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Unit of study_

CIVL6455: Engineering Behaviour of Soils

This is an advanced soil mechanics course. It is concerned with the mechanical stress, strain, strength behaviour and the application of this knowledge in geotechnical engineering. The course includes an introduction to critical state soil mechanics, which is used to assist with the interpretation of soil data, and to enable prediction of ground behaviour. The course uses the critical state framework to provide a firm basis for an understanding of the stress, strain, strength behaviour of all soils, and to enable a rational approach to the selection of parameters for use in geotechnical design.

Code CIVL6455
Academic unit Civil Engineering
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge:
[CIVL2410 OR CIVL9410] AND [CIVL3411 OR CIVL9411]. A knowledge of basic concepts and terminology of soil mechanics is assumed. Experience with geotechnical practice in estimating parameters from field and laboratory data would be useful but not essential

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. develop an understanding of what determines the state of soil and its behaviour
  • LO2. Describe and manipulate tensorial state variables such as stress and strain
  • LO3. develop an ability to integrate incrementally constitutive models for soil including elasticity, elastoplasticity and hypoplasticity.
  • LO4. explain how to select models for predicting soil behaviour in practice, and evaluate their limitations
  • LO5. adopt a variety of soil models (Tresca, Drucker-Prager, Modified Cam Clay, etc) to produce meaningful predictions for geotechnical applications
  • LO6. develop an understanding of the role of water in saturated and unsaturated soils
  • LO7. engage with alternative possible interpretations of the same results, critically examine the merits of each and draw appropriate conclusions

Unit outlines

Unit outlines will be available 1 week before the first day of teaching for the relevant session.