EOSC 433 · Geotechnical Engineering Practice

Application of rock/soil engineering principles and techniques used in geotechnical design. Influence of geological factors, design of ground support, and use of geotechnical instrumentation and numerical analyses for tunneling and slope stability projects. Case histories. [2-2-0]
Prerequisite: All of EOSC 329, CIVL 210, MINE 303.

Course Availability & Schedule

Course Webpage

Learning Goals


By the end of this course you will be able to:

1)      Explain the essential methods of Geological Engineering design and practice, including the integration of site characterization, monitoring and analysis, hazard and risk assessment, and professional issues such as loss control, worker safety and professional ethics.

2)      Recognize and differentiate the adverse effects that geology and geological processes can have on site conditions and engineering designs, and that engineering designs can have on the site conditions and natural environment.

3)      Assess the limitations of “textbook approaches” to Geological Engineering design and means to manage uncertainty and reduce risk related to geological variability and uncertainty.

4)      Compare and contrast different analytical, empirical and numerical tools used in geotechnical design, and demonstrate how these should not be used as a substitute for thinking but as an aid to the engineering thought and decision making process.

5)      Justify design assumptions and level of detail in design calculations relative to the project stage (from prefeasibility through to construction, implementation and performance), and update accordingly through iterative design as new data and knowledge is gained.

6)      Compare and contrast examples of true life Geological Engineering design problems, solutions implemented and lessons learned, and argue the value of case histories and need for lifelong learning and professional development for Geological Engineers.


Erik Eberhardt, P.Eng.

Lab TA: Afshin Amini


Hoek - Practical Rock Engineering

Course Content

Lecture notes (PDF's)

Lab Syllabus

Lecture Topics

See - Lecture & Lab Schedule (with handouts)


Labs will include problem solving exercises using different engineering design tools commonly used in practice, together with a series of open-ended design problems.