Geology for engineers (CGF-G)

Practical course on geology in the Netherlands and abroad

Many of the risks associated with construction projects are related to the geology. The successful delivery of such projects heavily relies on proper ground investigations and the proper management of the geological and geotechnical risks associated with ground. Ground conditions are seldom unforeseen if the site evaluation is properly done and based on the concept that the geotechnical site characteristics are the direct product of the site’s geological and geomorphological history.

In this course you will learn the importance of the total geological history for the design of, for example, piled foundations, raft foundations and/or excavations in complex geological settings. You will learn the fundamentals of geology and rock mechanics and get practical guidelines to deal with spatial variability and unforeseen ground conditions for ground- and foundation engineering applications.

This course is part of the CGF-courses of KIVI. Lecturers are specialist with a large experience in geological engineering in worldwide and Dutch context. The course is concluded with a written exam.

The importance of geology

The following topics are covered during this course:

  • The importance of the total geological history and the development of a geological model as basis for site evaluation, ground investigations and foundation engineering.
  • Rock mechanics: the similarities and differences with soil mechanics considered from an engineering’s point of view.
  • Classification of rock and rock-masses and the use of specific laboratory tests to characterise the rock properties.
  • How to approach spatial variability and ground investigations in different geological settings.
  • The participants get hands-on experience with rock testing and work out case studies.
  • Field visit in the Belgian Ardennes.

Intended for

Project managers, geotechnical engineers, civil engineers, hydraulic engineers, structural engineers, geologists, geoscientists. Engineering consultants, dredging companies, contractors, oil-gas industry, offshore industry, mining industry.

Read our interview with the course leaders and one of the past participants, as recently published in 'Vakblad Geotechniek'.


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  • Information
    Study points: 3 (Kenniseenheden Constructeursregister)
    The program will be taught in English.
  • Program

    Day 1

    • General geology   
    • Geological environments                                              
    • Surface processes and geological hazards            
    • The total geology approach                                     

    Day 2

    • General geology of The Netherlands                       
    • Shallow geology of The Netherlands       
    • Dinoloket/NLOG/BRO/AHN: models and data
    • Case study/Exercise/Game 1

    Day 3

    • Mechanics of rock and soil
    • Geological construction materials
    • Petrography and rock classification
    • Visit to Engineering Geology Lab for laboratory tests on rock and soil

    Day 4

    • Desk study, RS and geological field survey
    • Site investigations (difficult soils, rock)
    • Geophysical survey
    • Case study/Exercise/Game 2

    Day 5

    • Excavation design, slope stability analysis
    • Offshore excavation and dredging
    • Foundation design (piling in rock)
    • Tunnel design in rock masses
    • Exam explanation + example question

    Day 6

    • Geological fieldwork Belgian Ardennes
  • Reviews
    This course is assessed with a 8.4
    “Nice insight into geology, analyses, considerations and points of attention for the geotechnical design.”
    Peter Brandenburg (Van Oord Dredging and Marine Constractors)
    “Interesting course that gave me a good picture of a subject where some knowledge was still missing.”
    Cursist is werkzaam bij een bedrijf wat zich bezig houdt met geo-data en bodemonderzoek.
    “Educational, a good addition to the geotechnical knowledge I already had. Hopefully I can also use it in practice (applicability does not depend on the course itself).”
    Cursist werkzaam bij een ingenieursbureau
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