Facoltà di Ingegneria - Guida degli insegnamenti (Syllabus)


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Giuseppe Scarpelli

Seat Ingegneria
A.A. 2016/2017
Credits 9
Hours 72
Period I
Language ENG

A sound Knowledge of basic principles of Structural Mechanics and Fluid mechanics as studied in the relevant courses of the previous years.

Learning outcomes
The course teaches the basics of the mechanics of granular materials, that is natural or artificial soil bodies, subjected to external actions or to changes of the boundary conditions. From the fundamental principles of continuum mechanics, assumed to be known by the students from previous courses, the relevant aspects of the theory are discussed with reference to water saturated porous media, to derive stress-strain fields, settlements, to analyze groundwater flow both stationary and transient. Concepts of limit analysis are introduced to derive, with examples, the safety margins against common soil instability mechanisms. Large part of the course is devoted to the analysis and interpretation of soil behaviour from laboratory testing.
The course is intended to be the basic reference for more practical courses of geotechnical engineering given in more advanced master course programs. The problem solving capacity is sought only for not complex but very simple problems, to learn the details of the most common solution schemes of the discipline. The course cannot be considered in any way sufficient to provide itself solutions to geotechnical engineering design problems.
The course implies for the student a deep and autonomous study of the given topics and aims at developing the student attitudes to solve typical problems of soil mechanics in a detailed a precise manner. The solution to geotechnical problems is never unique and it is therefore necessary to acquire by the students methods to analyze and critically judge any proposed solution.

Soil general properties: Physical properties of soil particles. Description, identification and classification of soils. Definition of stresses: effective stress principle; geostatic stresses. Soil strains. Groundwater: capillarity, groundwater flow: stationary and transient flow; hints on the “soil consolidation theory“. Soil mechanics: Basic equipments for soil mechanical testing (oedometer, triaxial cell, direct shear box). Compressibility and strength of granular and cohesive soils from soil laboratory testing. Geotechnical engineering: Earth thrusts and stability of gravity and flexible walls; stability and settlements of spread foundations. Practical work: 8 to 10 numerical examples on problems of geotechnical engineering, simplified from real practical case studies.

Development of the examination
The candidate is required to pass a written plus an oral examinations, in different days, typically the colloquium is programmed 7 days after the written test. The written paper lasts 3 hours and requires abilities in geotechnical problem solving. The oral colloquium is a careful check of the knowledge of the candidate about the theoretical and experimental parts of the discipline.

The written paper aims at prooving the ability of the candidate in solving few typical geotechnical excercises, representing more complex problems of geotechnical engineering. The oral examinations aimis at assessing the level of knowledge on both theoretical and practical aspects of the the discipline.

The written paper is graded with A, B, C,D corresponding to (18-21), (21-24), (24-27), (27-30) over 30 classes. With the oral examination very rarely the candidate can upgrade grade class assigned with the written paper. The “lode“ is reserved to the students showing not only a full comprehension of the theoretical and experimental aspects of the subject but also outstanding abilities in exposing and representing the physical phenomena and the models for Soil Mechanics.

The final mark is given through a discussion between the members of the examination panel about the performance of the candidate in the written paper and in the colloquium.

Recommended reading
Lecture notes available at the Faculty Copy Centre; example problems given in classes during the practical sessions.

  • Ingegneria Civile e Ambientale (Corso di Laurea Triennale (DM 270/04))

Università Politecnica delle Marche
P.zza Roma 22, 60121 Ancona
Tel (+39) 071.220.1, Fax (+39) 071.220.2324
P.I. 00382520427