1 x 2-hour lecture weekly
1 x 1-hour tutorial weekly
3 x 2-hour workshops per semester
2 x 2-hour computer labs per semester
ENGR2832 - Engineering Geology and Geomechanics
Enrolment not permitted
ENGR8931 has been successfully completed
Topic description

Geotechnical engineers study soil and bedrock characteristics of building sites prior to construction. Using specialised equipment to extract earth cores to determine soil strength, composition and moisture content, they then provide information to structural engineers and architects to guide the design of roads, building foundations, dams, and bridges. Topics include site investigation, design and construction aspect of shallow foundations, settlement in soils, piled foundations, earth pressure calculations and earth retaining structure, slope stability analysis, instrumentation, ground improvement techniques, geotechnical aspects of pavements, excavation methods and supporting systems, embankment dams, landfills, and tunneling.

Educational aims

This topic aims to give students an understanding of the concepts associated with geotechnical engineering.

Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Determine the strength parameters appropriate to a range of stability problems
  2. Understand the difference between total and effective stress approaches
  3. Evaluate strength parameters from laboratory data
  4. Critically analyse foundation stability and slope stability problems
  5. Use spreadsheets to perform parametric studies and produce design charts for simple geotechnical design problems
  6. Communicate the results of experiments and analyses using methods appropriate for professional geotechnical engineers

Key dates and timetable

(1), (2)

Each class is numbered in brackets.
Where more than one class is offered, students normally attend only one.

Classes are held weekly unless otherwise indicated.


If you are enrolled for this topic, but all classes for one of the activities (eg tutorials) are full,
contact your College Office for assistance. Full classes frequently occur near the start of semester.

Students may still enrol in topics with full classes as more places will be made available as needed.

If this padlock appears next to an activity name (eg Lecture), then class registration is closed for this activity.

Class registration normally closes at the end of week 2 of each semester.

Classes in a stream are grouped so that the same students attend all classes in that stream.
Registration in the stream will result in registration in all classes.
  Unless otherwise advised, classes are not held during semester breaks or on public holidays.