MABY5450 Urban Geotechnics Emneplan

Engelsk emnenavn
Urban Geotechnics
Master’s Programme in Civil Engineering
10 stp.


According to the United Nations (UN) another 2.5 billion people will live in urban areas by 2050. Many cities will face challenges including to provide adequate transportation, energy systems and housing. Overcoming these challenges will require to develop new and to upgrade existing infrastructure. This course concerns the mechanical behaviour of soils and geotechnical structures when constructing urban infrastructure. The students will first obtain in-depth knowledge about how to calculate lateral earth pressures and to dimension earth supporting structures. The course will then move on to cover embedded structures with focus on tunnelling in soft ground. Theoretical background will be complemented by practical exercises including parametric 3D modelling of geotechnical structures. Finally, the student will become familiar with methods to assess the potential impact of ground works on the built environment. This course will extensively use examples from both practice and latest research, such as the BegrensSkade II / REMEDY project

Anbefalte forkunnskaper

Advanced soil mechanics

Geotechnical Site Investigation and Ground Modelling


After completing this course, the student has the following learning outcomes, defined as knowledge, skills and general competence:


Students have in-depth knowledge of:

  • Earth pressure theory
  • Types of retaining walls and design (serviceability and ultimate limit state)
  • Excavation support systems including tunnels in soft ground and soil stabilisation
  • Ground movements due to excavation works and effects on the built environment
  • Basics of parametric 3D modelling


Students can:

  • calculate the lateral earth pressure
  • select and design retaining walls and excavation support systems
  • analyse the behaviour of tunnels in soft ground
  • quantify the effect of ground movements on structures
  • formulate a geotechnical report

General competence


  • can understand the principles of soil strength, stress history and critical state soil mechanics
  • can apply plasticity and limit equilibrium methods to analyse earth support systems
  • are familiar with excavation-induced ground movements and their impacts on close by structures
  • have the writing skills to formulate a geotechnical report or a small research publication

Arbeids- og undervisningsformer

Lectures, exercises and projects

Arbeidskrav og obligatoriske aktiviteter

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

Present solutions to handed out example problems. The student will be given 3 example papers with around 6 problems related to course content. Students need to present it and get approved.

2 written group exercises with 2-4 students in a group

Vurdering og eksamen

The exam consists of two parts:

1) 2-hour written exam under supervision, weighted 70%

2) Individual presentation of academic papers, weighted 30%

All assessment parts must be awarded a pass grade (E or better) in order for the student to pass the course. The project reports must be done before the exam.

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

Hjelpemidler ved eksamen

For (1): All printed and written aids and a calculator that cannot be used to communicate with others.

For (2): all types of materials and equipment are allowed.


Grade scale A-F


1) One internal examiner,

2) Two internal examiners