Basic Geotechnical Engineering Skills - What Can Graduates Do?

Author Topic: Basic Geotechnical Engineering Skills - What Can Graduates Do?  (Read 1836 times)

Offline Mohammad Mominul Hoque

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This post is about what graduates can do, when leave the university and enter the construction industry. Please visit following link for original presentation - (

Following points may be drawn from the presentation:
A graduate engineer entering the construction industry should be able to do –

•   With a geologic map and memoir, some tubes of soil from the site, a pencil and paper produce safe and serviceable designs for simple foundations and slopes.
•   With simple input, basic tools, produce a reasonable design
•   Able to determine appropriate parameters and do basic analysis
•   Basic knowledge of geology, should be able to describe geologic history of a location
•   Concept of total stress, pore water pressure and effective stress
•   Must know whether total stress or effective stress analysis is relevant for design in hand
                   For typical construction (10 days to 3 years)
                   Sand and gravel=coarse=drained=effective stress analysis
                   Silt and clay=fine=undrained=total stress analysis + consolidation
•   Should be able to correctly select drained and undrained analysis
•   Should have knowledge about stress, stiffness and strain characteristics of soil
•   Graduate should be able to select a stiffness which is appropriate to the strain developed in the design
•   Should be able to select correct stress and stiffness for the analysis they are doing
•   Determine appropriate strength – peak, critical state, residual and able to relate stiffness to deformation.
•   Should be able to model the ground, what are the soils and rocks, where are they, what is the strength and stiffness, reasonable values of engineering properties (strength, stiffness, drainage)
•   It is prime required to evaluate parameters for design, strength and stiffness, measured in the laboratory or in-situ tests
•   Should be able to determine basic properties of a sample (unit weight and water content)
•   Can provide visual description and objective description of a soil sample (the grains and state)
•   Should be able to determine strength from objective description and estimate design parameters from soil description
•   Should able to design simple slope and foundation with pencil and paper, and know little about software
•   Should able to select critical design considerations and safety factors
•   Able to draw reasonable grading curves size curve, determine larger grain size, and proportion of visible and invisible grains
•   Description of the grains for visual portion and able to determine plasticity of invisible portion
•   Should be able to determine density and liquidity index of a sample
•   Able to manipulate undrained strength of a fine grained sample
•   Should be able to constructs simple flow nets, calculate flow rate and pore pressure anywhere in the flow net
•   Should know drained is more safer than undrainded, but settlement will be more, method of foundation design and basis criteria of foundation design is to limit movement
•   Graduates should be able to do simple calculations to find final settlement and how long will it takes?
•   Should be able to calculate limiting active and passive earth pressure on retaining walls, and selection of critical design parameters for design.

"This is not all they should be able to do; but if they cannot do these, there is no point is asking them to do anything else."


This is not only applicable to any grade student but also teacher, in a sense what teacher have to ensure in the classroom? I do that believe that, ensuring all the basic skills in the classroom is equally applicable for other courses as well.

Offline milan

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Re: Basic Geotechnical Engineering Skills - What Can Graduates Do?
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2019, 03:53:17 PM »
Good writing!!
Milan Hossain
Sr. Coordination Officer
Department of Civil Engineering
Faculty of Engineering
Cell: 01847140165
Ext. 258