CEE 598 - TSR Tunneling in Soil and Rock

Spring 2019 Online Course - Register!

With increasing urbanization in the US and worldwide, there is growing demand for underground space. Numerous tunneling projects are currently underway or in the planning stages in most major urban center. This has resulted in significant demand for engineers who have knowledge of the unique challenges of developing this underground space.

This is a semester-long, graduate level, 4-credit-hour course that begins with a historical perspective and covers soil and rock properties and their relation to tunnel ground behavior. Early methods and various tunnels are studied, including the Thames tunnel and tunnels in New York City. Modern tunneling techniques are then introduced.

Principal topics covered in the area of soil tunnels include the following:

  • Shield tunneling
  • Pressurized face shields
  • Ground movements, settlement, and lateral displacement
  • Building distortion and damage
  • Consolidation
  • Ground modification and replacement

Rock tunneling history and systems are presented, and further topics are as follows:

  • Rock properties and tunnel ground behavior
  • Tunnelman’s ground classification
  • Geology and wedge stability
  • Deep tunnels
  • Large cavern construction
  • Support design: TBM, drill and blast, examples
  • Groundwater
  • Analysis of displacements, stresses, and loads
    • elastic, elasto-plastic, ground reaction curves, stress-slabbing, creep
    • structural  analysis, steel rib, liner plate, concrete lining design
    • seismic design

Students examine the proper approach to tunnel projects, including exploration, design, and contracting practices including geotechnical baseline reports and risk registers. The course will include guest lectures by leading experts in the field. All course reference materials are included in the tuition and fees. The course also includes a field trip to tunnel construction project (paid for separately by the student, destination to be announced). Registration in this course is open to graduate and non-degree students. Credit earned as a non-degree student can later be applied to the MS degree and can also be used toward professional development hours (1 credit hour equals 15 pdh).

Online students receive the same lectures, class assignments, exams, and projects as on-campus students. Online students interact with other students and faculty, working on projects with other students, and following the regular pace of the course. Lectures and course materials are accessed online; links to lectures will be posted about two hours after the lectures are offered on campus. Live participation for class presentations and special meetings is also available.


Professor Youssef Hashash

Youssef Hashash holds a B.S. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1987), M.S. (MIT, 1988), and Ph.D. (MIT, 1992), all in civil engineering. He has been on the faculty of the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois since 1998. Dr. Hashash worked as a Staff Engineer for the PB/MK TEAM in Dallas, Texas, on the Superconducting Super Collider Project construction. In 1994 he joined the Geotechnical and Underground Engineering group at Parsons Brinckerhoff in San Francisco, California, and was involved in many tunnel and deep excavation projects around the US and Canada.

Dr. Hashash has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in geotechnical engineering, numerical modeling in geomechanics, tunneling, earth retaining structures and geotechnical earthquake engineering. Dr. Hashash's research interests include deep excavations, earthquake engineering, numerical modeling, and soil-structure interaction. He is also involved in the use of visualization and imaging techniques in geotechnical engineering applications.

Contact Us

Meg C. Griffin, PE
Coordinator of Online and Blended Programs