2023-2024 / GCIV2178-1

Natural and technological risks in civil engineering


15h Th, 15h Pr, 10h Proj., 1d FW

Number of credits

 Master of Science (MSc) in Civil Engineering3 crédits 


Jean-François Demonceau, Benjamin Dewals

Language(s) of instruction

English language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

In engineering offices, private companies, regional authorities and control agencies, risk analysis is increasingly used for the design and operation of civil engineering structures. This course will present the overarching principles of risk analysis, considering both technological and natural hazards. These principles will be exemplified through real-world case studies, spanning over a broad spectrum of scales: from the structure level (e.g., robustness approach) up to the city and regional levels (e.g., flood risk management). In addition, recommendations available in international codes and standards will be studied, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses. Finally, solutions allowing decreasing the risks encountered by different types of structures will be proposed.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

The course will make the students familiar with each step of the cycle of risk management, including the identification of adverse scenarios (e.g., extreme weather event, explosion, human error ...) and their probability, as well as the estimation of the consequences, the elaboration of risk-reduction measures and the assessment of uncertainties.

The complete list of the KLO for this course is defined in the matrix available at the following address: 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, VI.1, VI.2, VI.3, VI.4, VII.1, VII.2, VII.3, VII.4, VII.6 of the MSc in civil engineering.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Prerequisites: one year of master in civil or environmental engineering.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The course is based on lectures, seminars given by professional engineers and practical works.


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

Blended learning

Additional information:

Lectures partially face-to-face and through the use of online videos.
The teaching mode could be adapted according to the sanitary conditions which could be of application during the first quadrimester.

Recommended or required readings

Slides used during the lectures are made available for the student on eCampus.
The teacher also recommends the reading of complementary material.

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam ( open-ended questions )

Written work / report

Additional information:

A written exam takes place in January and in September. The reports of the practical assignments are also evaluated.
The practical assignments constitute an important part of the course and are compulsory. Students who fail to submit in due time the expected reports on the assignments will not be allowed to take the exam (as it is not possible to fix a mark to the missing activity). A mark "A" will be attributed in this case (except if a specific justification is provided and accepted by the professors which will analyse the justificiation with equity).
No partial exemption is granted.

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

The course is taught in English.

Main change: Feedback to students on projects will be more systematic.


  • Jean-François Demonceau : jfdemonceau@uliege.be
  • Benjamin Dewals : b.dewals@uliege.be

Association of one or more MOOCs