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Soil Mechanics Through Project-Based Learning

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Soil Mechanics Through Project-Based Learning

Ivan Gratchev

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The currently available soil mechanics textbooks explain theory and show some practical applications through solving abstract geotechnical problems. Unfortunately, they do not engage students in the learning process as students do not “experience” what they study. This book employs a more engaging project-based approach to learning, which partially simulates what practitioners do in real life. It focuses on practical aspects of soil mechanics and makes the subject “come alive” through introducing real world geotechnical problems that the reader will be required to solve. This book appeals to the new generations of students who would like to have a better idea of what to expect in their employment future.

This book covers all significant topics in soil mechanics and slope stability analysis. Each section is followed by several review questions that will reinforce the reader’s knowledge and make the learning process more engaging. A few typical problems are also discussed at the end of chapters to help the reader develop problem-solving skills. Once the reader has sufficient knowledge of soil properties and mechanics, they will be offered to undertake a project-based assignment to scaffold their learning. The assignment consists of real field and laboratory data including boreholes and test results so that the reader can experience what geotechnical engineering practice is like, identify with it personally, and integrate it into their own knowledge base. In addition, some problems include open-ended questions, which will encourage the reader to exercise their judgement and develop practical skills. To foster the learning process, solutions to all questions are provided to ensure timely feedback.

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