ENCN454-20S1 (C) Semester One 2020

Introduction to Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 17 February 2020
End Date: Sunday, 21 June 2020
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 28 February 2020
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 29 May 2020


Seismic behaviour of retaining walls, shallow and deep foundations, embankments, and slopes. Liquefaction. Case studies, design applications, and advanced methods of analysis.

The aim of the course is to increase students' understanding of deformational behaviour of soils and
fundamental concepts in geotechnical analysis and design. The course focuses on two aspects in
particular: stress-strain behaviour of soils, and analysis and design of foundations. The background theme
of the course is modelling as a fundamental engineering problem-solving methodology. The coursework
includes performing laboratory tests on soils specimens and shake-table experiments on scaled-down soil
models, use of analytical and numerical tools for geotechnical analysis, and scrutiny of procedures for
design of shallow and deep foundations.

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of this course you should be able to:

(a) Interpret key features of stress-strain behaviour of soils
(b) Explain fundamental concepts in modelling of stress-strain behaviour of soils
(c) Apply analytical and numerical methods for geotechnical analysis, and discuss their assumptions,
approximations and limitations
(d) Apply principles of foundation engineering to geotechnical and structural design of shallow
(e) Discuss and apply methods for analysis and design of piles under axial and lateral loading
(f) Develop understanding for testing of soils in the geotechnical laboratory, and analytical skills
required for geotechnical modelling, analysis and design
(g) Develop and integrate knowledge and skills required for solving complex problems in geotechnical
and foundation engineering.




Timetable 2020

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Monday 14:00 - 16:00 - (23/3, 20/4, 4/5-25/5)
Rehua 101 Lectorial (17/2-16/3)
17 Feb - 29 Mar
20 Apr - 26 Apr
4 May - 31 May
Lecture B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Friday 12:00 - 14:00 - (24/4-29/5)
Meremere 105 Lecture Theatre (21/2-20/3)
17 Feb - 22 Mar
20 Apr - 31 May

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Misko Cubrinovski


Gabriele Chiaro


Claudio Cappellaro


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Assignment (x4) 40%
final exam 60%

1. Final exam: A minimum pass mark of 50% in the exam is required in order for a student to pass the course.
2. All assignments must be submitted by the due date. Late submissions will not be accepted. If a student is unable to complete and submit an assignment by the deadline due to personal circumstances beyond their control they should discuss this with the lecturer involved as soon as possible.
3. Aegrotat eligibility: “Aegrotat provisions are intended to assist students who have covered the work of a course but have been prevented by illness or other critical circumstance from demonstrating their mastery of the material or skills at the time of assessment” [UC Calendar].
4. All assignments should be done individually

Textbooks / Resources

Recommended Reading

Coduto, Donald P; Foundation design : principles and practices; 2nd ed; Prentice Hall, 2001.

Muir Wood, David; Geotechnical modelling; Spon Press, 2004.

Muir Wood, David; Soil behaviour and critical state soil mechanics; Cambridge University Press, 1990.

Electronic files of course materials including lecture notes, assignments and course information will be made available through LEARN. Handouts may be provided during lectures.


Course communication

All communication with the class will be through lectures, Learn and email. Teaching assistants will provide information and feedback on assignments through Learn.

Repeating students

Students repeating this course are required to complete all of the course assessments

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,102.00

International fee $5,500.00

* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.

Minimum enrolments

This course will not be offered if fewer than 15 people apply to enrol.

For further information see Civil and Natural Resources Engineering.

All ENCN454 Occurrences

  • ENCN454-20S1 (C) Semester One 2020