The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2019

Course handbook


Provides a practical introduction to research and design techniques in geotechnical engineering. An open-ended, integrated, practical problem is considered. Emphasis is on a realistic design problem. Problems are set by practicing engineers.

Availability2019 Course Timetables


  • Semester 2 - 2019

BCA Singapore

  • Semester 2 - 2019

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Integrate and extrapolate the theory presented in earlier courses to solve a broad range of real problems.

2. Apply research and design skills to model and understand complex geotechnical systems and to solve open-ended geotechnical problems.

3. Work as part of a team in the solution of problems that are posed and directed by experienced practising engineers and academics.

4. Incorporate design tools such as standards and software in the formulation of solutions to real problems, and explore the limitations of these tools.

5. Critically analyse and communicate outcomes at a professional level, both verbally and as a report.



Conceptual design:

  • Identify feasible solutions to an integrated problem
  • Identify potential difficulties and consider planning issues

Geotechnical design:

  • Philosophies for site investigation and developing geotechnical site models
  • Analysis and design of geotechnical structures including soil retaining systems, water exclusion/retention structures, deep and shallow foundations, slope stabilisation and strategies for environmental contaminant investigation and remediation

Management of team activities:

  • Student teams are encouraged to maintain a design time sheet/diary in which all members sign off weekly on work done by each individual and time taken to complete that work. The diary may be submitted with the final report.



Exposure to professional and research practice:

  • Students are invited to attend a series of seminars by practising engineering specialists and academics on specific topics related to their projects.
  • Students are required to undertake a formal review of the work carried out by a fellow group member.


This course is only available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Civl) program and associated combined degrees. Pre-requisite - successful completion of CIVL4201

Assumed knowledge

CIVL2280; CIVL3280; CIVL4201. Students should also refer to the Compulsory Program Component section.

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Peer Review Task

Project: Final Report including Interview/Geotechnical Model Formulation

Contact hours

BCA Singapore and Callaghan


Face to Face On Campus 7 hour(s) per Week for 6 Weeks starting in week 7

This course runs for six weeks over a twelve week period. It runs from week 7 to 12.