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Syllabus for

Academic year
VGG022 - Geotechnical engineering
Syllabus adopted 2012-02-20 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: TKVOV
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Not passed
Education cycle: First-cycle
Major subject: Civil and Environmental Engineering

Teaching language: Swedish
Block schedule: B

Course module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0106 Examination 7,5 c Grading: TH   7,5 c   24 Oct 2013 am V,  15 Jan 2014 am V,  22 Aug 2014 am V

In programs

TKVOV CIVIL ENGINEERING, Year 3 (compulsory)


Bitr professor  Claes Alén


VGG021   Geotechnical engineering

Course evaluation:


For single subject courses within Chalmers programmes the same eligibility requirements apply, as to the programme(s) that the course is part of.

Course specific prerequisites

To benefit from the course, previous knowledge is required of mathematics (trigonometry, integrals, numerical integration and differential equations), geology (soil types, formation modes and characteristics), strength of materials (elasticity theory, beam theory, the tension concept and Mohr s circle), mechanics and hydraulics.


The aim of the course is to provide students with knowledge of soil as a construction material and to make it possible for them to apply this knowledge to solve problems occurring in practical foundation engineering situations. This includes training in identifying, charting, analysing and proposing solutions to these problems.

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

- Plan, execute and interpret a geotechnical investigation.
- Understand soil deformation properties.
- Do settlement calculations for different types of buildings and structures.
- Do calculations for earth pressure against retaining structures and for the stability of slopes (natural and man-made).
- Understand calculations for bearing capacity of spread footings
- Propose alternatives for the stabilisation of slopes.
- Propose different alternatives of foundation.
- Be able to communicate with geotechnical specialists


The course focuses on classical soil mechanics problems and is subdivided into serviceability and limit state analysis, with deeper studies of settlement analysis, earth pressure and slope stability. The course focuses on engineer-type thinking, where certain features of soil material science, such as the names and classifications of different soil types, constitute basic knowledge that students are expected to study mainly on their own. During the course, the student will be trained in identifying soil mechanics problems and in constructing simple models for making rough estimates based on previously acquired knowledge. Using this simple application, together with established empirical knowledge, students are expected to develop towards a more fundamental type of comprehension that gives them the training they need to evaluate their analyses and propose geo-technical design solutions to practical problems. Tuition builds on problem-based learning and the course is given in the form of short lecture sessions with accompanying group exercises, laboratory sessions, computer exercises and design exercises. During the group assignments each group works independently, with a facilitator in a consulting role.


The course consists of a lectures and /exercises. A major part of the course is a design task where the student has to solve a geotechnical design problem. Each student also do a laboratory study related to the design task.


Sällfors G, Geoteknik -Jordmateriallära, Jordmekanik (parts of)
"Folder" assembled by the geotechnical reaserch group with
- Material for the design task incl. drawings and laboratory memo
- Sällfors G, 1986, (rev. 1994) Slänters stabilitet
- Guide to laboratory sessions in soil mechanics, field and laboratory studies
- Example collection
- Various stencils, drawings and articles
(All literature is in Swedish)


1. Active participation in group assignments. Submission and presentation of the design exercise incl. the geotechnical laboratory report. Grading of this part Pass or Not passed
2: Written exam, which is structured accordingly to the course contentds and relevant geotechnical topics. Grading of this part Five, Four, Three or Not passed.

The overall grading of the course equal to the grading of the exam.

Page manager Published: Mon 28 Nov 2016.