Infrastrutures and other works


Learning fundamental concepts related to geotechnical works of railways, highways, waste landfills and foundation of buildings, bridges and related structures, particularly regarding the management of geotechnical studies, geotechnical modeling of ground behaviour, types of treatments frequently used, construction methods and technical support on site.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Ana Paula Fernandes da Silva


Weekly - 4

Total - 67

Teaching language



The students must attend at least to one third of the classes, except if they are enrolled under a special status.


Anon. Guia de cimentaciones en obras de carreteras. Ministerio de Fomento, 3 ed, D.G. Carreteras, 2009.

Caicedo, B. Geotechnics of roads: Fundamentals. London:  CRC Press/Balkema, 2019.

Li, D., Hyslip, J., Sussmann, T.  & Chrismer, S. Railway geotechnics.  Boca Raton: CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, 2016.

NP EN1997-1:2010 - Eurocódigo 7: Projecto geotécnico, Parte 1. IPQ, Monte de Caparica.

UIC 719:2008 - Earthworks and track-bed layers for railway lines. International Union of Railways, Paris.

VALLEJO, L. I. González de, & FERRER, M. (2011) - Geological Engineering. CRC Press Balkema Group, 678 pp.

Teaching method

The teaching, supported in the use of multimedia projections and e-learning methods (Moodle program), embrace theoretical and practical lessons, namely with critical review of geotechnical projects and the execution of site investigation plans and geotechnical zoning, complemented by seminaries (at least four) with specialists on the geotechnical works addressed.

The evaluation will have a continuous component and includes two tests - T (practical and theoretical) and an individual work (W), a thematic study on a subject taught. Final grade: 0,8.(T1+T2) + 0, 2.(W) = 20 values

Evaluation method

The evaluation will have a continuous component and includes two tests - T (practical and theoretical) and three team assignments (W) on foundations, landfills, and geotechnical zoning of road cuts.

Final grade:  0,8.(T1+T2) + 0, 2.(W) = 20 values

The frequency will be guaranteed in the case of a positive grade of the three assignementsThe frequency of this unit will be valid for the corresponding academic year. In case of failure of approving the written tests/examit will be valid too for the following academic year.

Subject matter

Transport infrastructures: history; asset management of highways and railways; alignment requirements, alternatives. Geotechnical problems with cuts and embankments. Materials for construction in the scope of sustainable development: acceptance criteria. Crossing alluvial valleys; hypothesis. Highways pavements and railway platforms. Borrow areas and aggregates exploration. Bridges and other structures. Site investigation (SI) and costs. Environmental impact assessment (EIA). Construction phase: equipment used and quality control/assurance. Harbors and SI.

Waste landfills. Types and design requirements; basal and closure lining systems. Geotechnical studies and materials. Reference to geotechnical studies for water and wastewater treatment stations and cemeteries. EIA.

SI for the foundation of buildings and other structures. Shallow and deep foundations; selection. Ultimate strength design and settlement evolution. Foundation in expansive soils and in rocks. SI depths and costs.


Programs where the course is taught: