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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

CIVE5161M Energy Geotechnics

15 creditsClass Size: 40

Module manager: Dr F. Loveridge

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module will enable students to engage directly in the developing field of energy geotechnics. It will include both fundamental knowledge and practical applications. Topics include (i) ground as a source of energy; (ii) ground as an energy storage medium and (iii) structures for ground energy. These topics will be supported by cross cutting themes of (i) coupled processes, including thermo-hydraulic couplings and thermo-mechanical couplings, and (ii) site investigation requirements for energy geotechnics.


This module aims to equip students with state-of-the-art knowledge related to the developing field of energy geotechnics.

Learning outcomes
Upon completion of the module students will have:
1. A comprehensive knowledge and understanding of scientific principles and methodology of ground as a source of energy, an energy store and a support for energy structures during construction and in service;
2. Knowledge and understanding of mathematical methods necessary to underpin their education in energy geotechnics
3. An ability to apply and integrate knowledge and understanding of other engineering disciplines to support study of energy geotechnics
4. An ability to identify, classify and describe the performance of energy systems through the use of analytical methods and modelling techniques.
5. An understanding of, and the ability to apply, an integrated or systems approach to solving complex problems related to energy geotechnics.
6. Ability to extract and evaluate pertinent data and to apply engineering analysis techniques in the solution of unfamiliar problems in energy geotechnics
7. An ability to investigate and define a problem, identifying any constraints including environmental and sustainability limitations; ethical, health, safety, security and risk issues.
8. Ability both to apply appropriate engineering analysis methods for solving complex geotechnical problems and to assess their limitations
9. Knowledge, understanding and skills to work with information that may be incomplete or uncertain, quantify the effect of this on the design
10. adjusting where appropriate
11. Apply advanced problem-solving skills, technical knowledge and understanding, to establish rigorous and creative solutions for structures related to energy geotechnics
12. Ability to work with technical uncertainty.
13. Monitor and adjust a personal programme of work on an on-going basis

This module contributes to the AHEP3 learning outcomes LOi, LOii, LOiii, LOiv, LOxv, LOxx, LOxxi

Skills outcomes
An ability to design ground energy systems
An ability to understand the science that underpins ground energy systems
An ability to design a ground investigation for energy schemes


Fundamental processes in energy geotechnics, the nature of the energy challenge, wind turbine foundations, ground thermal energy storage, nuclear waste disposal, carbon capture and storage, energy geo-storage, site investigation for energy geotechnics.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
On-line Learning12.002.00
Group learning15.005.00
Private study hours111.00
Total Contact hours39.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

The assignment for this module is to assess a case study of a ground energy project including the necessary ground investigation, the design of the energy scheme and the prediction of the output from the scheme. The assignment will be carried out in two parts, the first formative part will focus on the characteristics of the scheme to identify the assumptions and alternative schemes. The second, summative part will be a design report outlining the scheme. This will require extensive critical background reading on the specific case study as well as the general technical literature.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress is monitored through debate, tutorial sessions and on line assessment. The coursework includes a major formative exercise to ensure that students have undertaken enough research to complete the design project.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
ReportAn assessment of a ground energy project50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc) 2 hr 00 mins50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 28/04/2023 14:52:55


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