Geotechnical Design Project 4 ENG4188

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Engineering
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

The brief for this design project is based on foundation design for an offshore wind turbine at a real offshore wind farm site, ground conditions based on real site investigation data and various other site constraints. Students work in groups and consider different foundation designs for a given wind turbine, with the objective of developing a concept design for the foundation. The final design will optimise the pile geometry by considering the loads on the foundation, load carrying capacity, global and local stability and pile deflections/stiffness in the ULS, SLS and FLS.


One afternoon per week

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory Entry Requirements

Knowledge in the course content of Soil Mechanics 2, Geotechnical Engineering 3 and Geotechnical Engineering 4

Recommended Entry Requirements


Excluded Courses



The student must take Geotechnical Engineering 4 in Semester 1.


85% Report

15% Project Output: Questions and answers at the end of the project

Course Aims

The aims of this course are to:

■ encourage students to apply their knowledge of geotechnical engineering (Soil Mechanics 2, Geotechnical Engineering 3 and Geotechnical Engineering 4) to a challenging design brief based on a real-life project;

■ reinforce good design practice, engaging with design codes and relevant literature and considering health, safety and sustainability.

■ develop a deeper understanding of soil behaviour and foundation design through group work and discussion;

■ develop the students' problem solving, analysis and critical appraisal skills;

■ enhance the students' written presentation skills.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of the course students will be able to:

■ interpret ground investigation information to establish a ground model and characteristic values for relevant soil parameters;

■ research and assess pile foundation types and their design, and report on their suitability for this project;

■ apply design solutions and analysis techniques learned in other courses to an open-ended geotechnical design problem, minimising the carbon footprint of the materials employed;

■ set out design calculations in a logical order, highlighting all relevant assumptions used in the calculations;

■ present a clear, well argued and concise design proposal for the project, in writing;

■ work constructively in a group situation and make a clearly identifiable contribution to the work of the group.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components of the course's summative assessment.


Students must attend at least 75% of the timetabled classes of the course.


Note that these are minimum requirements: good students will achieve far higher participation/submission rates. Any student who misses an assessment or a significant number of classes because of illness or other good cause should report this by completing a MyCampus absence report.