Ground Investigations


1-day course

CPD Credit: 7 hours, C1


This presentation will cover the development of the scope of work and specifications for Ground Investigations from the initial stage of interpreting desk study information to identify site constraints, to the development of a detailed programme of investigations that are tailored to the engineering requirements of a project. Drawing heavily on practical experience, the important aspects of current specifications are discussed, as are the description and classification of soils and rocks and the recommended spacing and depth of investigation points to recognised industry standards. The different techniques of ground investigation are critically assessed in relation to their appropriateness and reliability in obtaining and interpreting geotechnical information. Strategies for ground investigations are separated into those for

  • cuttings and rock;
  • embankments and soft ground;
  • groundwater and karst; and
  • structures and foundations.


  • Desk Studies and Walkover surveys
  • Specifications for Ground Investigations
  • Ground Investigations for cuttings and rock
  • Ground Investigations for Embankment & Soft Ground
  • Ground Investigations for Groundwater & Karst
  • Ground Investigations for Structures

Learning Outcomes

  • An appreciation of the ground investigation techniques which are available
  • The strengths and limitations of the different ground investigation methods
  • The methodology to be adopted when planning ground investigations for different types of projects
  • Specialist methods of investigations for difficult and complex ground conditions
  • Planning ground investigations to comply with current industry standards and specifications.

Who Should Attend?

This presentation would be suitable for civil and structural engineers, constructing engineers, technicians, and geotechnical engineers and geologists interested in this area.

Trainer’s Profile

Conor O’Donnell, BA, BAI, MS, FGS, CEng, MIEI, FConsEI, Managing Director of AGL Consulting

Conor O’Donnell is the Managing Director of AGL with more than 25 years’ experience as a Geotechnical Engineer in Ireland and the United States.He has a Bachelors Degree in Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering from Trinity College Dublin, and a Masters Degree in Geotechnical Engineering and Structural Mechanics from Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.

Prior to 2001, Conor worked for Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers, a specialist geotechnical engineering consulting firm in New York City.At MRCE, Conor specialised in the geotechnical design of foundations, excavation support systems and ground improvement schemes, including deep soil mixing, grouting and ground freezing.He worked on a number of landmark tunneling and underground mass transit projects, including the NATM tunnel for the MBTA South Boston Transitway under Russia Wharf, and Contract C09A4 of the Boston Central Artery Project, which involved tunnel jacking under the railway lines at the approach to South Station in Boston, Massachusetts.

At AGL Conor has been involved in a number of major civil, infrastructure and commercial building projects across Ireland at planning, detailed design and construction stage with extensive experience of earthworks designs for road schemes.He was lead geotechnical consultant for the preliminary and detailed ground investigation stages of the N4 Collooney to Castlebaldwin Road Scheme, and he has been the independent Category 3 checker on the earthworks design of over 250 km of motorways across Ireland involving a wide variety of specialised geotechnical constraints ranging from deep soft ground and karstified limestone, to variable glacial till and outwash deposits. He was also the lead geotechnical designer on the Lidl Regional Distribution Centre in Newbridge, Co. Kildare, which involved ground improvement of site-won stratified soft alluvial clay and gravel by mixing, blending and lime-cement stabilisation to form capping and structural fill below the main building and external concrete HGV concrete yards.

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Engineers Ireland supports the Sustainable Development Goals. This event contributes to Engineers Ireland's Sustainability Framework.

Please contact the Team for further information on scheduled course dates and In-Company options. You can reach us by phone: 01 665 1305 or email