Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


This unit introduces students to inquiry-driven, open-ended approaches to environmental engineering design. As individuals, students determine the state of knowledge around and design solution options available to address real-world examples of a specific, local, environmental engineering problem. Examples of potential problems include the management of the erosion of foreshore areas on the Swan River, or stormwater harvesting and storage to support urban forest expansion in Perth's suburbs.

Student teams will develop preliminary and detailed designs implementing solutions to the problem. Students will be guided in planning and phasing their work via a two-tiered assessment process. Students will receive specific training on giving and receiving feedback, particularly on technical writing and drawings. The feedback process will incorporate both peer and instructor feedback. Design outputs will be “typical” for practicing environmental engineers, e.g. environmental impact assessments, management plans, physical/chemical/biological technical design reports, and engineering drawings. Throughout, students will maintain a reflective journal documenting their learning and experiences. They will summarise the main themes in this journal in an assessed written reflection at the end of the semester.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 core unit in the Environmental Engineering major sequence

Students are able to (1) conduct research to define the state of knowledge of an environmental problem; (2) scope and technically evaluate alternative environmental engineering solutions; (3) develop a design methodology that generates technical solutions to an environmental problem; (4) develop potential design solutions consistent with relevant legislation and standards for environment, health and safety (covering, for example, the EPBC Act 1999 , Environmental Protection Act (WA) 1986, Contaminated Sites Act (WA) 2003, the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act (WA) 2007, the Work, Health and Safety Act (WA) 2020 and ISO45001); (5) evaluate potential design solutions from social, economic, environmental, and ethical perspectives.; (6) work effectively in teams, including giving and receiving feedback; (7) demonstrate awareness of their own learning and educational progress as engineers; and (8) prepare common environmental engineering design deliverables.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) individual literature review; (2) group reports; and (3) reflective journal and professional conduct. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Sally Thompson
Unit rules
ENVE2606 Grand Challenges in Environmental Engineering (ID 8010)
and GENG2000 Engineering Practice 2
and Enrolment in
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) or an associated Combined Degree
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week
workshop: 2 hours per week
Lecturers and guest speakers from industry as well as technical experts from e.g. UWA, other universities, Government Departments or CSIRO, will support the class in consolidating students' knowledge, technical skills and familiarity with legal, policy, ethical and other social considerations relevant to the project.
  • 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.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.