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In this intensive three-day seminar, you will obtain a comprehensive overview of principles and techniques on design and construction of earthworks.

Course Outline
After participating in this course, you will be able to:

€¢ Apply the updated knowledge of soil mechanics principles to earthwork design and construction;
€¢ Expand your understanding of environmental considerations in earthworks
€¢ Interpret geotechnical reports, environmental assessments, specifications, guidelines and standards pertaining to the design
   and construction of earthworks.
€¢ Optimize your choices of construction technology, equipment and procedure.


In this intensive three-day seminar, you will obtain a comprehensive overview of principles and techniques on design and construction of earthworks. You will learn how to address these issues through presentations, hands-on exercises and discussion with an expert practitioner.  Specific topics include soil characterization, interpretation of soil reports, construction and quality control of earth works, dewatering of fine grained geo-materials (mine tailings and soft clays) and excavation in soil. Case studies will be used to help you achieve the learning objectives.


€¢ To review the fundamental concepts of soil mechanics that are essential for the design and construction of earthworks
€¢ To interpret geotechnical investigation reports
€¢ To understand key components in design and construction of earthworks
€¢ To study the impact of groundwater to earthworks and related geotechnical and environmental issues
€¢ To understand the concept of approaches of dewatering of fine-grained geo-materials, such as mine tailings and soft clays

Who Should Attend

Geotechnical engineers and geologists, technicians and technologists, contractors, site supervisors, municipal engineers, owners, developers, engineering and architectural consultants, environmental engineers and scientists, and other individuals involved in project management,  design and construction of earthworks and foundations.

Special Feature

This course includes the textbook Soils in Construction, 5th Ed, Schroeder et al. Prentice Hall. 2004.

Program Outline

Day I

8:00      Registration and Coffee

8:20      Welcome, Introduction, Course Preview, Learning Outcomes and Assessment Method

8:30      Subsurface Investigation and Soil Characterisation
            a) Basic soil groups
            b) Phase relations
            c) Soil grain size distribution curves based on sieve and hydrometer analyses
            d) Soil Atterberg limits (PL, LL and PI)
            e) Soil classification using Unified Soil Classification System (USCS)

10:00    Refreshments and Networking

10:15    Sampling and Monitoring
            f) In-situ soil sampling and groundwater monitoring methods
            g) Interpretation of subsurface investigation reports
            h) Case study 1.  Leaning Tower of Pisa.

12:00    Lunch

1:15      Design and Control of Compacted Earth Works
            a) Review of theory:  shear strength, compressibility and permeability (hydraulic conductivity) of soils
            b) Objectives and engineering applications of soil compaction
            c) Compaction equipment 
            d) Theoretical and experimental compaction curves
            e) Optimal water content and maximum dry density of a soil

3:00      Refreshments and Networking

3:15      Compaction Quality
            f) Field measurement and quality control criteria for compaction works
            g) Specific considerations for embankment, earth dams and contaminant barriers
            h) Case study 2. Failure of Omai Tailings Dam

4:30      Adjournment

Day II

8:30      Seepage in Soil
            a) Review of theory:  seepage flow in soil, Darcy€(TM)s law
            b) Flownet and its applications
               a. Uplift pressure, piping and blow out
               b. Seepage in contaminant barriers
               c. Stability of dams

10:00    Refreshments and Networking

10:15    Case study and exercise

12:00    Lunch
1:15      Dewatering Techniques for Fine Grained Geo-Materials

            a) Prefabricated vertical drains with surcharge
            b) Vacuum preloading consolidation

3:00      Refreshments and Networking

3:15      Dewatering Techniques for Fine Grained Geo-Materials (continued) 
            c) Electrokinetic consolidation
            d) Exercise and Case studies

4:30      Adjournment


8:30      Excavation in Soil
            a) Stability analysis for unsupported slopes
            b) Long and short term drainage conditions

10:00    Refreshments and Networking

10:15    Earth Pressure Analysis
            c) Lateral earth pressure analysis
            d) Support to shallow and deep excavations

12:00    Lunch
1:15      Case study and Exercise

3:00      Refreshments and Networking

3:20      Questions and Answers €" Feedback to Participants on Achievement of Learning Outcomes

4:00      Concluding Remarks and Final Adjournment


Julie Shang

Julie Q. Shang, PhD. P.Eng. is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering  with  the University of Western Ontario.  She has over 20 years of experience in research, teaching and engineering consulting. She has extensive collaborations with academics and industries worldwide and has received research grants from the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Ontario Centres of Excellence and other funding agencies.  Dr. Shang has offered short courses, research seminars and invited presentations on various topics related to the frontier research in geotechnical and Geoenvironmental engineering in Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Italy, China, Netherlands and other countries.  Dr. Shang is a present member of Canadian Geotechnical Society, American Society of Civil Engineers, and American Society of Electrophoresis, and has served as an Associate Editor of the Canadian Geotechnical Journal and an Editorial Board Member of the Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, ASCE in the past.

Prerequisites & Certificates

Certificates offered

1.8 CEUs / 18 PDHs

Cancellation Policy
To withdraw from a course, you must send a request, in writing, with the official receipt to our office. Fifteen or more business days in advance: full refund less $50.00 administration charge. Five to fifteen business days in advance: non-refundable credit of equal value for any future EPIC seminar within one year. Credits are transferable within your organization. In case of an unexpected event occurring after this time, you may send someone else to take your place without any additional cost.
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Here are some reviews of the training vendor.
The course was very well presented and the course instructor was absolutely amazing.
Reviewed by 2013
Our instructor, Stephen Lamming, was outstanding and a true expert in his field. He was able to complement the technical air monitoring information with practical real life examples which was highly beneficial. He is an excellent communicator and was highly interactive with the course attendees. This course was recommended to me because Stephen Lamming does an outstanding job. I was very impressed with this course and have subsequently recommended it to my colleagues.
Reviewed by 2012
Would have liked more interactive problem solving.
Reviewed by 2011

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