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This workshop will present some of the new techniques acquired in: material properties, mechanisms of behaviour, methods of analysis & in the problems & effects of embankment & earth works placement. the focus will be placed on those problems that have..

Course Outline
Often conventional soil mechanics do not adequately predict the behaviour or misbehaviour of fills. However, considerable knowledge and experience on the real behaviour of real fills, has been obtained over the last decades. This knowledge expands from instrumented embankment dams to highway constructions and laboratory studies. It is important, for any civil engineer, to gain an understanding of these developments, their design and construction.   About the Program This workshop will present some of the new techniques acquired in the following areas: material properties, mechanisms of behaviour, methods of analysis and in the problems and effects of embankment and earth works placement. the focus will be placed on those problems that have significant economic impact.
  • To enable participants to design and inspect embankment and earthworks effectively
  • To fully understand the related science and engineering principles
  • To interpret test results and standards
  • To make the best choices on embankment construction and inspection methods
  • To learn the most common techniques for slope and embankment stabilization
  • To fully comprehend slope stability analyses and the signs of potential failures

This session provides the knowledge and skills needed to design, construct and maintain soil slopes and embankments. In this three-day workshop, you will obtain a comprehensive overview of the principles and techniques of design, construction and inspection of earthworks with special focus on earthen embankment. Some of the issues that will be addressed through a presentation and a discussion with an expert practitioner are site development, soil properties, estimating, excavation, placing and compacting, and the legal and environmental considerations that bear on embankment construction. There will also be an opportunity to deal with the standards and testing methods that apply to earthen embankment. It is intended to provide transportation earthwork professionals with knowledge to recognize potential problems with soil slope/embankment stability and deformation in transportation projects. Participants will develop the necessary skills to design and evaluate soil slopes and embankments and to learn about the implications of construction and inspections. This course embraces both design and construction.

Course Methods

The three day workshop consists of lectures arranged in a sequence, which minimizes the need for prior knowledge of the subject.In addition, there will be discussion periods. Problems will be illustrated by numerous case-studies. Three workshops will be conducted:

  • Slope Stability design and analyses using software: Slope-W and SLIDE
  • Seepage design and analyses using software SEEP-W
  • Settlement Analyses using software Settle3D and UNISETTL

Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Recognize potential failure modes or deformation types for soil slopes and embankments
  • Identify the potential failure modes for soil slopes and the type of analysis required to evaluate stability of the slope
  • Determine the stability of a slope using slope stability software
  • Recognize the major design consideration for embankments constructed using earth fill, rock fill, and lightweight fill
  • List the steps necessary for designing an embankment over compressible foundation soil
  • Distinguish the common causes/triggering mechanisms for landslides/slope instabilities
  • Categorize appropriate slope and embankment stabilization methods
Target Audience A critical course for geotechnical professionals, foundation designers, highway / bridge design engineers, project engineers and engineering. The target audience are bridge, geotechnical, or transportation engineers with 0 to 20 years of experience, who are responsible for the design, analysis, construction maintenance and/or remediation of soil slopes and embankments on surface transportation facilities.
The course should be applicable to field and design engineers, contractors, technicians and technologists, as well as for geotechnical engineers, who wish to know more about fill behaviour.
Special Features You will receive a comprehensive set of course notes that will serve for future use.
You will also obtain training on the following software:
  • Slope Stability Slope-W, and SLIDE with free academic version of the GeoStudio
  • Seepage analysis:  SEEP-W.
  • Settlement analyses: Settle3D and UNISETTL
Program Outline (1.8 CEUs / 18 PDHs)

Soil Engineering Revision

  • Soil mechanics for fill materials
  • Nature of soils and their best use
  • Fundamentals of soil mechanics
  • Properties of soils and aggregates
  • Tests for soils and aggregates
  • Classification of soils
  • Consolidation, drainage and pore pressures
  • Mechanisms of failure, progressive failure, contained failure
  • Stiff clay foundations
  • Soft clay foundations
  • Placement of clays and fine grained fills


  • Laboratory test procedures
  • Moisture - density relationship
  • Optimum moisture content related to soil plasticity
  • Compaction control testing
  • Modification of an unsatisfactory Compaction
  • Specifications for construction
  • Effects of water content during compaction on soil structure
  • Effects of water content during compaction on soil permeability.
  • Additional modification techniques

Compaction Control

  • Equipment
  • Moisture-density relationships
  • Field densities and construction control
  • Test pad construction

The Principle of Effective Stress

  • Principle of effective stress
  • Effective stress response in saturated soils
  • Effective stress response in partially saturated soils
  • Seepage forces

The Strength of Soils

  • Description of stresses in soils
  • Isotropic compression of soils
  • The Mohr-Coulomb failure criterion
  • Shear strength of clays
  • Shear strength of sands
  • Shear strength tests
  • Sheer strength and compressibility of granular and clay fills
  • Prediction of pore pressure
  • Establishment of design parameters
  • Problems of raising and widening clay embankments
  • Modern developments in pore pressure measurement
  • Problems of placing granular and clay fills, including bounce and rutting and its prediction

Soil Deformation

  • Description of strains in soils
  • Constitutive models
  • Stresses distribution from elastic theory
  • Elastic deformation

Settlement Analysis

  • Settlement
  • Causes of settlements
  • Consolidation and Excess Porewater Pressures
  • Allowable amounts of settlement
  • Settlement analyses problems and software demo

Water in Soils

  • Soil Water
  • Permeability
  • Capillarity
  • Seepage Theory
  • Flow Nets
  • Pore Pressures and Uplift Pressures
  • Seepage through Earth Dams
  • Seepage control in earth works


  • Underwater excavations
  • Caissons, cofferdams
  • Seepage control, seepage barriers
  • Slurry trench methods
  • Freezing, grouting
  • Open sumps
  • Cohesive and cohesionless soils
  • Wells and Well-Point systems
  • Electroosmotic dewatering systems
  • Applicability of dewatering methods
  • Seepage software computer program demonstration

Slope Stability

  • Slope instability
  • Slope failure types and causes
  • Determination of slope stability and safety
  • Groundwater effects
  • Slope stabilization techniques
  • Selection of design parameters and proper type of slope stability analysis
  • Slope stability computer program demonstration
  • Critical review of slope stability computer results
  • Analysis Theories
  • Method of slices
  • Earthquake design
  • Case studies
  • Workshop on Slope-W and Slide software

Stabilization of Fills and Soil Improvements Techniques

  • Surcharge Loading
  • Vertical Drains

Deep Compaction

  • Vibroflotation
  • Embankment Construction and Control
  • Stabilization of Fill Foundations
  • Chemical Stabilization of Fills
  • Surcharge Loading
  • Vertical Drains
  • Deep Compaction Methods

After Attending This Course You Will Be Able To:

  • Update your knowledge of the application of soil mechanics principles to earthwork design and construction.
  • Select the most technically appropriate and cost-effective earth construction system for your application
  • Examine and select appropriate material properties, parameters for design/construction of embankments
  • Prepare conceptual and basic embankment designs using appropriate design methods, factors of safety, and field verification methods
  • Evaluate and review contractor submitted designs
  • Interpret test specifications, guidelines and standards pertaining to soil compaction and fill selection
  • Optimize your choices of construction equipment and inspection methods.
  • Analyze simple slopes problems manually and using software
  • Analyze simple seepage problems manually and using software
  • Demonstrate a clear understanding of embankments design, construction and maintenance

Dr. Gamal Abdelaziz, P.Eng, MSc. has a Ph.D. in Geotechnical Engineering from Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. 
Currently he is a senior geotechnical engineer with Saga engineering and former adjunct professor at Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario. He has over 25 years of experience in geotechnical and structural engineering, foundation design, teaching, research and consulting in Canada and overseas.
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 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 , soil stabilization using PVD , highway geotechnical works and many other civil engineering projects in terms of design and construction.

Dr. Abdelaziz is a member in different professional societies such as APEGGA, PEO, CGS, CDA, TAC and ABPA. He is also a reviewer for the Canadian Geotechnical Journal.

Prerequisites & Certificates

Certificates offered

A certificate of completed Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will be granted at the end of this course. Each participant will receive a complete set of course notes and handouts that will serve as informative references.

Cancellation Policy
If you wish to withdraw from a course, you must advise us, in writing, including the official receipt. Our policies regarding refund are:

More than fifteen business days in advance: a full refund minus $50.00 administration charge.

Fifteen or less business days in advance: a transfer to another course or a credit, valid for one year, to another GIC course can be considered. Credits are transferable within your organization.

If the course has been running for more than 2 weeks, or after the course has started, an 80% credit towards another GIC course may be considered, if notice is received before the start date of the second session. After this time, no refunds or credits will be issued. If a speaker is not available due to unforeseen circumstances, another speaker of equal ability will be substituted.

GIC reserves the right to cancel or change the date or location of its events. GIC's responsibility will, under no circumstances, exceed the amount of the fee collected. GIC 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.

Refund Policy: Allow up to 30 days for refunds to be processed.

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