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2016/2017 Civil Engineering and Geosciences Master Civiele Techniek
Behaviour of Soils and Rocks
Responsible Instructor
Name E-mail
Dr.ir. R.B.J. Brinkgreve    R.B.J.Brinkgreve@tudelft.nl
Contact Hours / Week x/x/x/x
Education Period
Start Education
Exam Period
Course Language
Required for
MSc Geo-engineering
Expected prior knowledge
BSc courses "Grondmechanica" (soil mechanics) and "Toegepaste mechanica" (Applied mechanics)
Course Contents
The course deals with the mechanical behaviour (stress-strain response) of soils and rocks, as well as with constitutive models describing the various features of soil and rock behaviour. In addition to the theoretical details of the models, attention is paid to model parameter determination and the application of models via the finite element method.
The following topics are included:

1. Introduction to continuum mechanics, stress, strain;
2. Soil behaviour in compression and shear;
3. Undrained soil behaviour, undrained strength;
4. Normally-consolidated and over-consolidated soils;
5. Elasticity, Hooke's law;
6. Modelling pore pressures and undrained behaviour;
7. Simulation of standard lab tests;
8. Non-linear elasticity;
9. Failure criteria (Mohr-Coulomb, Tresca, Hoek-Brown, other);
10. Plasticity theory;
11. The linear-elastic perfectly plastic model;
12. Material hardening & softening;
13. Critical State soil mechanics, Cam-Clay theory;
14. Soft Soil model, Hardening Soil model;
15. Anisotropy, structure and de-structuration;
16. Small-strain stiffness, cyclic loading, liquefaction
17. Hypoplastic model;
18. Time-dependent behaviour, creep;
19. Rock behaviour;
20. Hoek-Brown model, Jointed Rock model;
21. Application of models;
22. Possibilities & limitations.
Study Goals
After the course, students are able to:
1. Identify various features of soil and rock behaviour;
2. Explain the possibilities and limitations of models;
3. Select appropriate models for practical applications;
4. Determine model parameters based on site investigation data or otherwise;
5. Explain the behaviour of the models under specific conditions.
Education Method
Lectures, workshops, assignments, computer exercises, exam
Computer Use
During some lectures the PLAXIS finite element program for geotechnical applications is used to simulate model tests and to analyse practical applications.
Course Relations
The CIE4361 course has links to other Geo-engineering courses:
1. CIE4380 Numerical modelling in geo-engineering;
2. CIE5320 Site characterization, testing and physical modelling;
3. CIE4353 Continuum mechanics
Literature and Study Materials
Recommended lectures notes / textbooks / backgrounds:
1. Sitters C.W.M. (1996) Material Models for Soil and Rock;
2. Sitters C.W.M. (1997) Continuum mechanics;
3. Molenkamp F. (2003) Continuum mechanics;
4. Brinkgreve R.B.J. (1994) Geomaterial Models and Numerical Analysis of Softening;
5. Brinkgreve R.B.J. et al. (2012) PLAXIS Finite Element Code for Soil and Rock Analysis.

(see links on Blackboard)
1. Yamamuro J.A., Kaliakin V.N. (2005) Soil Constitutive Models: Evaluation, Selection and Calibration. ASCE Geotechnical Special Publication No. 128.
1. Sitters C.W.M. (1996) Material Models for Soil and Rock
(although hardly used)
Four Assignments need to be completed before students can participate in the Exam. The Exam is a digital exam using Maple TA on the exam server.
Permitted Materials during Tests
Writing equipment and (scientific) calculator
Enrolment / Application
Via Blackboard
Responsible for course:
Dr. Ronald B.J. Brinkgreve

Second lecturer:
Prof. Michael A. Hicks

Dr. Phil Vardon

(Geo-engineering section)
Expected prior Knowledge

BSc courses "Grondmechanica" (soil mechanics) and "Toegepaste mechanica" (Applied mechanics)
Academic Skills
Dealing with formulas; making calculations
Literature & Study Materials
Available on Blackboard
The final mark is based on the results of the Exam.
Permitted Materials during Exam
Standard scientific calculator