Containment Engineering

Module aims

  • To understand the role of containment engineering in the protection of public health and the environment.  
  • To introduce waste degradation processes and the geological aspects of landfill design required to limit potential environmental impacts.  
  • To describe the properties or purpose of liners, barriers , landfill site hydrogeology, gas control and monitoring 

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing this course unit, students will:   

  • Have an excellent appreciation of the general issues associated with containment engineering and a detailed understanding of all aspects associated with engineering landfill sites.  
  • Be aware of the challenges associated with in-ground disposal of waste 
  • Understand the legislative and chemical drivers behind landfill design 
  • Appreciate and understand the design requirements of containment systems 

Module syllabus





Introduction to waste management and landfill  

Dr Geoff Fowler  


Chemistry and biology of waste decomposition processes  

Dr Geoff Fowler  


Containment engineering: industrial case studies 

Joe Jackson 


Use of geosynthetic liners for sustainable development 

Russell Jones  


Barrier system performance  

Russell Jones  


Geosynthetic liners and slope stability  

Russell Jones 


Tailings Course 

Roger White  


Construction quality assurance and landfill failure case histories 

Russell Jones  


Project presentations  

Dr Geoff Fowler, Russell Jones  

The course focus is on the issues associated with waste containment technologies including landfill, as this remains the dominant waste disposal method used world-wide. Significantproblems associated with mining tailings dams are discussed. The course includes a group case study on a detailed landfill design. 


This module cannot be taken with Business Management 

Teaching methods

The content is delivered primarily through lectures. There is also a piece of coursework set – the focus of which is on the design of a landfill. This involves students working in small groups and each group is required to give a short presentation.  


Information will be provided separately.