Principals of Soil Mechanics Laboratory Testing

Online /
Apr 28 - 29, 2022 /
Course Code: 12-0422-ONL22

  • Overview
  • Syllabus
  • Instructor


Please note, This instructor-led course has specific dates and times:
This course is held online over 2 days on the following schedule (All times in Eastern Time Zone):

9:30 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (Will include the usual breaks)

After participating in the course, you will be able to:

  • Learn the principals of basic and advanced soil mechanics laboratory testing
  • Analyse and interpret soil mechanics laboratory test results
  • Determine geotechnical design parameters from laboratory tests
  • Plan and select laboratory tests for geotechnical engineering projects

Soil mechanics laboratory testing and experimentation has now become an integral part of most construction projects for soil characterization, compaction control, seepage analysis, settlement analysis, design of foundations, retaining walls, dam, and slope stability.

This course will start with reviewing basic tests for determining index properties of soils including soil gradation, Atterberg limits, and hydrometer analysis.

This will be followed by an in-depth review of standard and modified Proctor compaction tests and hydraulic conductivity measurement. The course will then focus on measuring compressibility and shear strength of soils using different experiments including incremental-loading and constant rate of strain oedometer tests, direct shear test, triaxial test, direct simple shear and ring shear tests. In addition to describing testing equipment and procedures, the interpretation of experimental results and their application to engineering design will be presented with working examples for each test.

The course will be based on ASTM standard methods whenever applicable.

Course Outline:

  • Introduction
  • Basic soil characteristics
  • Measurement of soil index properties using sieving, hydrometer and Atterberg limit tests
  • USCS Soil classification using index tests
  • Soil compaction and Proctor test
  • Fundamentals of hydraulic conductivity and groundwater seepage
  • Constant-head and falling-head hydraulic conductivity testing
  • Principals of soil compressibility and consolidation
  • Incremental loading and constant rate of strain oedometer tests
  • Measurement of soil strength using direct shear, unconfined compression, triaxial, direct simple shear, and ring shear tests
  • Examples of interpreting laboratory tests
  • Questions and Answers and Feedback from Participants

Who Should Attend:
Geotechnical and Civil Engineers • Laboratory Technicians • Contractors • City Managers • Designers • Consulting Engineers • Vendors of Laboratory Equipment

Special Features & Requirements

This course includes a wide range of examples for interpreting and analyzing laboratory tests and determining soil properties. Several instructive short videos will be also presented to show the setup, operation, sample preparation, and conduct of soil mechanics laboratory tests.

More Information

Time: 9:30 AM - 5:30 PM Eastern Time

Please note: You can check other time zones here.


Day I


  • Basic soil characteristics and soil classification

Measurement of Soil Index Properties

  • Soil gradation by sieving and hydrometer tests
  • Soil plasticity and Atterberg limit tests
  • Examples of soil classification

Soil Compaction

  • Introduction to soil compaction
  • Standard Proctor compaction test
  • Modified Proctor compaction test
  • Field compaction control
  • Examples of ground compaction design

Hydraulic Conductivity (K) of Soils

  • Fundamental of seepage and Bernoulli’s equation
  • Darcy’s law for water flow through soil
  • Constant-head K test
  • Falling-head K test
  • Examples of hydraulic conductivity measurement
  • Examples of seepage analysis based on K measurements

Day II

Soil Compressibility and Consolidation Parameters

  • Primary consolidation and soil compression indices
  • Incremental loading oedometer test
  • Constant rate of strain oedometer test
  • End of primary consolidation
  • Time rate of consolidation and coefficient of consolidation
  • Secondary compression and long-term settlement of soil
  • Examples of consolidation tests and determining soil consolidation parameters

Shear Strength Properties

  • Introduction to soil failure
  • Soil strength for short- and long-term conditions
  • Direct shear test
  • Unconfined compression test
  • Triaxial compression test
  • Direct simple shear test
  • Ring shear test
  • Determination of Mohr-Coulomb strength parameters
  • Analysis of drained and undrained strengths
  • Examples: soil shearing tests and analysis
  • Example: application of soil strength in analysis

Questions and Answers and Feedback to Participants on Achievement of Learning Outcomes


Abouzar Sadrekarimi, Ph.D., P.Eng.

Abouzar Sadrekarimi, Ph.D., P. Eng.

Dr. Sadrekarimi is an Associate Professor of Civil Engineering at Western University (London, Ontario). Dr. Sadrekarimi’s academic and professional expertise involve soil mechanics, foundation engineering, deep foundations, dam, advanced soil testing and characterization of soil behavior, in-situ testing, soil dynamics and geotechnical earthquake engineering, static and dynamic analysis of retaining walls, buried structures, and slope stability analysis. He joined Western after several years of engineering practical experience at Golder Associates Ltd. Dr. Sadrekarimi has over 50 published papers in peer-reviewed conference proceedings and journals. Dr. Sadrekarimi is a member of the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering (ISSMFE), American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Canadian Geotechnical Society, research director of Western’s Geotechnical Research Centre (GRC), and an associate editor of the Canadian Geotechnical Journal.

The Engineering Institute of Canada

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4.4 out of 5

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Fee & Credits

$1295 + taxes

  • 1.4 Continuing Education Units (CEUs)
  • 14 Professional Development Hours (PDHs)
  • ECAA Annual Professional Development Points

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