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Unit Overview


This is an advanced unit that examines how computational models are employed in Environmental Engineering and how they are developed, tested and used as decision-making tools.

The unit is designed to provide students with hands-on experience in implementing, modifying and testing industry-standard modelling platforms in Environmental Engineering. Students will use these platforms to make quantitative predictions of contamination, flow patterns, material transport and ecosystem processes in atmospheric, marine, river & estuarine and groundwater systems.

Students will also develop the tools necessary to (i) address key challenges associated with modelling complex environmental systems, such as scale effects, spatial and temporal variability, uncertainty and data insufficiency and (ii) critically assess the validity of model predictions.

6 points
Not available in 2024UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 4 core unit in the Environmental Engineering major sequence

Students are able to (1) select appropriate tools for quantitative modelling in the solution of Environmental Engineering problems, drawing on existing understanding of system processes; (2) demonstrate the capacity to configure, calibrate, generate output from, and validate a wide range of models employed by the Environmental Engineering profession; (3) utilise large datasets, both of model output and of collected data for validation, to generate modelling outcomes; (4) critically evaluate the limitations of a given modelling approach, based on considerations of scale and its capacity to resolve spatial and temporal variability; (5) quantitatively assess model skill, and use it as a basis for supporting the chosen modelling approach and configuration; and (6) communicate the role played by modelling in arriving at solutions to practically-relevant Environmental Engineering problem.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) case study reports (individual); (2) individual presentation; and (3) team project report. 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)
Unit rules
ENVE2607 Modelling in Environmental Engineering (ID 8011)
and ENVE4401 Contaminant Fate and Transport
and ENVE3403 Flow and Turbulence in Environmental Systems (ID 8093)
and Enrolment in
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) or an associated Combined Degree
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week
workshops: 3 hours per week
  • 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.