GEOE 455 - Geomechanics
2023 Fall Syllabus, Section 02, CRN 1711
You are responsible for knowing this material, so please read carefully. Any changes will be announced in a Blackboard Announcement. You will be responsible for any changes. Your continued enrollment in this course is your implicit agreement to abide by the requirements of this class.
About the Professor
Dr. I-Hsuan Ho is an Associate Professor of Harold Hamm School of Geology and Geological Engineering at UND. His expertise is including : computation geomechanics, experimental geomechanics, slope stability and energy geotechnics
Specific outcomes of instruction
The objective of this course is to train the students to use fundamental principles and field and lab techniques of geomechanics to analyze real-world problems, identify the optimal methods, and solve the practical geological engineering problems with the combination of field and laboratory, analytical and experimental means. Emphases will be on the fundamental principles and their application to practical engineering problems, both surface and underground.
Explicitly indicate which of the student outcomes listed in Criterion 3 or any other outcomes are addressed by the course.
- Ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering.
- Ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
- Ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs.
- Ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems.
- Understanding of professional and ethical responsibility.
- Ability to communicate effectively.
- Broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context.
- Recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning.
- Knowledge of contemporary issues.
- Ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.
Brief list of topics to be covered
- Stress and strain relationship-Review Mechanics of Materials
- Overview of geomechanics (soil mechanics and rock mechanics)
- Geological foundations for geomechanics
- In-situ stresses measurements
- Geomechanics of intact rock
- Geomechanics of rock masses
- Failure Criteria of Geomaterials
- Testing techniques
- Rock mass classification
- Geological Hazards
- Application of geomechanics (Open pit mining, slope, tunneling, drilling, etc)
de Vallejo, L.I., and Mercedes Ferrer, 2011. Geological Engineering (CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group), 678 p. ISBN: 978-0-415-41352-7
Class notes: Please download from Blackboard
Other Supplemental Materials:
John Hudson and John Harrison. (1997). Engineering Rock Mechanics- Part2 illustrative worked examples, Elsevier Ltd (ISBN: 978-008-043010-2).
John Jaeger, N. G. Cook and Robert Zimmerman. 2007. Fundamentals of Rock Mechanics (4th edition). Wiley-Blackwell Publishing (ISBN: 978-0632057597).
John Hudson and John Harrison. (1997). Engineering Rock Mechanics-An introduction to the Principles, Elsevier Ltd (ISBN: 978-008-0438641).
Nagaratnam Sivakugan, Sanjay Kumar Shukla and Braja M. Das. (2013). Rock Mechanics: An Introduction. CRC Press, (ISBN: 978-041-5809238).
Whether you’re taking courses in the classroom or online, it’s important to have the right technology and equipment. Visit the UND Technical Requirements webpage for more information. Students are expected to use their official UND email in the course. For technical assistance, please contact UND Technical Support at 701.777.2222. Visit the University Information Technologies (UIT) website for their hours, help documents and other resources.
Minimum Technical Skills Needed
In order to succeed in this course, at a minimum, you should be able to:
- Navigate in and use basic Blackboard functions
- Download and open electronic documents
- Create, save, and upload/attach electronic documents
- Send, receive, and manage email
Access and Log in Information
This course was developed and will be facilitated utilizing Blackboard. To get started with the course, please go to: http://blackboard.UND.edu and log in with your NDUS.Identifier, Username and Password. If you do not know your NDUS Identifier or have forgotten your password, please visit Your NDUS Account page on the UIT website.
Many services are available to UND students such as writing assistance from the UND Writing Center, free online tutoring from Smarthinking, and more. Visit the Student Resources page for more information. Students also have access to the UND Student Resource Site via Blackboard. It is recommended that you become familiar with the tools and tutorials within the site to better equip you in navigating the course.
Announcements will be posted in Blackboard on a regular basis. Be sure to check the class announcements regularly as they will contain important information about class assignments and other class matters.
You are encouraged to post your questions about the course in the FAQs discussion board forum in the Blackboard site or raise them in class if held synchronously or on campus. The Blackboard discussion board is an open forum in which you and your classmates are encouraged to answer each other’s questions. But, if you need to contact me directly, check the Faculty tab in Blackboard or the syllabus for my contact information.
When participating in class (online or in person) it is important to interact with your peers in an appropriate manner. Always use professional language (no netspeak) in your postings and emails. Please be respectful of your classmates at all times even if you disagree with their ideas.
Assignment Final Grade
- Individual Term Project 15% (5% Presentation; 10% Final Report)
- Homework 15%
- First Midterm Exam 20%
- Second Midterm Exam 20%
- Final Exam 30%
- Extra Credits 5% (TBA)
Final Grade Scale
90% - 100% A
80% - 89% B
70% - 79% C
60% - 69% D
0% - 59% F
Due dates for each assignment or activity will be posted in Blackboard.
Late HW Submission Policies
The HW Assignments will be due and collected in the beginning of the class. Submission after class we will regarded as a late submission.
* Late Submission: HW assignment will not be accepted after one week, No exception.
Same day: -5%
1-7 days: -20%
Class Attendance: Name quiz will be given from time to time. If the absence is more than 30%, the student is deemed to fail the class.
No makeup exam will be provided
Sickness or some other reasons, relevant documents or evidences are required.
Please note: You do not need to disclose or perform trauma when asking for an extension; you just need to let us know (very broadly) that you need help, and we will do what we can to get you back on track in the course.
It is expected that students will complete all requirements for a course during the time frame of the course. For reasons beyond a student’s control, and upon request by the student or on behalf of the student, an incomplete grade may be assigned by the instructor when there is reasonable certainty the student will successfully complete the course without retaking it. The mark “I,” Incomplete, will be assigned only to the student who has been in attendance and has done satisfactory work up to a time within four weeks of the close of the semester, including the examination period, and whose work is incomplete for reasons satisfactory to his or her instructor. More information regarding UND’s Incomplete policy can be found on The Grading System webpage.
Resolution of Problems
Should a problem occur, you should speak to your instructor first. If the problem continues to be unresolved, go to the department chair, and next to the college dean. Should the problem persist, you have the right to go to the provost next, and then to the president.
When participating in class (online or in person) it is important to interact with your peers in an appropriate manner. Netiquette is a set of rules for behaving properly online. Here are a few basic points to remember when communicating in this course:
Be scholarly. Use proper language, grammar, and spelling. Explain your thoughts, justify opinions, and credit the ideas of others by citing scholarly resources. Avoid misinforming others when you are unsure of the answer. When discussing something and supplying a guess, clearly state that.
Be respectful. Respect the privacy of others. Do not share personal or professional information about others unless permission has been granted. Respect diversity and opinions that differ from their own. Be tactful when you communicate.
Be professional. Everyone should strive to give their best impression online. Truthfulness, accuracy, and running a final spell check are appropriate expectations for university students. Writing in a legible font and limiting the use of emoticons is considered professional behavior. Profanity and participation in hostile interactions, known as flaming, is unprofessional as well as disruptive.
Be polite. Students should address professors and instructors by the appropriate title or requested name. Students should interact online politely, just as they would be expected to do in a physical environment. Sarcasm, rudeness, and writing in all capital letters (shouting) should be avoided.
Everyone has the right to be addressed by the name and personal pronouns that correspond to their gender identity, including non-binary pronouns, for example: they/them/theirs, ze/zir/zirs, etc.
I recognize that preferred names and pronouns may change during the quarter, if at any point during the quarter you would like to be addressed differently, please let me know.
As part of our commitment to inclusion in this course, it is important that all students in this class respect the preferred names and pronouns of their peers. Mistakes in addressing one another may happen. If you make a mistake or are corrected, please briefly apologize and correct yourself.
In this class we will have a technology policy that is designed to support your attention to one another and to the course material. We will spend the majority of our time engaged in activities that depend upon you being present and attentive to one another, and course content we will study. We are all challenged these days by the ways in which our digital devices—including laptops, tablets, phones, and watches—can steal our attention away from our immediate surroundings. Technology should be used for educational purposes only during scheduled class times.
Collaboration and Recording (For Online, Hybrid, Hyflex courses)
Sharing personal experiences and opinions is an important part of the learning process. In the (hybrid, hyflex, synchronous, etc.) environment of this course, all of our interactions are recorded (via Zoom, Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, Yuja, etc) and made available to students in the course. The purpose of these recordings is to enhance learning for all students. If your peers make personal statements in this course, consider those comments in the context of our learning goals and do not share them with people outside the course. If you have questions or concerns about any recordings, please contact me.
University of North Dakota Policies & Resources
Academic integrity is a serious matter, and any deviations from appropriate behavior will be dealt with strongly. At the discretion of the professor, situations of concern may be dealt with as a scholastic matter or a disciplinary matter.
As a scholastic matter, the professor has the discretion to determine appropriate penalties for the student’s workload or grade, but the situation may be resolved without involving many individuals. An alternative is to treat the situation as a disciplinary matter, which can result in suspension from the University, or have lesser penalties. Be aware that I view this as a very serious matter and will have little tolerance and/or sympathy for questionable practices. A student who attempts to obtain credit for work that is not their own (whether that be on a paper, quiz, homework assignment, exam, etc.) will likely receive a failing grade for that item of work, and at the professor’s discretion, may also receive a failing grade in the course. For more information read the Code of Student Life.
Access and Opportunity, Disability Support, & Medical Services
The University of North Dakota is committed to providing equal access to students with documented disabilities. To ensure access to this class and your program, please contact Disability Services for Students (DSS) to engage in a confidential discussion about accommodations for the classroom and clinical settings. Accommodations are not provided retroactively. Students are encouraged to register with DSS at the start of their program. More information can be obtained by email UND.dss@UND.edu or by phone at 701.777.2664.
UND is committed to maintaining a safe learning environment while providing quality learning experiences for our students. COVID-19’s continued presence within our UND community may necessitate changes in classroom management as the academic year progresses. As such, UND asks students and instructors to be flexible when necessary to promote a safe environment for learning. Please do not attend an in-person class or lab if you are feeling ill, particularly if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or if you have been directed by health professionals to quarantine or isolate. If you are not able to attend class or lab, please notify your instructor as soon as possible and discuss options for making up any missed work in order to ensure your ability to succeed in the course. If you will have an extended absence due to serious illness or other uncontrollable circumstances, you may request an absence notification through the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. Similarly, if your instructor is ill they may need to cancel class or temporarily move your course to online delivery to ensure that you are able to complete the course successfully. Instructors may require students to wear masks in the classroom or in the laboratory as a preventative measure designed to facilitate uninterrupted classroom engagement and to facilitate health and safety in the classroom. If your instructor does require masks in class or in a laboratory, you are expected to comply with that request.
UND also strongly encourages all members of the University community, including students, to get vaccinated, seek out testing when needed, and model positive behavior both on- and off-campus to foster a healthy and safe learning environment for all students. Individuals who would like to discuss disability accommodations regarding masks should contact the Disability Services for Students (DSS) office at 701.777.2664 or UND.dss@UND.edu. Individuals who are unable to wear a mask due to a sincerely held religious belief should contact the UND Equal Opportunity and Title IX Office at 701.777.4171 or UND.EO.TitleIX@UND.edu.
UND offers religious accommodations, which are reasonable changes in the academic environment that enable a student to practice or observe a sincerely held religious belief without undue hardship on the University. Examples include time for prayer or the ability to attend religious events or observe a religious holiday. To request an accommodation, complete the student religious accommodation request form. If you have any questions, you may contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Office.
Students who need assistance with academic adjustments related to pregnancy or childbirth may contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Office or Academic Affairs to learn about your options. Additional information and services may be found at Pregnancy Resources.
Notice of Nondiscrimination
It is the policy of the University of North Dakota that no person shall be discriminated against because of race, religion, age, color, gender, disability, national origin, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, veteran’s status, or political belief or affiliation and the equal opportunity and access to facilities shall be available to all. Concerns regarding Title IX, Title VI, Title VII, ADA, and Section 504 may be addressed to Donna Smith, Assistant Vice President for Equal Opportunity & Title IX and Title IX/ADA Coordinator, 102 Twamley Hall, 701.777.4171, UND.EO.TitleIX@UND.edu or the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Dept. of Education, 230 S. Dearborn St., 37th Floor, Chicago, IL 60604 or any other federal agency.
Reporting of Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Misconduct
If you or a friend has experienced sexual misconduct, such as sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, please contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Office or UND’s Title IX Coordinator, Donna Smith, for assistance: 701.777.4171; donna.smith@UND.edu; or visit the Title IX webpage. You may also contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX office if you or a friend has experienced discrimination or harassment based on a protected class, such as race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, pregnancy, marital or parental status, veteran's status, or political belief or affiliation.
Faculty Reporting Obligations Regarding Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Misconduct
It is important for students to understand that faculty are required to share with UND’s Title IX Coordinator any incidents of sexual misconduct or of discrimination or harassment based on a protected class that they become aware of, even if those incidents occurred in the past or are disclosed as part of a class assignment. This does not mean an investigation will occur if the student does not want that, but it does allow UND to provide resources to help the student continue to be successful at UND. If you have been impacted by discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct, you can find information about confidential support services on the Equal Opportunity & Title IX webpage..
UND Cares Program
How to Seek Help When in Distress
We know that while college is a wonderful time for most students, however, some students may struggle or have issues that arise. You may experience students in distress on campus, in your classroom, in your home, and within residence halls. Distressed students may initially seek assistance from faculty, staff members, their parents, and other students. In addition to the support we can provide to each other, there are also professional support services available to students through the Dean of Students and University Counseling Center. Both staffs are available to consult with you about getting help or providing a friend with the help that he or she may need. For more additional information, please visit the UND Cares Program Webpage.
How to Recognize When a Student is in Distress
The term “distressed” can mean any of the following:
- Student has significant changes in eating, sleeping, grooming, spending, or other daily activities.
- Student has cut off or minimized contact with family or friends.
- Student has significant changes in performance or involvement in academics, sports, extracurricular, or social activities.
- Student describes problems (missing class, not remembering, destructive behavior) that result from experiences with drinking or drugs.
- Student is acting withdrawn, volatile, tearful, etc.
- Student is acting out of character or different than usual.
- Student is talking explicitly about hopelessness or suicide.
- Student has difficulty concentrating or difficulty carrying on a normal conversation.
- Student has excessive dependence on others for company or support.
- Student reports feeling out of control of one’s emotions, thoughts, or behaviors.
Land Acknowledgement Statement
Today, the University of North Dakota rests on the ancestral lands of the Pembina and Red Lake Bands of Ojibwe and the Dakota Oyate - presently existing as composite parts of the Red Lake, Turtle Mountain, White Earth Bands, and the Dakota Tribes of Minnesota and North Dakota. We acknowledge the people who resided here for generations and recognize that the spirit of the Ojibwe and Oyate people permeate this land. As a university community, we will continue to build upon our relations with the First Nations of the State of North Dakota - the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation, Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Nation, Spirit Lake Nation, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians.
It is my goal to foster an environment of mutual respect in which everyone feels comfortable voicing their opinions, sharing their stories, and learning about potentially heavy or personally relevant material. If, at any point, you feel like the information covered in this class elicits thoughts, feelings, or concerns that you would like to discuss further, don’t hesitate to reach out to me, or the UND Counseling Center (701-777-2127).
Further, if you experience extenuating circumstances, sexual violence, identity-based harm, or any other personal crisis during the semester, don’t hesitate to reach out to me so we can provide academic assistance and help you in this course, and put you in contact with the appropriate resources and services (if needed).
- UND Care Team: 701-777-2664 (8:00 AM to 4:30 PM M-F) or 701-777-3491 (evenings and weekends)
- UND Campus Police: 701-777-3491·UND Student Health: 701-777-4500
- UND Title IX Resources
- Abuse and Rape Crisis Hotline (CVIC): 701-746-8900 (24 hours)
- Grand Forks Police Department: 701-787-8000 (24 hours)
- Emergency Room: 701-780-5280
- UND Student Diversity and Inclusion: 701-777-6985
- Food For Thought Pantry: (Wilkerson Commons Room 169; 701-777-4200)
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (1-800-273-8255)