The University of Southampton

CENV6122 Advanced Foundation Engineering

Module Overview

This module will build on your knowledge and understanding of soil behaviour and the application of soil mechanics obtained from CENV2006 and CENV3020 to the design of foundations. You will understand detailed design issues related to both deep and shallow foundations and be able to apply modern soil mechanics principles and analytical techniques including numerical modelling of soil structure interaction problems using appropriate numerical software. You will be able to understand the relative importance of key soil parameters and how these may be derived through appropriate element testing or interpretation of site investigation data.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims


Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The design of shallow and deep foundations to carry ultimate loads
  • Interpretation and selection of appropriate soil parameters from site investigation data
  • Field monitoring in geotechnical design
  • Soil/structure interaction effects
  • The advantages and limitations of advanced analytical techniques
  • CPT interpretation and application to pile design
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Calculate ultimate and serviceability loads for shallow and deep foundations
  • Select the most appropriate foundation solution for a given situation; derive appropriate soil parameters
  • Distinguish between different foundation types and their appropriate use
  • Synthesize field test results from a range of published technical papers
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Effective communication through written reports
  • Creativity and innovation in problem solving
  • Apply critical analysis and judgement
  • Engineering approach to problem solving
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Analyse foundation capacities using numerical modelling tools to aid in the design of shallow foundations. Interpret SI data to derive appropriate parameters for analysing laterally loaded piles
  • Critique published work proposing simple solutions to bearing capacity derived using numerical modelling techniques
  • Synthesize foundation performance measurements from a range of test data reported in the literature


Geotechnical design overview (EC7); soil parameters and correlations. Shallow foundations: H V M loading; bearing capacity (drained and undrained). V -H and M-V interactions and fully combined loading; settlement. Numerical/constitutive modelling – c/w tutorials. Deep foundations (displacement and non-displacement): foundation selection, lateral loading; settlement seminar/workshop CPT interpretation and pile design. Site investigation techniques; soil parameter determination; foundation testing methods; field monitoring and instrumentation case studies.

Special Features

A workshop on pile foundations by an internationally leading expert.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods lectures, supported by example problems; workshop by a leading practitioner; design-based coursework tutorial and exercises. Private Study The lectures and example problems will enable students to design a range of foundation types for SLS and ULS within a modern soil mechanics framework.

Independent Study123
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Randolph, M.F. and Gouvernec, S. (2011) (2011). Offshore geotechnical engineering.. 

Tomlinson, M J (2001). (2001). Foundation design and construction. 

Powrie, W (2004) (2004). Soil mechanics: concepts and applications. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 50%
Examination  (120 minutes) 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 50%
Examination  (120 minutes) 50%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Share this module Share this on Facebook Share this on Google+ Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.