Course Number:ENGRG 7280
Course Name:Geosynthetics Engineering (Online)
Course Description:This course is designed to fully prepare a student with only an introductory course in soil mechanics to recognize, design, and analyze the geosynthetic alternatives to traditional civil engineering project features such as: subsurface drainage systems; beddings and filters for erosion control systems; erosion control systems; temporary runoff and sediment control; roadways and pavement systems; embankments on soft foundations; stability of steep slopes; retaining walls and abutments; and landfill final cover and base liner systems. P: CIVILENG 3730 Geotechnical Engineering I (a course in soil mechanics) and CIVILENG 3300 Fluid Mechanics, or equivalents of both of these courses.
Program:Masters of Science in Engineering
Registration Instructions

NOTE: The information below is representative of the course and is subject to change. The specific details of the course will be available in the Desire2Learn course instance for the course in which a student registers.

Additional Information

Learning Outcomes
Course Outcomes:
    • Identify and evaluate geosynthetics for use in civil engineering projects.
    • Design and analyze MSE walls.
    • Design and analyze reinforced soil structures.
    • Design geosynthetic filters and drainage systems.
    • Design geosynthetics for use in permanent erosion control systems.
    • Design roadways and pavements using geosynthetics.
    • Design geosynthetics for use in embankments on soft foundations. 
    • Design silt fences. 

Unit Descriptions
Unit 1: Introduction, Orientation, and Overview
Unit 1 This unit will familiarize you with the course and what is expected of you, the students, and me, the professor. Through Assignment 1, you will get to know each other. I will respond to any questions you might have regarding the materials you read as part of Unit 1 Lesson 1.
Unit 2: Soil Mechanics Review
The prerequisite for this course is a course in basic Soil Mechanics, including, as a minimum, a thorough understanding of the following topics: soils and rock, soil composition, classification of soils, soil compaction, flow of water in soil, effective stress, determining stresses in a soil mass, settlement and consolidation of soils, and shear strength of soils. Of particular importance in this Foundation Engineering course are the settlement and consolidation of soils topic and the shear strength of soils topic.  However, to estimate the settlement of a clay requires that you know how to determine the void ratio of the clay, the stress in the clay, and the stress increase at a point in the clay resulting from an applied load.  It is important to recognize that all the topics build on one another and that an understanding of each topic is required in Foundation Engineering.
Unit 3: Introduction to Geosynthetics
Unit 3 introduces the topic of geosynthetics. The two PowerPoints were created by the Geosynthetic Institute and narrated by Dr. Robert Koerner (author of the course text books). The PowerPoints provide an overview of the course and excellent examples of geosynthetics
Unit 4: Mechanically Stabilized Earth Walls MSE Walls
Unit 4 is focused on the design and construction of Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) retaining walls.  Geosynethics are used as reinforcement members for the retaining walls, however, this unit also presents design and construction information for metal reinforcement. The PowerPoint introduces the subject. The unit presents both Allowable Stress Design (ASD) and Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD). The unit will examine the specifications and construction of MSE walls. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation designs and constructs many MSE Walls because they are both an economical solution and time savings operations. In addition, private industry uses MSE walls to reduce real estate costs and construction grading costs.
Unit 5: Reinforced Soil Slopes
Unit 5 is focused on the design and construction of Reinforced Steep Slopes. This is similar design and construction to MSE walls, but with a flatter slope. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation does not typically design and construct many reinforced soil slopes. However, one such project was completed in 2014 in Madison Wisconsin. View the file that follows which shows a detailed example that depicts the reinforcing materials for the project as a detailed example of a reinforced soil slope construction.
Unit 6: Geosynthetic Filters
Unit 6 is focused on the design of filters. The first lesson examines soils filters and their requirements, while the second lesson examines soil/geosynthetic interaction and their requirements. This function for a geosynthetic is very common in both public projects and private projects. An example of a geosynthetic roadway drainage filter is shown in the following document.
Unit 7: Geosynthetics in Permanent Erosion Control Systems
Unit 7 is focused on the design of armor erosion control system and the support below the erosion control system. The protection of a slope near a body of water that will experience wave action is protected by an armor system (tied together precast concrete matts or large stones known as rip rap). The geosynthetic will have both a strength function and a filter function.
Unit 8: Geosynthetics in Roadways
Unit 8 is focused on the design of temporary and unpaved roads.  One of the greatest use of geosynthetics is in the construction of roadways.  Both the subgrade and subbase are two locations within the pavement structure where geosynethics can save both time, resources and money.
Unit 9: Geosynthetics Reinforced Embankments on Soft Foundations
Unit 9 is focused on the design and construction of reinforcement embankments. The geosynethic can be used to solve a difficult engineering problem of building an embankment over soft soils. The soft soils can either be removed and replaced or the embankment load can be transferred to a supportive stronger soil layer by vertical members and a platform. However, for deep layers of soft soils, these alternatives can be expensive and a more economical alternative is the use of geosynthetics.
Unit 10: Sediment Control
Unit 10 is focused on sediment controls. The use of geosynthetics as a tool for reducing the amount of sediments that are released from a construction project is an important function. Public projects and private projects have environmental requirements to reduce or eliminate the sediments that are generated during a rain event. In addition, projects that are performed in water ways must also reduce the amount of released sediment using a barrier.

Grading Criteria
Assignment Lessons Points
Assignment #1  Lesson 1.2 Homework  - 10
Assignment #2  Lesson 2.1 Homework  - 10
Assignment #3  Lesson 2.2 Homework  - 15
Assignment #4  Lesson 2.3 Homework  - 15
Assignment #5  Lesson 2.4 Homework  - 15
Assignment #6  Lesson 3.1 Homework  - 20
Assignment #7  Lesson 3.2 Homework  - 30
Assignment #8 Lesson 3.3 Homework  -  40
Assignment #9  Lesson 3.4 Homework  - 20
Assignment #10  Lesson 3.5 Homework  - 30
Assignment #11  Lesson 4.1 Homework  - 10
Assignment #12  Lesson 4.2 Homework  - 40
Assignment #13  Lesson 4.3 Homework  - 40
Assignment #14 Lesson 4.4 Homework  - 20
Assignment #15  Lesson 4.5 Homework  - 50
Assignment #16  Lesson 4.6 Homework  - 10
Assignment #17  Lesson 4.7 Homework  - 10
Assignment #18  Lesson 5.1 Homework  - 10
Assignment #19  Lesson 5.2 Homework  - 20
Assignment #20  Lesson 5.3 Homework  - 10
Assignment #21  Lesson 6.1 Homework  - 10
Assignment #22  Lesson 6.2 Homework  - 10
Assignment #23  Lesson 6.3 Homework  - 10
Assignment #24 Lesson 7.1 Homework  -  10
Assignment #25  Lesson 7.2 Homework  - 10
Assignment #26  Lesson 8.1 Homework  - 15
Assignment #27 Lesson 8.2 Homework  -  10
Assignment #28 Lesson 8.3 Homework  -  10
Assignment #29 Lesson 9.1 Homework  - 15
Assignment #30  Lesson 9.2 Homework - 15
Assignment #31  Lesson 10.1 Homework -20
Assignment #32  Lesson 10.2 Homework - 25
Final Final Exam   
Category Weight   
Homework - 75%
Final Exam - 25%