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School of Chemical and Environmental Engineering

Now offering two distinct diplomas: Chemical Engineering and Environmental Engineering

Soil Mechanics and Foundations


SchoolEnvironmental Engineering
Course LevelUndergraduate
Course IDENVE 264Semester4th
Course CategoryRequired
Course ModulesInstruction Hours per WeekECTS
Lectures and Tutorials4
Th=2, E=2, L=0
Course Type Scientific area
Instruction/Exam LanguageGreek
The course is offered to Erasmus studentsNo
Course URLhttps//  (in Greek)



Learning Outcomes

The course introduces the students in the basic concepts of soil mechanics and physical and mechanical characteristics of soils. It also provides a description of the basic types of foundations, with emphasis on surface foundations. In addition, it includes a general overview of  Eurocode 7 and basic themes and applications in the field of Geotechnical Engineering.

The main objective of the course is to educate students in understanding soil conditions and soil characteristics, so that they can be able to select the most appropriate way of dealing with related problems.

Upon successful completion of the course, the student will be able to:

  • Be familiar with the basic concepts of Soil Mechanics and their application to geotechnical engineering problems (settling, retaining systems, foundations, etc).
  • Understand the mechanical behavior of soils.
  • Calculate the geostatic stresses and the distribution of additional stresses in the soil layers by external loads.
  • Calculate deformations and sediments in coherent and incoherent soils, taking into account the potential impact of water.
  • Be aware of the basic principles of Eurocode 7.
  • Analyze and address the basic issues and problems of geotechnical engineering in a simple and effective way.
General Competencies/Skills
  • Search, analyze and synthesize data and information, using the necessary technologies
  • Adaptation to new circumstances and challenges
  • Decision making
  • Work autonomously
  • Work in teams
  • Design and Manage Projects
  • Advanced, free, creative and causative thinking


Soil Mechanics:

  1. Nature and properties of soils.
  2. Soil classification systems. Particle size distribution. Atterberg limits.
  3. Role of water in the mechanical behavior of soils.
  4. Soil behavior under saturated and unsaturated conditions.
  5. Consolidation and settlements.
  6. Mechanical behavior of soils. Stresses in soils. Deformation of soils.
  7. Shear strength of soils. Failure criteria. Mohr-Coulomb theory.
  8. Lateral soil pressures and retaining systems. Methods for calculating active and passive pressures. Slope stability. Landslides.


  1. Applications in structures and infrastructure.
  2. Soil investigation and characterization.
  3. Laboratory and in situ tests.
  4. Soil Improvement. Condensation.
  5. Shallow foundations. Morphology of shallow foundations.
  6. Soil strength and settlements. Bearing capacity of shallow foundations. Calculation of load capacity. Deep foundations & excavations. Piles & Shafts.
  7. Eurocode 7 design principles for reinforced concrete foundations. Limit states and safety factors.


Lecture MethodDirect (face to face)

Use of Information and Communication Technology

  • Extensive use of Information & Communication Technology in teaching procedure
  • Power point presentations
  • E-class support (for teaching and students communication)
  • Specialized software.
Instruction OrganisationActivityWorkload per Semester
- Lectures -  Theory26
- Lectures – Methodology26
- Projects (individual reports)30
- Autonomous study43
Course Total125

Assessment Method

Ι. Written final examination (70%): Solution of characteristic problems related to lesson themes.

ΙΙ. Individual Projects (30%).


Textbooks (Eudoxus):

  • Soil mechanics: Principles and applications, G. Barnes. (Eudoxus code: 33153307)
  • Elements of soil mechanics, 2nd Edition, M. Kavvathas (Eudoxus code: 59362766)

Recommended reading:



Course Instructor:Professor Y. Tsompanakis (Faculty - EnvEng)
Lectures:Professor Y. Tsompanakis (Faculty - EnvEng)
Tutorial exercises:I. Koutsogiannaki (LTS - EnvEng)
Laboratory Exercises: