CVE20004 12.5 Credit Points Hawthorn, Sarawak Available to incoming Study Abroad and Exchange students


  • 1 Semester

Contact hours

  • 56 hours

On-campus unit delivery combines face-to-face and digital learning.

2022 teaching periods


Higher Ed. Semester 2

1 Aug 22 - 30 Oct 22

6 Dec 22

Last self enrolment:
14 Aug 22

31 Aug 22

Last withdraw without fail:
16 Sep 22

Aims and objectives

This unit of study aims to introduce you to basic, geological principles, engineering properties of soils and their importance to Civil Engineering projects. You will be able to identify soil and rock specimens, construct simple geological cross sections, carry out a basic site investigation, and determine various strength and compressibility parameters of soils.

Unit Learning Outcomes (ULO)

Students who successfully complete this unit will be able to:

1. Interpret the geological rock cycle and be able to identify common rock forming minerals, basic types of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks (K1, K3, S1).

2. Determine physical engineering properties of sediments (soils) and apply these quantities to phase relationships and the soil model (K1, K2, K3, S1, S2).

3. Perform a mechanical (sieve) analysis and a series of soil index tests on a soil in order to determine its particle size distribution plot and Atterberg limits according to Australian Standard AS1289. Thus, enabling classification of the soil via Australian Standard AS1726 (K1, K2, K3, K6, S1, S2, S3, A2, A7).

4. Appreciate the basic concepts of water flow through soil in order to construct simple flow nets and estimate relevant discharge calculations for various ground structures (K1, K2, K3, S2, A2).

5. Clearly understand the effective stress concept in soils by calculating total stresses, effective stresses and pore pressures for various ground conditions (K1, K2, K3, S1, S2).

6. Determine changes in soil stresses due to external point loads, line loads, loaded areas, uniform and non-uniform strip loads using elastic theory, and soil strength parameters from a range of physical field and/or laboratory test (K1, K2, K3, K6, S1, S2, S3, A2, A7).

7. Estimate immediate and consolidation settlements from various external loading combinations (K1, K2, K3, S1, S2).

Swinburne Engineering Competencies for this Unit of Study
This Unit of Study will contribute to you attaining the following Swinburne Engineering Competencies:
K1 Basic Science: Proficiently applies concepts, theories and techniques of the relevant natural and physical sciences.
K2 Maths and IT as Tools: Proficiently uses relevant mathematics and computer and information science concepts as tools.
K3 Discipline Specific: Proficiently applies advanced technical knowledge of the specific discipline within that context.
K6 Professional Practice: Appreciates the principles of professional engineering practice in a sustainable context.
S1 Engineering Methods: Applies engineering methods in practical applications.
S2 Problem Solving: Systematically uses engineering methods in solving complex problems.
S3 Design: Systematically uses engineering methods in design.
A2 Communication: Demonstrates effective communication to professional and wider audiences.
A7 Teamwork: Demonstrates effective team membership and team leadership.