but who have failed to meet some of the specified objectives of a course within the normally prescribed time may be awarded one of the temporary grades: IM (Incomplete - Make up), IS (Incomplete - Supplementary Examination) or ISM (Incomplete -Supplementary Examination and Make up). A temporary grade will only be awarded when, in the opinion of the examiner, a student will be able to achieve the remaining objectives of the course after a period of non directed personal study.

  9. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded IDS (Incomplete - Deferred Examination; IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

  10. This is a communication benchmark course and a major component of the assessment of this course will be associated with the demonstration of communication skills.

  11. Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide.
    http://www.usq.edu.au/library/referencing

Other requirements

  1. Students will require access to e-mail and internet access to UConnect for this course.