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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

William S. Dershowitz
CEE 599
Seattle Campus

Special Topics in Civil and Environmental Engineering

Special topics in civil and environmental engineering offered occasionally by permanent or visiting faculty members.

Class description

Rock Mechanics I provides an introduction to the principles and practice of geomechanics for civil, environmental mining, and energy applications. The course provides an understanding of the theoretical basis for rock mechanics, including both continuum and discontinuum mechanics. The course also provides practical tools for estimation of rock properties, and for solution of engineering problems of rock deformation, rock strength, flow and transport. Applications are provided in geothermal and fossil energy, slopes, underground excavations, and contaminant transport.

Student learning goals

Principles of rock mechanics, including In situ stress analysis, Griffith Crack Theory, Hoek-Brown strength criteria, and discontinuum mechanics

Estimation of rock fracture and rock mass strength and deformation properties from site characterization activities

Fractured rock slope stability analysis

Stability and deformation of underground excavations

Principles of hydraulic fracturing

Use of essential rock mechanics tools, including stereonets, kinematic stability software, and deformation analysis.

General method of instruction

Lectures are combined with practical assignments and group projects.

Recommended preparation

Soil mechanics, basic geology.

Class assignments and grading

5 team projects, each requiring the use of one or more commercial geomechanics software packages, and a final, in-class group presentation.

similar weights to: 5 quizes, 5 assignments, 1 term project, and 1 final. Some adjustment based on class participation


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by William S. Dershowitz
Date: 03/05/2013