2023-2024 / GCIV2049-1

Geotechnical Structures Conception and Execution


17h Th, 35h Pr, 20d Proj.

Number of credits

 Master of Science (MSc) in Civil Engineering5 crédits 


Frédéric Collin

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the second semester


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

The course objective is an in depth study of some geotechnical works: deep foundations, retaining structures (included the excavation techniques), earth dams and dykes.
It is mainly based on practical design of one to three geotechnical works by small groups of students. Ex-cathedra theoretical course will support the practical work.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

The learning outcomes are at 2 levels.

The 1st level is related to the technical content. At the end of the course, students will be able to design, analyse, verify a geotechnical work. He will be able to suggest various technical solutions, and to compare them, which implies creativity and critical sense.

The 2d level is related to the individual and collective working process:

  • the student will learn to chose and to develop the better working procedure with respect to the project to be done, and to combine pertinently individual and collective work periods.
  • the student will be able to participate with the best efficiency to the common work, brainstorming, discussions organised during the course time.
  • He will be able to present and argue the proposed solutions, orally and in a report.
The full list of KLO's/AA for this course is defined in the matrix available on https://www.programmes.uliege.be/cocoon/20182019/formations/descr/A2UCON01.html

This course contributes to the learning outcomes I.1, I.2, II.1, II.2, II.3, III.1, III.2, III.3, III.4, IV.1, IV.3, IV.4, IV.5, V.1, V.2, V.3, VI.1, VI.2, VI.3, VI.4, VII.1, VII.2, VII.3, VII.6 of the MSc in civil engineering.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

The student is supposed to master well all preceding courses and especially solid mechanics, structural mechanics including beams and plates, soil and rock mechanics, geotechnics.
Prerequisites :
GCIV0603 Géotechnique et Infrastructures
GCIV2036 Mécanique des Sols et des Roches

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

One to three projects will be developed within small students groups. They will concern design and dimensioning of geotechnical structures on actual conditions, as in a consultancy office. Each students group will propose and study variant, all variants will be compared at the course end.
Courses sessions (mandatory) will be regulary dedicated to discussion of work progress. The discussion will be open and will allow to compare different ideas and to prepare the following of the work. Between these sessions, students group will manage freely their work.
In parallel, supporting the practical work, ex-cathedra session will be dedicated to theoretical part in relation with the course subject.
At the course end, students groups will give a written report and present their solution for a jury with industrial and academic members.
One or two sites under construction will be visited.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

This course is given face to face for the discussion and exchanges and for the theoretical part.The attendence to these lectures is mandatory. 
Complementary, an important personal and in team work is needed between the face to face times.

Recommended or required readings

Available to students, Acrobat files.

The practical work is the main contribution (50%) to the quotation. The evaluation is based on :

  • written reports on the projects
  • active participation to discussion sessions
The written report evaluation will be reported to the student in order to enhance the positive points and the drawbacks.
An oral exam (50%) is dedicated to the presentation of the projects in June, during which the knowledge of the theoretical concepts are also evaluated.
This project course may not be presented in case of a second session (September).

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

The course is organised during the 2nd quartermaster, on Wednesday morning : this concerns session face-to-face for discussing the work progress and perspectives (which are mandatory) and the theoretical ex-cathedra courses.

Moreover an important personal and in group work is needed and has to be realised between the face-to-face sessions.


  • F. Collin, f.collin@uliege.be

Association of one or more MOOCs