Credits: 5

Schedule: 25.02.2019 - 03.04.2019

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Wojciech Sołowski

Teaching Period (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

IV, spring

Learning Outcomes (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

  1. Student is familiar with influence of soil structure and microstructure on soil properties and soil behaviour and real soil behaviour.
  2. Student understand the principles and limitations of elasto-plastic  constitutive models, including Mohr-Coulomb and critical state soil  models (e.g. Modified Cam Clay). Student can predict how the given model  will approximate soil behaviour on various stress paths
  3. Student understand in detail the principles of flow of water in saturated soils and can calculate simple problems which involve flow of water
  4. Student understand the principles of limit analysis and how it has been used in different methods to compute equations for bearing capacity, including these in the Eurocode
  5. Student understand the principles of calculating settlements using elastic half-space solution and non-linear stress-strain relations and can calculate settlements of foundations with number of methods
  6. Student understand the soil-structure interaction and can compute problems involving soil-structure interaction using iterative solution
  7. Student can assess slope stability and earth pressure using number of methods
  8. Student are introduced to anisotropic critical state soil model. General understanding of the model, as well as understanding of how anisotropy affects soil behaviour is expected.
  9. Student is familiar with soil testing in the laboratory and know limitations of said tests
  10. Additionally, students will improve their ability to communicate the outcomes of his/her work both in written and oral forms, their ability to work in a group, develop further their critical thinking abilities, as well as the ability to self-learn and to support life-long learning.

Content (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

The course introduces students to advanced geotechnical engineering. Initially, the course will link soil microstructure to the soil behaviour. Furthermore, the course will also show limitations of constitutive models in approximating some aspects of real soil behaviour.
The course will explain the Mohr Coulomb model within a more general framework for constitutive modelling and introduce Critical State Soil Mechanics. The course will also present number of laboratory experiments, as well as gradually introduce more advanced calculation methods.

The course participants should gain deeper understanding of the soil behaviour as well as recognise the approximations (and associated limitations) of typical engineering calculations.

The course is a pre-requisite for the Numerical Methods in Geotechnics course where critical soil mechanics as well as more advanced soil models will be used for more accurate solution of engineering problems.

Assessment Methods and Criteria (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

The final assessment criteria will be agreed upon during first lecture of the course. The suggestion is:

Laboratory: 1/6
Exercises: 1/6
Design Project: 1/6
Lectures: 1/2
Each part must be passed.
Assessment of the lectures will be mainly done during the lectures (partial exams). It is expected that 3 tests will be made. Should the test is not attended or failed, the student has to pass it individually. The course will have no final exam.

Workload (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

5cr, 135h

Laboratory and associated activities (22 h):

- laboratory exercises: 10h

- laboratory report: 12 h

Exercises and associated activities (44 h):

- exercises: 5 x 2 h

- homeworks: 12 h

- design project: 22 h

Lectures and associated activities (69 h)

- lectures: 26h

- tutorials 6h

- preparation for lectures/ lecture tests: 13h

- preparations for partial exam tests 3 x 8 h


Study Material (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Will be given during the course. The course will use number of different sources, including:

1. Geotechnical engineering : unsaturated and saturated soils, Briaud, J.-L.

2. Smith's Elements of Soil Mechanics. Smith I.M. 

Substitutes for Courses (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 


Prerequisites (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

For Aalto students: Geotechnics GEO-E1020 (obligatory course)

Grading Scale (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

0 (fail) - 5 (best grade)

Further Information (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Further information will be given in the MyCourses system.


Registration and further information