Geotechnics and Laboratory

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The aim of the course is to equip students with basic soil mechanics knowledge, to be able to analyse and solve from a quantitative point of view the most typical geotechnical engineering problems.
Expected learning outcomes
· Understand the key continuum mechanics tools to model the hydro-mechanical behaviour of porous media
· Assess pore pressure distribution in 2D seepage problems
· Use results obtained from the most common laboratory and insitu tests to obtain soil strength and deformability parameters, in view of the specific geotechnical problem at hand
· Calculate shallow foundation settlements for both fine- and coarse-grained soils and their time evolution
· Assess the safety of foundations in compliance with current design standards
· Assess the safety of the main types of retaining structures in compliance with current design standards
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
In addition to textbooks, lecture notes and video-recorded lectures will be made available.

Online lectures will be delivered live on the MS Teams platform and will be recorded at the same time.

In case of restrictions to standard final exam arrangements, the exams will take place remotely in the usual (1) written + (2) oral form, on platforms MS Teams and
Course syllabus
Main topics covered include:
· Nature and classification of soil, phase relationships, index tests
· Field equations for porous media
· Calculation of geostatic stress state
· 2D seepage and soil fluidisation
· One-dimensional soil behaviour
· Shear behaviour of fine- and coarse-grained soil
· Calculation of shallow foundation settlements on fine-grained soil
· One-dimensional consolidation theory
· Calculation of shallow foundation settlements on coarse-grained soil
· Bearing capacity of shallow foundations and safety check according to current design standards
· Bearing capacity of cast-in-place and driven piles, in fine- and coarse-grained soil
· Lateral earth pressure and stability analysis of retaining walls according to current design standards
· Geotechnical design of flexible retaining structures
Prerequisites for admission
Students are advised to attend courses in the same order as reported in the overall study program.
Teaching methods
The course involves both traditional lectures and problem-solving workshops.
Teaching Resources
· R. Lancellotta - Geotecnica - Zanichelli
· R. Nova - Meccanica delle costruzioni geotecniche - CittàStudi Edizioni
· C. Viggiani - Fondazioni - Hevelius Edizioni
· Course handouts/slides
Assessment methods and Criteria
The final exam is composed of two parts: (1) a written test, where practical problems of applied geotechnics should be quantitatively solved, and (2) an oral exam, where the outcome of the written test is discussed and the student is asked additional questions to assess his/her (both theoretical and practical) knowledge of the subject.
Only students passing the written test (minimum mark 18/30) are admitted to the oral exam. The final mark is given in thirtieths.
ICAR/07 - GEOTECHNICS - University credits: 9
Practicals: 36 hours
Lessons: 48 hours
Professor: Cecinato Francesco
Wednesdays 10:30-13:00
Via Mangiagalli 34 (Milano), Level III, or online via MS Teams