KB5020 - Engineering Geology & Geotechnics

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What will I learn on this module?

This module provides an introduction to the Earth’s materials, their formation, development and behaviour and explores how they impact on considerations for site investigation and assessment. You will learn about geological processes and structures and the formation, classification and erosion of rock and soils and the interpretation of geological maps. You will learn about the planning and implementation of site investigations, the interpretation of borehole data and various field testing techniques as used on construction sites. You will learn about the structure, content and use of relevant codes and standards. You will learn about soil improvement on construction sites, suitable fill materials for different construction activities and about the different types of temporary and permanent geotechnical structures commonly encountered and the concept of bearing capacity and simple sizing calculations and construction techniques for common types of foundations.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn about engineering geology and geotechnics through lectures, seminars, practical workshops and field visits and activities. Lectures will be used to introduce you to key issues, concepts and principles across the range of topics covered on the module; in effect they will act as a framework to support your learning. You will consolidate and extend the lectured material with independent study. You will further develop and build your knowledge, understanding and expertise in through seminar and laboratory sessions by engaging with on-line material and interactive reading lists made available to you via the module’s electronic learning platform (eLP). You will develop your practical skills through participation in geological techniques where you will have access to rock and mineral specimens and to on-line geological map resources. You will learn through formative feedback, enabling you to reflect on your work and consolidate your understanding for continued progression and improvement and in preparation for the module assessments. Finally, the learning for this module will be consolidated with field visits that combine practical engineering geology with a range of site visits. Beyond the timetabled sessions, independent study will be guided and supported through your engagement with a range of interactive learning resources.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The module will be delivered to you using lectures, seminars, laboratories and field visits. The lectures will provide the structure for your learning journey while the laboratory sessions will facilitate your acquisition of practical skills and assimilation of knowledge through observation and discovery. Seminar sessions will also be used to support the knowledge you will gain through lectures using case studies and real world examples to reinforce your learning. During seminars and practical classes, you will engage in small group activities and interact closely with teaching staff. These practical sessions will serve you well in realizing the module’s learning outcomes but also as you progress into the next academic level.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

1. Apply simple practical assessment of rock types and minerals, and discuss their characteristics and origins and site investigation considerations.
2. Plan a site investigation and interpret its results for the purpose of Civil Engineering design or on-site construction.
3. Discuss the concept of bearing capacity and soil improvement on construction sites.
4. Describe the form and use of common types of geotechnical engineering structure.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
5. Map and describe common geological structures.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
6. Partake in group work effectively and safely to achieve results.

How will I be assessed?

Coursework 1: Element contains both engineering geology and site investigation elements. (MLO: 1 & 2).

Coursework 2: Laboratory Report on Proctor Hammer test (MLO: 3).

Examination; will address areas not covered by coursework assessments.

Additional formative assessment: seminar sessions will explore targeted areas of learning (e.g. MLO: 1) and respond to topics prioritized by the students themselves to support their progression through the module.

Coursework feedback will be provided via the module electronic portal site through generic consideration of group student work, highlighting those areas that were successfully and not so successfully considered to inform future collaborative submissions. Individual feedback will be provided to coursework submissions to clarify points of learning that have not been fully assimilated.





Module abstract

Almost every construction project interacts with the Earth – it has foundations, it involves excavations or embankments, the retaining of soil or rock behind a wall, tunnelling or other underground activities. It is therefore vital for Civil Engineers and construction professionals to have an understanding of the Earth’s materials, their properties and behaviour, as well as an understanding of different types of geotechnical engineering structure involved in construction projects. This module provides an introduction to the key disciplines of engineering geology and geotechnics, helping you to understand the considerations necessary for the safe and sustainable design of geotechnical engineering structures and their implementation on construction sites. It will engage you with a range of core skills through case study driven lectures, applied seminars and practicals where you will gain first-hand experience of identifying, characterizing, mapping and testing materials for engineering applications. Your lecture and seminar - based learning will be consolidated with field visits to apply your skills and meet the professionals using them.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 to 5 years part-time, depending on entry qualifications

Department Mechanical and Construction Engineering

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2019 or September 2020

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