220.000 Rock Engineering and Tunneling
This course is in all assigned curricula part of the STEOP.
This course is in at least 1 assigned curriculum part of the STEOP.

2020W, VO, 1.5h, 2.5EC


  • Semester hours: 1.5
  • Credits: 2.5
  • Type: VO Lecture
  • Format: Distance Learning

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of the course, students are able to...

  • name the differences between soil and rock mechanics,
  • explain the differences between rock and rock mass,
  • describe suitable exploration measures for different building projects in rock mass,
  • discuss different concepts of rock mass classification,
  • discuss rock mechanical characteristics and appropriate laboratory and field tests,
  • quote methods for tunnel and tunnel design and to outline the basics of rock mass behavior-analysis based on the perforated disk,
  • distinguish between different tunneling methods,
  • list the basic principles of the new Austrian tunneling method (NATM), 
  • outline the load transfer of foundations in rock masses,
  • give an overview of the common anchor types and to explain the functioning of different anchor types in soil and rock,
  • solve simple numerical examples related to rock mechanics and slope stability.

Subject of course

The course covers the following topics:

  • Rock mechanics
  • Rock engineering
  • Tunneling

An introduction to the basic concepts of rock mechanics will be given, exploring the importance of distinguishing between rock and rock mass. Essential laboratory tests and field tests to determine parameters of rock mechanics are explained. Different methods for rock mass classification, which are influenced by these parameters are presented. 

Various options for the calculation of tunnel structures, possibilities for assessing the slope-stability in rock engineering and the concept of the ‘observational method’ used in Austria are explained. Furthermore, the principle of operation for different types of anchors is discussed and state of the art construction methods for both slopes in rock masses and tunnels are outlined. 

Teaching methods

Introduction to basics of rock mechanics and rock mechanics related issues. Rock mass classification systems and options for the calculation of tunnel structures and specific failure mechanisms of slopes in rock engineering are discussed. Common construction methods for tunnels and slopes in rock masses are presented. Simple numeric examples can be solved with the knowledge provided in this lecture.

Mode of examination


Additional information

Zuordnung im Masterstudium Bauingenieurwesen (Studienkennzahl: 066 505):
Modul 1 der Vertiefungsrichtung Geotechnik;
Modul 3 der anderen Vertiefungsrichtungen


The course will be held online in the summer semester 2021. The meeting ID for the online lectures will be communicated via TISS-News or the corresponding TUWEL course.

Examination mode in summer semester 2021:

Exams will be held as "written online paper exams" and oral online exams until further notice. In this context, please refer to the COVID-19 Distance Examination Regulations of the Research Unit of Ground Engineering, Soil and Rock Mechanics.
In case the holding of examinations in presence is permitted due to the requirements of the Federal Government or the TU Wien, a change to written and oral examinations in presence is carried out. Examination duration and assessment scheme remain unaffected.

Please note that starting from the summer semester 2017 programmable calculators are allowed during the written exam!



Course dates

Mon08:00 - 09:3005.10.2020 - 25.01.2021 VO Fels- und Tunnelbau
Rock Engineering and Tunneling - Single appointments
Mon05.10.202008:00 - 09:30 VO Fels- und Tunnelbau
Mon12.10.202008:00 - 09:30 VO Fels- und Tunnelbau
Mon19.10.202008:00 - 09:30 VO Fels- und Tunnelbau
Mon09.11.202008:00 - 09:30 VO Fels- und Tunnelbau
Mon16.11.202008:00 - 09:30 VO Fels- und Tunnelbau
Mon23.11.202008:00 - 09:30 VO Fels- und Tunnelbau
Mon30.11.202008:00 - 09:30 VO Fels- und Tunnelbau
Mon07.12.202008:00 - 09:30 VO Fels- und Tunnelbau
Mon14.12.202008:00 - 09:30 VO Fels- und Tunnelbau
Mon11.01.202108:00 - 09:30 VO Fels- und Tunnelbau
Mon18.01.202108:00 - 09:30 VO Fels- und Tunnelbau
Mon25.01.202108:00 - 09:30 VO Fels- und Tunnelbau

Examination modalities

Written exam with open theoretical questions and numerical rock mechanics related examples (Basics of rock mechanics, slope stability).

Please note that as of 19.11.2020 the Covid-19 distance examination regulations of the Research Unit for Ground Engineering, Soil and Rock Mechanics come into force and are valid until revoked!


DayTimeDateRoomMode of examinationApplication timeApplication modeExam
Tue09:00 - 10:0023.11.2021 ZOOM Meetingwritten09.11.2021 08:00 - 21.11.2021 23:59TISS[Online-]Prüfung Fels- und Tunnelbau am 23.11.2021
Tue09:00 - 10:0018.01.2022 ZOOM Meetingwritten04.01.2022 08:00 - 16.01.2022 23:59TISS[Online-]Prüfung Fels- und Tunnelbau am 18.01.2022

Course registration

Not necessary



Studienblätter (Institut), Rock Engineering (Butterworth)

Previous knowledge

Grundbau und Bodenmechanik