Università degli Studi di Napoli "Parthenope"

Teaching schedule

Academic year: 
Belonging course: 
Course of Master's Degree Programme on CIVIL ENGINEERING
Disciplinary sector: 
Year of study: 
First Semester
Hours of front activity: 



Course description

The course aims to provide the students the tools for geotechnical stability analysis, with special emphasis on: retaining walls, embedded retaining walls, foundations, excavations and embankments, artificial and natural slopes. The course's objective is to provide the ability to tackle with the most relevant geotechnical aspects of the project of civil engineering works, such as residential and industrial buildings, power plants, hydraulic and transportation infrastructures, underground lines.


The knowledge and skills achieved in the previous teachings of Soil Mechanics and Solid Mechanics are required.


See contents of the Course.

1. State of stress: State of stress in a homogeneous halfspace with horizontal or inclined soil surface. Coefficient of earth-pressur at rest. State of stress under active and passive limit conditions. Effect of cohesion.
2. Limit Equilibrium Method; application to the stability analysis of earth retaining walls;
3. Theorems of Limit Analysis; the upper bound and the lower bound theorems; application to the stability analysis of: natural slopes; retaining walls; shallow foundations;
4. Slip Line Method; application to the case of shallow foundations;
5. Retaining Walls; gravity walls; reinforced concrete walls;
6. Reinforced Soil Walls.
7. Embedded retaining Walls.
8. Artificial and natural slopes.
9. Classroom excercises: a) Design of a retaining walls; b) Stabilization interventions for a natural slopes;

Teaching Methods


1. Foundations and Slopes: An Introduction to Critical State Soil Mechanics. J. Atkinson. McGraw-Hill. 375 pp
2. La spinta delle terre e le opere di sostegno. Clayton CRI, Milititsky J, Woods RI (traduzione a cura di Viggiani GMB e Cecconi M). Hevelius ed., 446 pp.
3. Appunti di Opere di Sostegno. Aldo Evangelista. Appunti pubblicati dall’ex Istituto di Tecnica delle Fondazioni e Costruzioni in Terra dell’Università di Napoli Federico II.
4. Notes provided during the course.

Learning assessment

Two classroom exercises are usually expected: typically, a retaining wall and an embedded retaining wall with one or more levels of contrast, or terracing with walls support (possibly armed) of a slope in critical conditions. Verification of learning is carried out by means of the oral examination, which focuses primarily on the above project work. The student must also demonstrate that they have a good command of the topics dealt with during the course, with particular reference to the implications of such topics in practice.

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