Chair of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering

Written theses

Organisational matters and topics

Theses are part of the academic education. The basic requirements are regulated by the applicable study and examination regulations.

As a rule, student research projects and theses should deal independently with a problem from the range of lectures or the research activities of the subject area. Possible topics are, for example

  • Soil mechanics and soil dynamics laboratory tests
  • Geotechnical model tests
  • Non-linear material laws for soils
  • Finite element method and boundary element method for static and dynamic soil-structure interaction
  • Numerical modelling and calculation of foundation structures

Recommendations for the preparation of theses

The written elaboration of student research projects and theses should be based on the guidelines for scientific work at the TU Berlin. Mathematical symbols, functions and equations in the written work should be set according to DIN 1338 "Writing and typesetting of formulae".

Special requirements for experimental work

Before starting the experiments, the experimental concept and the execution shall be documented in writing:

Test concept

  • What is to be depicted?
  • How is this depicted?
  • What idealisations are these associated with?
  • Is it a model or element test?
  • Which parameters have an influence?
  • Which parameters are varied?

Conducting the experiments

  • All experiments are to be carried out in close consultation with the supervising assistant, observing the safety regulations and the rules of conduct in the laboratory.
  • Standard experiments are to be carried out only after reading the relevant DIN standard and after an introduction by the laboratory staff.
  • Appropriate experimental documentation is to be kept during the performance of the experiments.

Evaluation of the test results

  • Experimental data recorded by computer shall be processed with a spreadsheet programme or with software suitable for this purpose (e.g. Matlab). All experimental data shall be presented graphically.
  • The documentation of the experimental results must show the names of the experimental and graphic files.
  • All data in processed form and in the form in which they were measured must be submitted with the work on a data carrier.

Special requirements for work with a focus on numerical methods and programming

For numerical calculations and their results, documentation shall be prepared in accordance with the "Recommendations of the Working Group Numerics in Geotechnics - EANG" of the German Geotechnical Society (DGGT).

If the task includes the creation and/or extension of software (e.g. finite element programs), the following points must be observed:

  • A user manual and a theory manual are to be prepared.
  • The source code, in particular the software architecture with the data structures and functions, must be documented in detail (source code documentation).
  • The developed source code is part of the study or final thesis and must be submitted together with the written elaboration.

Recommendations for lectures and the creation of presentations

In the case of student research projects and theses (B.Sc., M.Sc.), the results of the work must be presented within a limited period of time (see the respective study and examination regulations).

The elaboration for the presentation is to be created electronically with the programme Powerpoint from Microsoft or as PDF (portable document format). Programs for this are available on the computers of the institute (PC pools). The presentation should be structured in a sensible way and have an outline, e.g.

  • Title of the presentation and lecturer (possibly co-authors)
  • Content or outline
  • Introduction
  • Main part
  • Summary, conclusions, outlook
  • Bibliography, if applicable

The presentation should be given freely, if possible with the help of memory notes. It is strongly recommended to read the presentation aloud to yourself or to a known audience (friends, relatives). The given duration of the presentation must be adhered to.

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