MABY5420 Geotechnical Site Investigation and Laboratory Testing Emneplan

Engelsk emnenavn
Geotechnical Site Investigation and Laboratory Testing
Master’s Programme in Civil Engineering
10 stp.


This course provides the fundamental base for geotechnical assessments by introducing the whole investigation cascade from field investigations to laboratory experiments, and ground modelling with the acquired data. A range of field techniques to obtain soil and rock samples and perform in situ testing is introduced. Students are familiarized with laboratory testing, from basic index test to the most advanced stress path apparatuses, together with the interpretation of the data obtained. The knowledge of soil behaviour will be reinforced, allowing students to understand practical problems when deriving geotechnical parameters. The compilation and integration from field and laboratory data into a geotechnical ground model will be discussed. This includes challenges and advantages of 3D ground modelling in general and in the context of Building Information Modelling (BIM) in particular.  

Anbefalte forkunnskaper

BYGG1001 Geoteknikk og tilsvarende


After completing this course, the student will gain the following knowledge, skills and general competence:


Students have in-depth knowledge of:

  • Desk study resources, understanding your site and the conditions
  • Onshore and offshore site investigation techniques related to drilling, in-situ sampling, and testing,
  • Geotechnical index and advanced laboratory tests,
  • Experimental data assessment and interpretation,
  • Basics of 3D ground modelling with and without BIM.


Students can:

  • distinguish different drilling, sampling and field techniques to be used to obtain high quality samples, and to derive geotechnical parameters in the field,
  • select adequate laboratory tests for a range of geotechnical design problems and know how to interpret geotechnical laboratory tests results,
  • provide a ground model for further geotechnical assessments.

General competence


  • are familiar with drilling, sampling and testing field techniques, and can decide which technique to use in the field depending on the specific soil conditions,
  • can understand the basic principles of geotechnical testing apparatuses and are able to conduct index and advanced tests.
  • Students can interpret geotechnical tests results and critically identify advantages, and disadvantages of different testing techniques,
  • Students can translate geotechnical test results into a ground model and familiar with different ground modelling techniques

Arbeids- og undervisningsformer

Lectures, exercises, laboratory and field visits, and written project report. Practical laboratory experiments and field visits will be coordinated with the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute, NGI. Parts of the lectures will be covered by relevant international and national guest lecturers. 

Arbeidskrav og obligatoriske aktiviteter

The following work requirements are mandatory and must be approved prior to the exam:

3 group exercises of 2-4 students: 1 exercise on laboratory testing, 1 on site investigation, and 1 on ground modelling. All exercises are linked and part of an applied engineering problem.

Vurdering og eksamen

The exam consists of two parts:

1) Written group project report, weighted 70%, and

2) Oral group presentation of the project following by individual Q&A, weighted 30%.

The assessment is form of group evaluation with 2-4 students in each group. The project report is approximately 5000 words. The oral presentation should be within 15-20 mins followed by individual Q&A session of 5-10 mins each.

All assessment parts must be awarded a pass grade (E or better) for the student to pass the course. Students must be awarded an E or above on their group project report to take the oral exam.

Assessment part 1) can be appealed. Assessment part 2) can not be appealed.

Hjelpemidler ved eksamen

All types of materials and equipment are allowed.


Grade scale A-F


Two examiners, one internal and one external.