Geosynthetics for Soil Reinforcement (GeoforSR)

Online course

50 hours / 6 weeks

Dates: to be determined

Introduction

This course is intended for Civil and Geotech engineers and civil contractors who use or would like to use geosynthetic soil reinforcement in their projects to save time and money and reduce the environmental impact of their project. The course assumes an introductory level of geotechnical engineering is already held by the student.

After an introduction to the basics of geosynthetics and an overview of the types and functions, the course gives a more in-depth focus on the application of geosynthetic reinforcement to walls, slopes, embankments and pavements. This course does not teach how to design MSE structures or pavements from first principles, but rather focusses on the application of geosynthetics in the design of MSE structures. We will also give an overview of two MSE design programs that are widely used in the industry. Feel free to browse the contents section to get a further understanding of what is involved.

Anyone working in the civil or Geotech engineering profession, as well as project managers and leaders in the construction industry will all benefit from this course. Geosynthetics is a fast growing and dynamic sector of engineering materials, and a large amount of the industry training is currently driven by manufacturers of product which is not always impartial. This course will give you a solid grounding in the products and their application to sustainable infrastructure.

Learning Outcomes

When you have completed the course we intend that you will have the following knowledge and skills:

  • Understand the history of soil reinforcement so you have more confidence in using the products, including how long the concept has been in use, when the more modern versions started becoming common, and being able to name some early structures, where they are and the products they were built with.
  • Know about the civil engineering functions that a geosynthetic provides, not just reinforcement but much wider. Be able to explain in simple terms which function you are expecting from the product and how it will achieve that function.
  • You will be clear on the various categories of geosynthetics and which applications they are used in, such as roading, coastal protection, retaining walls etc.
  • A deeper knowledge and understanding of the types of geosynthetics and the polymers used for the specific reinforcement function, and how these will impact your project, and be able to explain this to a colleague.
  • Understand common industry terms and be able to explain them to a customer in a simple and concise way.
  • Be able to read and understand a geogrid or geotextile data sheet from a manufacturer and know what properties are relevant for you.
  • Become familiar with the main industry design standards and resources, and know where to go for more in depth information.
  • Identify and name the common components of an MSE structure and the possible failure modes.
  • Understand the importance of soil types and compaction requirements, and the influence of water on a design. Clearly articulate the negative effects of poor materials and poor water management and provide solutions to this problem.
  • Learn about the most common causes of failure and what can be done to avoid them, understand the concept of best practice and have access to industry guidelines for the same.
  • Set up a sample steepened slope geometry in a design program and analyse the critical failure modes, discuss and comment on the suitability and safety of the design.
  • Understand the way geogrids and geotextiles work in a pavement, and the similarities and differences to an MSE structure. Identify and name the failure modes that a geosynthetic can help to prevent.

Limited places.

1, Introduction to the course

  • Context and content overview
  • Outline the focus of the course as application of geosynthetics

2, History of soil reinforcement

  • A Historical perspective to give background and confidence

3, Overview of the functions of geosynthetics

  • This section covers all functions briefly, not just reinforcement to give a broader scope

4, Overview of the categories

  • Here we explore the engineering categories that geosynthetics fall into

5, Applications overview

  • Overview of all applications not just reinforcement

6, Types of geosynthetic used for reinforcement

  • Learn about the manufacture processes and how they impact performance

7, Polymers used for reinforcement

  • Learn about the polymers used and why this is relevant for design

8, Properties and tests

  • Learn about the test methods and published properties

9, Function of reinforcement and stabilisation

  • A deeper look at the reinforcement function
  • Difference between stabilisation and reinforcement
  • Concepts of soil reinforcement such as load distribution etc

10, Pavements and foundations, stabilisation and reinforcement

  • Overview and context (i.e. not a pavement design course, application of geosynthetics only)
  • Functions applicable to foundations and pavements
  • Learn different failure modes; rutting, punching and global etc.

11, Design properties for reinforcement

  • Understanding manufacturers data sheets
  • Calculating long term design strength and pull-out resistance
  • Creep rupture versus creep strain, temperature/stress/strain, Isochrone curves

12, Standards and resources used for MSE walls, slopes and embankments

  • Overview of the most common codes and guides from the UK and USA
  • Key terms used and their meanings
  • MSE vs RSS
  • LRFD vs ASD
  • Design states ULS and SLS

13, Components of an MSE system

  • Learn the various components and their role in the structure

14, Internal and external stability

  • Potential failure modes and the role the geosynthetic plays in this
  • MSE Walls, Reinforced Slopes, and Embankments

15, Influence of soil types and water

  • Investigate how soil strength and weight affects the design
  • Look at examples of the effect of water

16, Facing options and connection to the soil mass

  • Identify and name common options in the market
  • Learn the importance of connection and how to design for it

17, Construction detailing, best practice and common pitfalls

  • Importance of construction monitoring
  • Drill down on some of the most common issues
  • Learn about the available construction guides and manuals
  • Discuss the importance of drainage

18, Seismic and extreme events

  • How seismic events are considered in MSE structures
  • Tiered walls, back to back walls and water applications

19, Design Programs

  • Overview of MSEW and ReSSa industry leading programs

 

Michael Sorensen

Michael is a civil and geotech engineering technician with over 12 years’ experience in the design and practical application of geosynthetics. Michael is a Chartered Member of Engineering New Zealand (Eng. Technician) and has a special passion for ongoing learning in this fast-moving field of engineering and sharing knowledge with other professionals.

Over the years Michael has facilitated many seminars and training presentations as a speaker and enjoys the interaction and learning from these forums, as well as regularly attending world leading industry conferences to stay tuned with industry innovators.

Michaels role involves working with engineers and contractors to solve civil engineering challenges with practical and economic geosynthetic solutions, as well as developing new solutions and keeping colleagues and customers up to date with the technical and compliance aspect of the products.

LinkedIN profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michael-sorensen-05554291

Each module will consist of written text covering the key learning points, often with references where appropriate to other resources. Following each module will be a short quiz or test to confirm an acceptable level of understanding. There are a number of video presentations of the instructor explaining the topics. Students can interact live with each other and the instructor within the virtual platform.

Anyone working in the civil or Geotech engineering profession, as well as project managers and leaders in the construction and land development industries will all benefit from this course. Geosynthetics is a fast growing and dynamic sector of engineering materials, and a large amount of the industry training is currently driven by manufacturers of product which is not always impartial. This course will give you a solid grounding in the products and their application to sustainable infrastructure

This course is intended for civil and Geotech engineers and civil contractors who use or would like to use geosynthetic soil reinforcement in their projects to save time and money and reduce environmental impact. The course assumes an introductory level of geotechnical engineering is already held by the student.

Please also refer to the Career Opportunities section for more details.

As evidence of knowledge gained throughout the course, a certificate will be issued from the Virtual platform. This certificate is based on the modern technology Blockchain, which increases security, prevents fraud, builds trust and ensures you’re ready for the future.

Completion of this course will assist with most career options relating to the design and construction of sustainable infrastructure which incorporates roads, bridges and other land development and earthworks related projects.
The content is designed to specifically help Geotech and civil engineers, site or project engineers and project managers to understand the products which are becoming more common in value engineering solutions.

This includes but is not limited to the following career options:

• – Civil or geotechnical design engineer
• – Civil or geotechnical tertiary student
• – Project Engineer – Roads, Bridges or land development
• – Project Manager – Roads, Bridges or land development
• – Technical sales – Construction Industry
• – Land Developers

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Geosynthetics for Soil Reinforcement (GeoforSR)

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