Underground Space Technology

By Prof. Priti Maheshwari   |   IIT Roorkee
Learners enrolled: 504   |  Exam registration: 43
Objective of this course is to impart knowledge of methods of analysis and design of underground excavations in rocks and jointed rock masses for hydro-power projects and large underground storages for various purposes.

INTENDED AUDIENCE: B.Tech./BE/M.Tech/ME/PhD students, Professionals working in relevant field.

Industries involved with infrastructure development in hilly terrain and mining shall recognize /value this course.
Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 12 weeks
Category :
  • Civil Engineering
Credit Points : 3
Level : Postgraduate
Start Date : 24 Jul 2023
End Date : 13 Oct 2023
Enrollment Ends : 07 Aug 2023
Exam Registration Ends : 18 Aug 2023
Exam Date : 28 Oct 2023 IST

Note: This exam date is subjected to change based on seat availability. You can check final exam date on your hall ticket.

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1-2: Rock Engineering Basics: rocks and rock masses, physical and mechanical properties, classification and failure criteria. 

Week 3: Underground excavations, ground conditions, planning of and exploration for various underground construction projects, stereographic projection method, principle and its application in underground excavation design.

Week 4-6: In-situ stress, elastic stress distribution around tunnels, stress distribution for different shapes and under different in-situ stress conditions, Greenspan method, design principles, multiple openings, openings in laminated rocks, elasto-plastic analysis of tunnels.

Week 7-8:  Application of rock mass classification systems, ground conditions in tunneling, analysis of underground openings in squeezing and swelling ground, empirical methods, estimation of elastic modulus and modulus of deformation of rocks, uni-axial jacking /plate jacking tests, radial jacking and Goodman jacking tests, long term behaviour of tunnels and caverns, New Austrian tunneling Method (NATM), Norwegian Tunneling Method (NMT).

Week 9-11: Rock mass-tunnel support interaction analysis, ground response and support reaction curves, Ladanyi’s elasto-plastic analysis of tunnels, design of various support systems including concrete and shotcrete linings, steel sets, rock bolting and rock anchoring, combined support systems, estimation of load carrying capacity of rock bolts, permeability and grouting.

Week 12: In-situ stress, flat jack, hydraulic fracturing, single and multi-point bore hole extensometers, load cells, pressure cell. Instrumentation and monitoring of underground excavations, during and after construction, various case studies.

Books and references

1) Goodman, RE (1989). Introduction to Rock Mechanics, Canada, John Wiley & Sons.
2) Hoek, E and Brown, ET (1988). Underground Excavations. Spon Press.
3) Obert, L and Duvall, WI (1967). Rock Mechanics and Design of Structures in Rocks. John Wiley.
4) Ramamurthy, T (2007). Engineering in Rocks for Slopes, Foundation and Tunnels. N. Delhi, PHI Pvt. Ltd.
5) Singh B and Goel RK (2006). Tunnelling in Weak Rocks. Elsevier.
6) Singh, B and Goel RK (2011). Engineering Rock Mass Classification. Oxford, UK, Elsevier Inc.
7) Sivakugan, N, Shukla, SK and Das, BM (2013). Rock Mechanics: an introduction. Boca Raton, FL, CRC Press.

Instructor bio

Prof. Priti Maheshwari

IIT Roorkee
Dr. Priti Maheshwari, Professor in Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Roorkee, has her research interests in Soil – Structure Interaction, Ground Engineering: Modeling and Analysis, Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering. She has been teaching various UG/PG/PhD courses pertaining to Geotechnical Engineering for more than last 17 years and well appreciated by the students for her systematic approach towards teaching. She has supervised 04 Doctoral and 23 Masters Theses. She has one chapter in book titled “Geotechnical Engineering Handbook”, more than 50 research publications in National and International refereed journals to her credit.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 
28 October 2023 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Roorkee.It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

MHRD logo Swayam logo


Goto google play store