Subsurface Investigation and Instrumentation Techniques (2.4 CEU's)


  • Looking for professional development but do not have the time to take off from work?

  • Looking for refresher course on specific engineering topics and cannot find an intensive course to serve your needs?

  • This may be your ideal Professional Development course!

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This course is approximately 8 weeks in duration.

Learning Method:

  • The PDDP program is more of a self-guided learning style.

  • You are required to read the notes and materials given, complete the follow-up assignments on your own, send in your questions prior to your 1 hour webinar meeting (if required) and be involved in live discussion via the internet.

  • Once you have completed the course, you will receive a certificate of completion


Geotechnical engineers have a fascinating, yet occasionally confounding job because they deal with inherently variable materials arranged by Nature (soil and rock). As such, geotechnical engineers, rely on physical measurements of soil and rock properties and behavior for use in engineering design and in the subsequent evaluation of engineering performance. This course aims to: (1) introduce the observational method in geotechnical engineering; (2) introduce a broad range of in situ testing devices and field instrumentation that students will encounter and use in practice; (3) provide a solid understanding of the applications and limitations of these devices and instruments through an examination of their theoretical, experimental, and empirical development; (4) teach theoretical, semi-empirical, and empirical methods of test and instrumentation interpretation and site characterization; (5) introduce first-hand the use and interpretation of some of these devices, instrumentation, and measurements at real project sites and via selected important case histories; and (6) discuss emerging technologies and trends in in-situ testing and field instrumentation, including data acquisition and data management. The methods that are routinely employed in site investigations will be described focusing on their applicability in different geologic environments. The limitations, problems, and interpretation methods of each technique will be covered.


The participants in this course will:
  • Understand the importance of in-situ soil behavior and its value in engineering practice
  • Become familiar with in-situ testing methods and field instrumentation techniques
  • Become knowledgeable about the past cases of the application of field instrumentation techniques, failures, in-situ testing, the emerging ground instrumentation and in-situ testing technologies, and data management software.
  • Understand the principles and procedures for geotechnical site investigation and monitoring.
  • Learn how to select the right type of instrument for monitoring and site investigation.
  • Become knowledgeable about the observational method in geotechnical engineering and state-of-the-art technologies used for geotechnical monitoring and instrumentation methods.
  • Gain insight into the long term behaviour of geotechnical structures.
  • Review applications of site investigation, geotechnical monitoring and instrumentation for slopes, settlement, fills, excavations and walls.

Target Audience

The materials covered in the course and their application will be of interest and benefit to:
  • Practicing geotechnical engineers,
  • Field engineers,
  • Engineering designers,
  • Site investigation technicians at different levels,
Some technical background in soil behavior is recommended but any knowledge gap will be briefly covered if necessary

    After you attend this course / workshop, you will be able to:

    • Design and plan a detailed site investigation program.
    • Select the most appropriate field instrumentation and in-situ testing techniques.
    • Interpret and analyze the results of in-situ tests for obtaining soil engineering properties and site characterization (desk study).
    • Examine the general suitability of a site and its environments
    • Estimate soil type, and soil mechanical properties (friction angle, strength, effective stress, density, modulus) from in-situ test. Estimate potential failure modes or deformation types for soil slopes and embankments
    • Validate experimental data from laboratory tests based on the analysis and observations from field instrumentation and in-situ testing methods.
    • Characterize natural deposits, subsurface investigation, field measurements.
    • Evaluate the performance of earth structures (slopes, embankments, foundations or retaining walls) by applying theoretical and empirical methods to interpret data from field instrumentation techniques.

    Special Features

    Participants will receive a comprehensive set of course notes that will serve for future use. The course will include several discussion periods and illustrated case-studies and example applications.

    The PDDP Distance Education program works as follows:

    • Once you register for this course, you will be sent a login username and password for our online distance website.

    • You will receive the course notes in hard copy through the online website, you will receive a set of notes each week covering the course material.

    • A one hour video-conference session will be conducted by your instructor each week (if required). The objective of this session is to assist in solving the assignments, as well as answer student questions that should be sent to instructor early enough prior to the meeting time. In addition with being able to communicate with the instructor, you will also be able to communicate with other students in the same class and watch their questions being answered as well. (A high speed internet connection is strongly recommended for this feature).

    • Each set of exercises can be completed and submitted by the indicated date and your completed exercise will be marked online and and returned by your instructor.

    • To gain the most from your course, it is highly recommended that you participate fully in all discussions and exercises. Please remember that each course has a form of quiz or exercise at the end to test your understanding of the material. You will be informed of these dates when you receive the course schedule.

    Dr. Gamal Abdel Aziz

    Dr. Gamal Abdelaziz, P.Eng, MSc. has a Ph.D. in Geotechnical Engineering from Concordia University, Montreal, Canada.

    Dr. Abdelaziz has served as a senior geotechnical engineer at DST Consulting engineers, Sarafinchin Consulting engineers, Trow Consulting and EBA engineering. Currently he is the managing director of SAGA Engineering, Edmonton, AB, Canada. 

    Dr. Abdelaziz has over 32 years of experience in geotechnical and structural engineering, foundation design, teaching, research and consulting in Canada and overseas.

    Dr. Gamal has designed and delivered over one hundred geotechnical engineering workshops which are very well received by practitioners engineers in Canada and globally.

    Currently he is a senior geotechnical engineer with SAGA Engineering, Edmonton, Alberta. His duties include revision of geotechnical design, including slope stability, foundation and machine foundation design, soil investigation, design of cuts and earthfills, evaluation of stability of existing slopes, slope reinforcement using geotextiles, geogrids, soil nails, base reinforcement to support earthfills on soft subgrade soils, Erosion protection using geocells matting, rip rap, stabilization of unstable slopes, evaluation of soil bearing capacity to support footing foundations, Settlement studies, deep foundations including driven piles, auger injected (CFA) piles, additional support to existing foundations by underpinning utilizing concrete panels, grouting, micropiles, evaluation of earth pressures on retaining walls, security of excavation base, tieback support, etc.

    Dr. Abdelaziz is a former adjunct professor at University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada, visiting professor at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada and part time professor at Seneca College, Toronto, Canada.

    Dr. Abdelaziz is specialized in numerical modeling for solving sophisticated geotechnical engineering problems with respect to pile foundation and the linear and nonlinear analysis of soil-structure interaction. He designed charts to predict pressures acting on tunnels, and developed an analytical model for pile bearing capacity prediction.

    Dr. Abdelaziz authored a number of technical papers and delivered numerous internal and external workshops on various geotechnical and Municipal engineering topics. Dr. Abdelaziz has been involved in a number of projects in Canada and overseas, such as tunneling, silos, buildings, retaining structures, siphons, irrigation networks and many other civil engineering projects in terms of design and construction.

    • Introduction to Geotechnical Monitoring and Observational Method
    • Fundamentals of Geotechnical Monitoring
    • Instrumentation transducers and data acquisition
      • Measurement of groundwater pressure
      • Measurement of total stress in soil
      • Measurement of stress change in rock
      • Measurement of deformations
      • Measurement of load and strain in structural members
      • Measurement of temperature
      • Measurement of acceleration
      • Data acquisition systems
    • Methods for Field Investigation
      • Standard Penetration Test and Interpretation
      • Cone Penetration Test and Interpretation
      • Field Vane Shear test
      • Pressuremeter Test
      • Dilatometer and Goodman Jack
      • Geophysical method and applications
      • Borehole shear test
      • Plate load test
      • Piezometers
      • Inclinometers
      • Time Domain Reflectometry (TDR)
      • Extensometers
      • Settlement plates
      • Emerging technologies
    • Discussion of Example Cases of Geotechnical Monitoring
    • Questions and Answers and Feedback to Participants on Achievement of Learning Outcomes

    TLNT reserves the right to cancel or change the date or location of its events. TLNT's responsibility will, under no circumstances, exceed the amount of the fee collected. TLNT is not responsible for the purchase of non-refundable travel arrangements or accommodations or the cancellation/change fees associated with cancelling them. Please call to confirm that the course is running before confirming travel arrangements and accommodations. Please click here for complete policies.

    This is a Professional Development Distance Program course. These are open to a start date after you register, not scheduled for a specific date.

    We could offer any of our courses at a location of your choice and customized contents according to your needs, please contact us at : or click here  to submit an online request.

    Course Materials

    Each participant will receive a complete set of course notes and handouts that will serve as informative references.


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