Curriculum Structure


CV4111 Ground Engineering

[Lecture: 26 hrs ; Tutorial: 13 hrs ; Lab: 0 hr ; Pre-requisite: CV2014 ; Academic Unit: 3.0 ]

Learning Objective :

This course aims to acquaint students with the principles of engineering soil improvement and the methods of stability analysis of slopes and embankments. Upon completion of the course, students will be better equipped to evaluate and select soil improvement methods and assess slope stability appropriate to specific site and engineering requirements. The versatile analytical and computer skills learned during the course will be useful in other engineering problems beyond the scope of the course.

Course Content :

Soil improvement: shallow surface compaction; deep densification; deep stabilization; soil reinforcement; preloading and vertical drains. Slopes and embankments: methods of slope stability analysis; reinforced embankments over soft clay; principles of slope stabilization.

Course Outline :




Shallow surface compaction


Deep densification and stabilization


Soil reinforcement


Preloading and vertical drains


Shear strength of soils and types of slope movement


Limit equilibrium methods of slope stability analysis


Reinforced embankments over soft clay


Principles of slope stabilization

Learning Outcome :

Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:

  • Appreciate the underlying principles of limit equilibrium methods of slices for slope stability analysis
  • Explain the different assumptions in the Swedish method, wedge method, Bishop’s routine method and Spencer’s method, and understand their different levels of rigorousness
  • Appreciate the factors affecting slope stability, and the options for slope stabilization
  • Apply the computer techniques learned in this course to solve other engineering problems
  • Explain the principles and issues related to shallow surface compaction, deep densification, admixture stabilization, reinforced earth, preloading and vertical drains
  • Perform design calculations to aid decisions on surface compaction, deep densification, admixture stabilization, reinforced earth, preloading and vertical drains
  • Consider engineering soil improvement as an additional option to the other geotechnical engineering options

Textbooks :

No specific text is required since the course covers a diverse range of topics

References :

  1. Krisch, K. and Bell, A. (2013) Ground Improvement, 3rd Edition, CRC Press.
  2. Bo, M.W., Chu, J., Low, B.K., and Choa, V. ( 2003) Soil Improvement: Prefabricated Vertical Drain Techniques, by Thomson Learning, Thomson Asia Pte Ltd., 2003.
  3. Cornforth, D. (2005). Landslides in practice: investigation, analysis, and remedial/preventive options in soils, John Wiley.
  4. Nash, David. “A Comparative Review of Limit Equilibrium Methods of Stability Analysis,” pages 11-75, in Slope stability: geotechnical engineering and geomorphology / edited by M.G. Anderson and K.S. Richards. Chichester. New York : Wiley, c1987.