Distance - Soils Engineering For Practical Applications (1.2 CEUs)

  • Looking for professional development but do not have the time to take off from work?

  • Looking for refresher course on specific engineering topics and cannot find an intensive course to serve your needs?

  • This may be your ideal Professional Development course!

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This course is approximately 3 weeks in duration.

Learning Method:

  • The PDDP program is more of a self-guided learning style.

  • You are required to read the notes and materials given, complete the follow-up assignments on your own, send in your questions prior to your 1 hour webinar meeting (if required) and be involved in live discussion via the internet.

  • Once you have completed the course, you will receive a certificate of completion

Course Description:

The Soils Engineering for Practical Applications Workshop is a basic geotechnical course which will provide practical knowledge for both generalists and those needs to upgrade their knowledge in geotechnical design field. Each theoretical concept presented will be linked to practical applications in the geotechnical engineering area.

The purpose of this workshop is to familiarize participants with the application of basic soil mechanics principles to the design and analysis of simple geotechnical structures including: earth works , bearing capacity of shallow foundations, soil retaining structures and slope stability. In addition the theory of consolidation and practice of site or ground investigation will be discussed.

The course objective is to impart to the participants the necessary knowledge and skills to determine the minimum level of geotechnical effort needed on an engineering project and /or how to deal with geotechnical information/personnel on a given project.

The participants will develop knowledge and appreciation of geotechnical activities in all project phases and understanding of different soils and how they behave.

No prior knowledge of the subject is required; the course content follows a simple starting level into advanced level that will be built step by step in class. The concepts presented in each lesson are concise and specifically directed at a particular practical operation in the geotechnical design process.

Recommendations are presented on how to efficiently layout borings, how to minimize approach embankment settlement, and how to transmit design information properly to construction. Basic examples are included in several lessons for hands-on knowledge.

The PDDP Distance Education program works as follows:

  • Once you register for this course, you will be sent a login username and password for our online distance website.

  • You will receive the course notes in hard copy through the online website, you will receive a set of notes each week covering the course material.

  • A one hour video-conference session will be conducted by your instructor each week (if required). The objective of this session is to assist in solving the assignments, as well as answer student questions that should be sent to instructor early enough prior to the meeting time. In addition with being able to communicate with the instructor, you will also be able to communicate with other students in the same class and watch their questions being answered as well. (A high speed internet connection is strongly recommended for this feature).

  • Each set of exercises can be completed and submitted by the indicated date and your completed exercise will be marked online and and returned by your instructor.

  • To gain the most from your course, it is highly recommended that you participate fully in all discussions and exercises. Please remember that each course has a form of quiz or exercise at the end to test your understanding of the material. You will be informed of these dates when you receive the course schedule.

*Course commencement date is subject to instructor availability.

Dr. Gamal Abdel Aziz

Dr. Gamal Abdelaziz, P.Eng, MSc. has a Ph.D. in Geotechnical Engineering from Concordia University, Montreal, Canada.

Dr. Abdelaziz has served as a senior geotechnical engineer at DST Consulting engineers, Sarafinchin Consulting engineers, Trow Consulting and EBA engineering. Currently he is the managing director of SAGA Engineering, Edmonton, AB, Canada. 

Dr. Abdelaziz has over 32 years of experience in geotechnical and structural engineering, foundation design, teaching, research and consulting in Canada and overseas.

Dr. Gamal has designed and delivered over one hundred geotechnical engineering workshops which are very well received by practitioners engineers in Canada and globally.

Currently he is a senior geotechnical engineer with SAGA Engineering, Edmonton, Alberta. His duties include revision of geotechnical design, including slope stability, foundation and machine foundation design, soil investigation, design of cuts and earthfills, evaluation of stability of existing slopes, slope reinforcement using geotextiles, geogrids, soil nails, base reinforcement to support earthfills on soft subgrade soils, Erosion protection using geocells matting, rip rap, stabilization of unstable slopes, evaluation of soil bearing capacity to support footing foundations, Settlement studies, deep foundations including driven piles, auger injected (CFA) piles, additional support to existing foundations by underpinning utilizing concrete panels, grouting, micropiles, evaluation of earth pressures on retaining walls, security of excavation base, tieback support, etc.

Dr. Abdelaziz is a former adjunct professor at University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada, visiting professor at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada and part time professor at Seneca College, Toronto, Canada.

Dr. Abdelaziz is specialized in numerical modeling for solving sophisticated geotechnical engineering problems with respect to pile foundation and the linear and nonlinear analysis of soil-structure interaction. He designed charts to predict pressures acting on tunnels, and developed an analytical model for pile bearing capacity prediction.

Dr. Abdelaziz authored a number of technical papers and delivered numerous internal and external workshops on various geotechnical and Municipal engineering topics. Dr. Abdelaziz has been involved in a number of projects in Canada and overseas, such as tunneling, silos, buildings, retaining structures, siphons, irrigation networks and many other civil engineering projects in terms of design and construction.

  • Introduction to the Soils Engineering Workshop
  • General Overview of the Geotechnical Input to Engineering Projects


  • Purpose of soil exploration
  • Subsurface exploration program
  • Exploratory borings in the field
  • Procedures for sampling soil
  • Observation of water tables
  • Vane shear test
  • Cone penetration test
  • Preparation of boring logs
  • Geophysical exploration
  • Subsoil exploration report
  • Interpretation of soil parameters for foundation design
  • Shallow foundation types and foundation level selection

Hands-on student exercise problems begin - bring calculators

  • Introduction to Soil Testing
  • Review Foundation Design Objectives
  • Discuss Processing of Soil Samples in Lab
  • Visual Soil Description System
  • Mock Lab Demonstration of Test Methods
  • Discussion of Lab Exercise
  • Selection of Soil Design Parameters

Basic characteristics of soils

  • Identify basic soil groups
  • Measure grain size distribution
  • Measure soil Atterberg limits (PL, LL and PI)
  • Classify soils based on the Unified Soil Classification System (USCS)
  • Calculate soil properties using phase relations
  • Describe the principles of basic field soil sampling methods

Soil Compaction

  • Perform compaction tests
  • Draw theoretical and experimental compaction curves
  • Calculate the optimal water content and maximum dry density of a soil
  • Describe typical engineering applications of soil compaction
  • A One-Point Moisture-Density Relations Test for Soils
  • How to empirically develop the optimum moisture contents and maximum dry density for clayey soils


  • Describe the concepts of the soil water and pore water pressure Use Darcy’s law to calculate the steady-state 1D flow Measure hydraulic conductivity and describe typical hydraulic conductivities of gravel, sand and clay soils Calculate the basal stability of excavations in soil Draw flow-nets under steady-state 2D flow conditions and use them for engineering applications, including (1) calculate the flow velocity in isotropic and anisotropic soils, (2) calculate the pore water pressure at any location in soil and (3) calculate the uplifting force due to seepage.

Pore pressure, effective stress and capillarity

  • Calculate the effective stress in soil Calculate the capillarity rise and recognize its influence on soil behaviour in engineering practice Describe the impact of frost action and identify frost susceptible soils.

Stresses and displacements

  • Describe the soil stress-strain relationship Calculate the stress distribution in soil due to surface loading based on the elastic theory Calculate the stress distribution in soil due to surface loading based on the empirical method Calculate the soil displacement due to surface loading based on the elastic theory Describe the relationship between horizontal and vertical stresses in soil and calculate the horizontal stress in soil knowing the vertical stress

Settlement and consolidation

  • Describe the components of soil settlement
  • Describe the soil compressibility
  • Calculate immediate settlement of soil
  • Perform consolidation tests
  • Calculate the preconsolidation pressure, compressibility, coefficient of consolidation and stiffness of soils from consolidation test data
  • Perform design calculation for the final settlement of soils
  • Describe Terzaghi’s one-dimensional consolidation theory, including assumptions made during the derivation
  • Calculate the degree of consolidation and degree of settlement of clay soils using analytical and finite difference solutions
  • Describe the concept of secondary consolidation
  • Describe the design implications of soil settlement.

Shear Strength of Soils.

  • Define the soil shear strength for short and long term conditions
  • Use Mohr-Coulomb failure criterion to define failure in soil
  • Describe the shear strengths of sand and clay
  • Describe the peak and residual shear strengths of soils
  • Measure the shear strength of sands and clays in lab and in-situ
  • Describe the design implications of the soil shear strength.

Slope stability

  • Define the slope stability and factor of safety of slopes
  • Calculate the factor of safety of infinite slopes for long and short term analyses
  • Calculate the factor of safety for planar failure surfaces
  • Conduct short-term slope stability analysis using the stability chart
  • Describe the method of slices to calculate the factor of safety of earth slopes
  • Describe principles and procedures of using computer software for slope stability analysis
  • Describe the implications of slope stability with respect to the design of soil slopes.

Retaining Structures

  • Forces on Retaining Structures
  • Stability of Walls and Sheet Piles
  • Allowable Bearing Capacity
  • Tilting and overturning

Ultimate Bearing Capacity of Shallow Foundations

  • Introduction
  • General bearing capacity Theory
  • Effect of Water Table on Bearing Capacity
  • Bearing Capacity from SPT and CPT Testing
  • Bearing Capacity of Footings on Slopes
  • Safety Factors in Foundation Design and Allowable Bearing Capacity
  • Student Exercise - Bearing Capacity
  • Student Exercise - Footing Settlement
  • How field data are used.
  • Alternates considered.
  • Analysis methods used.
  • Information presented in Foundation Report.


  • Introduction
  • Definition and types of collapsible soil
  • Physical parameters for identification
  • Procedure for calculation collapse settlement
  • Foundation design in soils not susceptible to wetting
  • Foundation design in soils susceptible to wetting
  • Case histories of stabilization of collapsible soil
  • Expansive soils
  • Laboratory measurement of swell
  • Classification of expansive soil based on index tests
  • Foundation considerations for expansive soils
  • Liquefaction
  • Expansive soils, heave prediction
  • Soft clays


  • Correction for compaction of soils with oversized particles
  • Field compaction
  • Compaction control for clay hydraulic barriers
  • Vibroflotation
  • Precompression
  • Sand drains
  • An example of a sand drain application
  • Prefabricated vertical drains (PVDs)
  • Lime stabilization
  • Cement stabilization
  • Fly ash stabilization
  • Stone columns
  • Sand compaction piles
  • Dynamic compaction
  • Shallow foundation bearing capacity improvement using geosynthetics

Forum and general discussion

TLNT reserves the right to cancel or change the date or location of its events. TLNT's responsibility will, under no circumstances, exceed the amount of the fee collected. TLNT is not responsible for the purchase of non-refundable travel arrangements or accommodations or the cancellation/change fees associated with cancelling them. Please call to confirm that the course is running before confirming travel arrangements and accommodations. Please click here for complete policies.

This is a Professional Development Distance Program course. These are open to a start date after you register, not scheduled for a specific date.

We could offer any of our courses at a location of your choice and customized contents according to your needs, please contact us at : inhouse@tlnt-training.com or click here  to submit an online request.

Course Materials

Each participant will receive a complete set of course notes and handouts that will serve as informative references.


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CEUs Certificate

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