CIVL5503 Underground Construction

6 points
(see Timetable)
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face
This unit provides students with practical tools necessary for the design of deep and shallow foundations, basements and tunnels. Numerous case history examples are used to illustrate a wide variety of construction procedures and how they impact and shape the geotechnical design process. Particular emphasis is placed on the use of simple design approaches employing appropriate soil parameters. Students are exposed to typical commercial software used in geotechnical design. The topics covered in the unit include soil parameter selection, basement design, footing and raft design, pile and piled raft design, reinforced embankment design and tunnel design.
Students are able to (1) utilise improved interpersonal skills for working in groups; (2) proficiently prepare a design report; (3) discuss limitations of current practice and how improvements can be made; (4) explain how research benefits everyday design practice; (5) apply soil mechanics principles to the design of geotechnical engineering structures such as basements, shallow foundations, piled foundations and tunnels; (6) describe how construction-related issues impact geotechnical designs; (7) proficiently use common soil-structure interaction software; (8) discuss accuracy requirements and limitations; and (9) apply sensitivity studies in design.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) assignments; (2) quizzes; and (3) final examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is only available in this unit in the case of a student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Barry Lehane
Unit rules
enrolment in the Master of Professional Engineering (Civil Engineering specialisation)
CIVL4401 Applied Geomechanics; for pre-2012 courses: (CIVL3120 Applied Geomechanics
CIVL4401 Applied Geomechanics)
(CIVL2122 Geomechanics
ENSC3009 Geomechanics)
CIVL4120 Foundation Engineering Design
Contact hours
49 hours
Unit Outline
Non-standard teaching period [TS-Z-3-2020]
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.