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Graduate courses

Departments' graduate courses for PhD-students.


Syllabus for

Academic year
BMT041 - Infrastructural geo engineering
Syllabus adopted 2015-02-16 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
Block schedule: A

Course module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0112 Written and oral assignments 7,5c Grading: TH   7,5c    

In programs



Forskarassistent  Johan Funehag
Professor  Minna Karstunen


BMT040   Infrastructural geo engineering


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

- Good understanding and knowledge of rock and soil conditions in civil engineering projects.
- Knowledge of the application of rock and soil mechanical models in the design of geotechnical and underground construction, aquired for instance by completion of the courses Engineering geology, advanced level (VGE022) and Geotechnics (BOM045).
Furthermore, completion of the course Modelling and problem solving in civil engineering (BOM035) is recommended.


The course is an advanced course in geo engineering design and construction. The aim is to provide in-depth knowledge in a few selected geo engineering topics. The overall objective is to promote a methodology of how to deepen ones knowledge in a certain topic and to be able to apply this knowledge in engineering projects.

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

The course is an advanced course in geo engineering design and
construction. The aim is to provide in-depth knowledge in a selected geo
engineering topic, such as Rock Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering or
Geotechnical Numerical Modelling. The overall objective is to promote a
methodology of how to deepen ones knowledge in a certain topic, and to be able
to apply this knowledge in the context of large infrastructure projects.

After completion of this course, the successful student should be able
  • Understand the general characteristics of a range of geoengineering
  • In a relatively short time deepen the knowledge and understanding in
    particular topics
  • Understand more advanced scientific theories of selected geoengineering
  • Analyse and evaluate the conditions for geoengineering problems
  • Plan the work of a geoengineering design project
  • Apply advanced geoengineering methods in design and construction


The course will deal with theory, case studies and approaches in
Geotechnical and Rock Engineering, including option of Geotechnical Numerical Modelling.
It is divided in areas as follows, of which you choose one of
the two "routes" referred to as "Route 1: Comprehensive route" and "Route 2:
Advanced geotechnics route". Please note that "Route 2" is only recommended to
those intending to do their Master's thesis in geotechnics (BOM045 knowledge is
strict pre-requisite) and willing to dedicate a lot of time for learning to use
geotechnical finite element code Plaxis 2D via independent computer tutorials.


Route 1 (Comprehensive route) consist of topics related to Underground
construction and Geotechnical structures, for example:

  • Rock characterisation
  • Preventing water ingress to tunnels
  • Rock mechanics and rock support
  • Rock construction           
  • Embankments
  • Earth retaining structures
  • Slope stability
  • Ground improvement

Route 1 can focus on either rock engineering or geotechnics. 


Route 2 (Advanced geotechnics route) consist of topics related to Geotechnical
Structures and Geotechnical Numerical Modelling, for example:

  • Embankments
  • Earth retaining structures
  • Slope stability
  • Ground improvement     
  • Introduction to geotechnical FEM
  • Modelling drained, undrained and consolidation behaviour
  • Soil modelling
  • Numerical modelling soil-structure interaction problems


The course is based on an active participation of the students. Each student
shall participate in group assignments. There are four minor assignments based
on two selected topics. The minor assignments are made up in groups of two
students. In addition to minor assignments, there is a major design report. The
work on the design report is done in groups of four students. The introduction
to various topics is given by lectures, which is complemented with independent learning and bookable consultancy time for the design report. The results of design
report are presented to the other students in the course at seminars at the end
of the course.


Some key literature is highlighted as part of the lectures. An important part of the course is a literature survey by the students for the selected topics related to their design topic. The teachers provide, as a part
of the consultancy time, advice on appropriate literature. However, previously
used materials and textbooks provide useful background material, including:

Geotechnics BOM 045: Lecture slides and materials (2013 or 2014)

J Knappett & R F Craig: Craig¿s Soil Mechanics, 8th Edition

Literature compendium for Engineering Geology (VGE022)

E Hoek: Practical Rock Engineering , available at

Gustafson: Hydrogeology for rock engineers (2012)


The course is examined by active participation in the course. The examination comprises of the minor assignments (50%) and the design report (50%). For each part the grading is 5, 4, 3 and U.  For passing the course attendance to the supervision meetings, group work (on minor assinment and the design project) and final oral presentation is compulsory.

Published: Wed 26 Feb 2020.