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Geotechnical Engineering MSc

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  • Entry requirements
    Entry requirements: For 2008/9, the standard academic entry requirements for a Masters programme (either taught or research) will be a Lower Second UK honours degree, or international equivalent, in a relevant science or engineering discipline.
  • Academic Title
    Geotechnical Engineering MSc
  • Course description
    Continuum Mechanics

    Aims & Objectives:
    This module provides students with an understanding of the laws of mechanics and physics of a continuum, for both small and large scale deformations. It relates the mechanical behaviour of soils and fluids to the macroscopic behaviour of soils.

    Learning Outcomes:

    At the end of this module students will be able to:

    Be able to express the behaviour of materials in a theoretical form and relate these to the analysis of material behaviour in practice.
    Be able to interpret the nature of deformation and resistance in common materials, and use these features for engineering design.
    Have the ability to forecast the behaviour of materials under various loadings.
    Be able to relate loading and behaviour across a range of materials.


    Foundations for Structures

    Aims & Objectives:
    This module reviews the principles of foundation design and analysis, and the developing limit state design methodology as advocated in Eurocodes. It also introduces the concepts of risk, safety, variability of soil deposits and limit states.

    Learning Outcomes:
    At the end of this module students will be able to:

    Understand the principles of limit state design and its application to geotechnical engineering, including risk, reliability and safety.
    Understand the concepts of geotechnical uncertainty and statistical variations of actions and material properties
    Appreciate the various design approaches to site investigation and shallow and deep foundations.
    Appreciate the reliability and quality of design data, as well as the role of statistical packages based on Monte Carlo simulation such as Crystal Ball.

    Ground Engineering

    Aims and Objectives:
    This module solves a range of ground engineering design problems using both classical theories and finite element analysis, taking into account the phases of construction and the cost, organisation and optimisation of the design.

    Learning Outcomes:
    At the end of this module students will be able to:

    Understand how to apply theoretical knowledge to the solution of real problems.
    Be able to appraise a problem, to propose and examine alternative solutions, and produce reasoned design outcomes.
    Be able to utilise design codes and computational aids to assist in the design process.
    Have experience in technical report writing and oral presentations.

    Research Methodology

    Aims & Objectives:
    This module provides students with a range of essential skills for undertaking research in industry and academia.

    Learning Outcomes:
    At the end of this module students will be able to:

    Understand the basic principles of the finite element method and the use of finite element software for solving simple problems.
    Have an awareness of the advantages and limitations of numerical and experimental methods, and be able to idealise practical problems.
    Be able to use the LUSAS software package for analysis, AutoCAD for engineering drawing, and strain gauges in experimental work.
    Have acquired experience in literature searches, oral presentations, report writing, computer drawing, finite element analysis and centrifuge modelling.

    Models of Soil Behaviour

    Aims & Objectives:
    This module provides students with a comprehensive background in the concepts of constitutive modelling.

    Learning Outcomes:
    At the end of this module students will be able to:

    Understand the basic stress-strain theories for soils and rocks, as well as the numerical techniques available for modelling geo-material behaviour in computer simulations.
    Be familiar with the formulation and applicability of a wide range of constitutive models.
    Understand the process of calibrating constitutive models and applying them in analysis of geotechnical problems.
    Understand how geo-materials behave under loading.

    Risk and Variability
    Aims & Objectives:

    This module introduces students to the principles of variability of geo-materials. It reviews the nature and measurement of soil variability, as well as methods for quantifying the effects of variability in assessments of geotechnical and geo-environmental performance.
    Learning Outcomes:

    At the end of this module students will be able to:

       1. Understand the basic theories relating to the statistical variability and characterisation of soils and rocks.
       2. Understand the basic principles of random field theory, risk and reliability.
       3. Be able to perform statistical manipulation of geotechnical data, with applications to geotechnical and geo-environmental performance.
       4. Have statistical awareness.

    Computational Mechanics
    Aims & Objectives:

    This module introduces students to applied computational techniques for solving problems in geotechnics, hydraulics and structural engineering.
    Learning Outcomes:

    At the end of this module students will be able to:

       1. Understand the principles of the finite difference and finite element solution techniques.
       2. Be familiar with various numerical methods for solving dynamics and eigenvalue problems.
       3. Be able to classify key types of physical behaviour and apply the appropriate solution technique, leading to a deeper appreciation of the mechanics of soils, fluids and structures.
       4. Have gained experience in applying various numerical techniques to solving engineering problems, by using existing Fortran-90 computer codes.

    Earthquake Engineering
    Aims & Objectives:

    This module covers the fundamental principles of earthquake engineering, and considers methodologies for earthquake resistant analysis and design.
    Learning Outcomes:

    At the end of this module students will be able to:

       1. Be able to calculate the response of single and multiple degree of freedom systems subjected to seismic loading.
       2. Understand the basics of earthquake engineering, including seismic hazards, structural behaviour in earthquakes and earthquake resistant design.
       3. Be able to use Eurocode 8 to conduct earthquake resistant design and LUSAS to analyse frame response due to seismic loading.

    Retaining Structures
    Aims & Objectives:

    This module provides a theoretical and critical approach to retaining structures (earth pressures and flexible walls), soil nails, geosynthetics (drainage, filtration, separation and reinforcement) and soil and rock anchors, and, in so doing, focuses on issues relating to professional practice.
    Learning Outcomes:

    At the end of this module students will be able to:

       1. Understand the principles of geotechnical design, especially for earth retaining structures, nails and anchors.
       2. Be familiar with the various types of geotextiles and their applications.
       3. Appreciate the concepts of risk and uncertainty in certain areas of geotechnical theory and practice.
       4. Have gained a critical approach to data assembly and design input parameters, and appreciate the limitations of theoretical assumptions and analysis.

    Solid Waste Management
    Aims & Objectives:

    This module will enable students to appreciate the magnitude of the global SWM problem. It particularly emphasises the UK situation, guided by European legislation, and addresses those problems that are peculiar to the nuclear industry.
    Learning Outcomes:

    At the end of this module students will be able to:

       1. Be familiar with UK and EU legislation, and with the significance of waste minimisation and the waste hierarchy in the pursuit of sustainability.
       2. Be familiar with current and developing landfill practices.
       3. Be familiar with the techniques for waste incineration and composting, and with practices in recycling in selected market areas.
       4. Appreciate that SWM is critically related to fluid movement in the geosphere, and understand the science underpinning contaminant transport in groundwater flow.
       5. Be able to apply risk-based approaches and other methodologies to the management, containment and attenuation of contaminants in the ground.
       6. Understand the challenges associated with nuclear decommissioning and management of the nuclear legacy

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