Note: This unit version is currently under review and is subject to change!

CIVL6450: Analysis and Design of Pile Foundations (2019 - Semester 1)

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Unit: CIVL6450: Analysis and Design of Pile Foundations (6 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Postgraduate
Faculty/School: Civil Engineering
Unit Coordinator/s: Prof Airey, David
Session options: Semester 1
Versions for this Unit:
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: None.
Prohibitions: CIVL5450.
Brief Handbook Description: Objectives: To develop an understanding of the modern principles of design of pile foundations and the application of those principles to practice.

Outcomes: Students should gain an advanced understanding of the types of pile foundations used in practice, and the procedures for analysis of pile foundations under various types of loading, and gain experience in carrying out pile design for real geotechnical profiles.

Syllabus summary: Types of piles and their uses, effects of pile installation, axial capacity of piles and pile groups, settlement of pile foundations, ultimate lateral capacity, lateral deformations, analysis of pile groups subjected to general loading conditions, piled raft foundations, piles subjected to ground movements, pile load testing, code provisions for pile design.
Assumed Knowledge: None.
Tutor/s: Mojtaba Nazemi
Timetable: CIVL6450 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 Lecture 3.00 1 11
2 Project Work - own time 6.00 1 13
3 Laboratory 3.00 1 2
T&L Activities: Project Work - own time: Students will be expected to spend at least 6 hours per week completing assignments, outside of scheduled lectures.

Laboratory: Computer laboratory work will take one period in the semester of 3 hours, Experimental model pile tests will be conducted during one of the 3 hour sessions

Learning outcomes are the key abilities and knowledge that will be assessed in this unit. They are listed according to the course goal supported by each. See Assessment Tab for details how each outcome is assessed.

(6) Communication and Inquiry/ Research (Level 2)
1. Writing reports for design assignments and presenting them in a a professional manner.
(4) Design (Level 4)
2. Students will learn how design of piles and pile groups to current professional standards, and be able to report their work accordingly.
(3) Problem Solving and Inventiveness (Level 4)
3. Students should become competent in applying the theories that they were given in class to design problems involving piles.
(2) Engineering/ IT Specialisation (Level 4)
4. It is expected that students will be able to use the Internet to seek information, to be able to use the software DEFPIG and to use Word and Excel in producing their reports.
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
1 Quiz 1 No 20.00 Week 6 2, 3,
2 Quiz 2 No 20.00 Week 13 2, 3,
3 DEFPIG Assignment No 20.00 Week 13 1, 3, 4,
4 Final Assignment No 40.00 Week 13 1, 2, 3, 4,
Assessment Description: Quiz 1 and 2 : 1 hour open book quiz on selected topics that have been discussed in the class.

Final Assignment: Assignment on the selected topics in the course such as :bearing capacity of piles and pile groups,the effect of excavating next to a line of piles and lateral loading of piles.

DEFPIG Assignment: Computer assignment to compute the deflection of a pile group under vertical and lateral loading using the program DEFPIG or equivalent. A report is to be written to professional standards outlining the results of the design.
Grade Type Description
Standards Based Assessment Final grades in this unit are awarded at levels of HD for High Distinction, DI (previously D) for Distinction, CR for Credit, PS (previously P) for Pass and FA (previously F) for Fail as defined by University of Sydney Assessment Policy. Details of the Assessment Policy are available on the Policies website at . Standards for grades in individual assessment tasks and the summative method for obtaining a final mark in the unit will be set out in a marking guide supplied by the unit coordinator.
Policies & Procedures: See the policies page of the faculty website at for information regarding university policies and local provisions and procedures within the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies.
Prescribed Text/s: Note: Students are expected to have a personal copy of all books listed.
  • Pile Foundations
Recommended Reference/s: Note: References are provided for guidance purposes only. Students are advised to consult these books in the university library. Purchase is not required.
  • Soil Mechanics Data Sheets

Note that the "Weeks" referred to in this Schedule are those of the official university semester calendar

Week Description
Week 1 Lecture: Introduction : Uses of piles and pile types
Week 2 Lecture/Tutorial: Ultimate vertical load capacity : Single pile and pile group
Week 3 Lecture/Tutorial: Ultimate lateral load capacity : Single pile and pile group
Week 4 Lecture/Tutorial: Vertical displacement of pile and pile groups
Week 5 Lecture/Tutorial: Lateral displacement of pile and pile groups
Week 6 Lecture: Pile numerical analysis
Assessment Due: Quiz 1
Week 7 Lecture: Non-linear pile behaviour
Week 8 Lab: Computer exercise - pile numerical analysis
Week 9 Lecture: Pile-soil interaction: Effect of soil movement on piles
Week 10 Lecture: Dynamic loading of piles
Week 11 Lab: Experimental assessment of pile performance
Week 12 Lecture: Piled raft foundations
Week 13 Lecture: Pile load testing
Assessment Due: Quiz 2
Assessment Due: DEFPIG Assignment
Assessment Due: Final Assignment

Course Relations

The following is a list of courses which have added this Unit to their structure.

Course Year(s) Offered
Master of Professional Engineering (Accelerated) (Geomechanical) 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Geomechanical) 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Master of Engineering 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Accelerated) (Civil) 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Civil) 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Fluids) 2016
Master of Professional Engineering (Structural) 2016

Course Goals

This unit contributes to the achievement of the following course goals:

Attribute Practiced Assessed
(5) Interdisciplinary, Inclusiveness, Influence (Level 4) No 0%
(6) Communication and Inquiry/ Research (Level 2) No 16.67%
(4) Design (Level 4) No 30%
(3) Problem Solving and Inventiveness (Level 4) No 36.67%
(2) Engineering/ IT Specialisation (Level 4) No 16.67%
(1) Maths/ Science Methods and Tools (Level 4) No 0%

These goals are selected from Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018 which defines overall goals for courses where this unit is primarily offered. See Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018 for details of the attributes and levels to be developed in the course as a whole. Percentage figures alongside each course goal provide a rough indication of their relative weighting in assessment for this unit. Note that not all goals are necessarily part of assessment. Some may be more about practice activity. See Learning outcomes for details of what is assessed in relation to each goal and Assessment for details of how the outcome is assessed. See Attributes for details of practice provided for each goal.