Module Spotlight: Geotechnical Engineering – OurWarwick

Module Spotlight: Geotechnical Engineering

As I mentioned in last week’s post, one of the modules this year is Geotechnical Engineering. They do change the modules around a bit this year, so don’t take what I’m going through as gospel – the field trip has run for about thirdy years so far, though, so it’s well-established by now! This module is double the size of my regular modules and contains, in no particular order, lectures on rocks, soils, foundations, and anything else you might find in the ground. The lectures are a constant presence on my timetable throughout the autumn and spring terms, and are shared by four lecturers, each teaching their own area. Some unis put geotechnics in first year but not Warwick; they’ve put it off for two years, but there’s no escaping it now!

The current structure of the module has only half the marks coming from the final exam, with the other half based on fieldwork. The first part, which I submitted just shy of the deadline last night, was all about drawing and interpreting geological maps, which brought back some memories of A Level geography. I’d left it a bit late due to the dissertation feasibility report also being due in this week, but between me and my trusty set-square I managed to get it done to what I hope is a reasonable standard!

The rest of my coursework will be based on the field trip, which I have next week. What I’m most looking forward to this year is spending a few days in Wales climbing down quarries and staring at rocks, as part of a three-day included-in-the-course-fees visit. Upon our return we’re expected to produce some geological reports, which will apparently be assessed according to their professional standard – ooer. I looked over a few such reports as part of my internship, but I’m not sure that fully qualifies me to write one! I’m expecting this will be a pretty decent trip, though – it’s busy weeks either side, so some time away from it all will be gratefully received. Friends in the year above tell me it’s a good few days with excellent food – what more can a student ask for? Check back next week for some lovely photographs of me with some rocks.

Until next time,

Nathan L

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