cod. 07906

Academic year 2024/25
1° year of course - Second semester
Academic discipline
Geotecnica (ICAR/07)
Ingegneria civile
Type of training activity
72 hours
of face-to-face activities
9 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

This course is prevalently oriented to the solution of application problems and its main purpose is to provide students with the basic principles for tackling classical geotechnical engineering design.
The course deals with the Geotechnical aspects of the analysis and design of shallow and deep foundations, including site subsurface exploration and testing, bearing capacity and settlement calculations.


Soil mechanics or basic elements of geotechnical engineering.

Course unit content

The course contents include the following macro-topics:
1) Design methodologies typical of geotechnical engineering.
2) Mechanical characterisation of foundation soils from in situ and laboratory tests.
3) Shallow foundations: design at ultimate and serviceability limit states according to current regulations (NTC2018).
4) Basic concepts relating to soil-foundation-structure interaction.
5) Deep foundations: design at ultimate and serviceability limit states according to current regulations (NTC2018).
6) Elements of foundation design in seismic conditions.
7) Design methods for retaining structures.

Full programme

Recall of the fundamental concepts regarding soil mechanics.
Planning Site Investigation: site characterization; field reconnaissance.
Ground Investigation: drilling methods; disturbed and undisturbed sampling.
Geotechnical characterization: features of a geotechnical report.
Aknowledgement of soils: strength and deformability parameters; permeability coefficient; determination of coefficient of consolidation on the basis of laboratory and in-situ tests.
In-situ testing: Cone Penetration Test (CPT), Standard Penetration Test (SPT), Pressiometer and Flat Dilatometer Test (DMT), Field Vane test, geophysical exploration, other in-situ tests and interpretation of soil parameters for foundation design.
An in-depth look into the geotechnical and structural aspects of foundation engineering, under the point of view of measurements and controls.
Shallow foundations: methods to determine bearing capacity ad settlements.
Soil-structure interaction: different soil models; soil pressure; settlements and sectional forces for simple beams systems; theory of subgrade reaction modulus and the elastic continuum theory. Remarks on constructional questions and cases of damages.
Retaining structures. Design methods for gravity walls, cantilever walls and sheet piles.
Deep foundations: classification of pile types and construction methods, ultimate bearing capacity; lateral loading; estimating pile length; correlations for calculation of pile capacity with SPT and CPT results; frictional resistance in sand and clay; design examples.


Carlo Viggiani. Fondazioni. Ed. Hevelius
Renato Lancellotta & Jose Calavera. Fondazioni. Ed. McGrow-Hill
Lorella Montrasio. Geotecnica. Ed. Santa Croce

Teaching methods

The course includes theoretical lectures and practical exercises, mainly related to design processes.
The practical activities are related to all the topics covered during the lectures. It is expected that the solution of the design exercises is obtained directly by the students. Finally, the teacher proposes the solution of the practical problem.

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam consists in two parts: a written test and an interview.

Other information

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