Unsaturated Soil Mechanics

By Prof. Tadikonda Venkata Bharat   |   IIT Guwahati
Learners enrolled: 276   |  Exam registration: 36
The knowledge of soil behavior is very important in the Geotechnical engineering practice. The soil behavior in saturated state is widely taught in the undergraduate and graduate programs, all over. The existence of air-phase in natural soils prompts the soil to behave differently from the saturated soils. The present course would provide the fundamental principles, mechanisms, and behavior of partly saturated soils.


PREREQUISITES: Knowledge of basic “soil mechanics”

INDUSTRY SUPPORT: www.maccaferri.com
Course Status : Ongoing
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 12 weeks
Category :
  • Civil Engineering
Credit Points : 3
Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate
Start Date : 22 Jan 2024
End Date : 12 Apr 2024
Enrollment Ends : 05 Feb 2024
Exam Registration Ends : 16 Feb 2024
Exam Date : 20 Apr 2024 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: Introduction; Application areas; Basic parameters
Week 2:  Basic parameters; Phase equilibrium
Week 3: Concept of water retention; Soil water characteristics (SWCC); Hysteresis; Mechanisms
Week 4: Measurement of state variables
Week 5:  Measurement of state variables; Theoretical SWCC
Week 6:  Demonstration of software for fitting SWCC; Pedo-Transfer functions (PTF)
Week 7:  Hydraulic Conductivity; Measurement; Predictive models
Week 8: Hydraulic Conductivity prediction; Capillary barriers; Software demonstration
Week 9: Steady-state flow; Absence and influence of gravity
Week 10: Transient flow
Week 11: Analytical methods for transient flow; Shear strength
Week 12: Shear strength; Swell and Collapse behavior

Books and references

1. Lu, N. and Likos, W.J., Unsaturated soil mechanics, Wiley, 2004
2. Fredlund, D. J., Rahardjo, R., and Fredlund, M.D. Unsaturated Soil Mechanics in Engineering Practice, Wiley, 2012

Instructor bio

Prof. Tadikonda Venkata Bharat

IIT Guwahati
Prof. T Venkata Bharat is currently Professor of Civil Engineering at IIT Guwahati. He has received both his M.Sc. (Eng.) and Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, in 2004 and 2009, respectively. Prior to this, he worked as a visiting fellow and post-doctoral fellow during 2009 – 2012 at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. Dr. Bharat has nearly a 20 years of research experience and 12 years of teaching experience in India and Canada. Dr. Bharat is currently associated with both Center for Disaster Management & Research and Center for Indian Knowledge Systems at IIT Guwahati and guiding Ph.D. students. He has received numerous awards in India and abroad for his contribution to computational Geomechanics and Geoenvironmental research. Dr. Bharat is the Associate Editor of the Clays and Clay Minerals (the official journal of Clay Minerals Society) and editorial board member of the Indian Geotechnical Journal (the official journal of Indian Geotechnical Society) and is an active reviewer of over 30 peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Bharat’s research interests are Waste management, Mitigation of rainfall-induced landslides, and Geotechnical and Architectural aspects of Heritage structures.

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: 20 April 2024 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 Guwahati .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

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