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Graduate courses

Departments' graduate courses for PhD-students.


Syllabus for

Academic year
VGE022 - Engineering geology
Syllabus adopted 2014-02-26 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPIEE
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Not passed
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Civil and Environmental Engineering

Teaching language: English
Open for exchange students

Course module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0101 Examination 7,5c Grading: TH   7,5c   29 Oct 2014 pm V,  03 Jan 2015 pm V,  20 Aug 2015 pm V

In programs



Forskarassistent  Johan Funehag
Professor  Lars Ericsson

Course evaluation:


In order to be eligible for a second cycle course the applicant needs to fulfil the general and specific entry requirements of the programme that owns the course. (If the second cycle course is owned by a first cycle programme, second cycle entry requirements apply.)
Exemption from the eligibility requirement: Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling these requirements.

Course specific prerequisites

Completion of the course Engineering Geology, basic level, VGE010 at Chalmers Univ. of Technology or other undergraduate/ basic level course in geology.


Engineering geology is an applied branch of geology based on knowledge of geological
principles and processes. Applied geology or engineering geology is thus an interdisciplinary
field and involves knowledge of more material properties other than "pure" geology.

The advanced course Engineering Geology has the following overall objectives:
- To provide the student with in-depth knowledge of geology.
- To highlight the practical aspects of the use of soil, mineral and rocks in different
construction facility contexts.

The content of the course has its focus on problems in Precambrian shields and Quaternary deposits.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

- describe geological processes at land surface
- analyse soil conditions in civil engineering projects
- describe mineralogy and petrology with emphasis on engineering applications
- explain structural geology, tectonics, rock stresses and deformation and their implications on underground constructions
- explain groundwater occurrence and flow in fractured rocks
- assess the results of some common field investigation methods (mapping, drilling)
- assess the results of some geophysical methods (refraction method, earth resistivity method) in engineering geological applications
- explain stability problems and the use of different reinforcement methods in underground constructions
- describe different aspects of how to design grouting procedures when sealing fractured rock
- explain rock blasting and fragmentation
- describe the suitability of different rock types when considering aggregates for construction
- describe the principles for differences in thermal properties of soils and rocks
- describe the principles of geothermal and geological energy sources based on heat pumps
- evaluate various geological conditions for construction projects and be able to plan and apply detailed engineering geological investigations


The course comprises three main phases: 1.) Revision and entering deeply into geology, 2.) Investigation methods and 3.) Applications. Exercises include common field- and laboratory practices for geological exploration. This also includes geophysical methods, such as seismic end geoelectrical techniques, structural geological investigations and remote sensing. During fieldwork, students perform geological and hydrogeological mapping with special emphasis on engineering geological conditions in road, tunnel and building construction. The course project comprises two different reports; weekly assignments and a summing up report. The weekly assignments are done by assignment groups made up of two students. The group working with the summing report are made up of two assignment groups. Participation in exercises, fieldwork, field excursion and seminars is compulsory.


The course includes approx. 20 lectures, 10 exercises, two group work projects (weekly assignments and a feasibility study) and a two-day field excursion.


1. Tony Waltham: Foundations of Engineering Geology, third edition
(TW in the schedule)
2. Sara Kvartsberg, Lars O Ericsson, Johan Thörn: Literature Compendium for Engineering Geology VGE022, second edition (LC in the schedule).

Complementary litterature:
3. Evert Hoek: Practical Rock Engineering
4. Material distributed during lectures.


Written examination comprising 4,5 hp with grading, 5, 4, 3 and U and completion of group work comprsing 3 hp. The grading ofthe group work is 3 or U

Page manager Published: Wed 26 Feb 2020.