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 builds on existing knowledge in geotechnical engineering, developing an understanding of how geotechnical infrastructure impacts on and interacts with the environment. The topics covered in this unit include: seepage, static and cyclic liquefaction, slope stability and contaminant transport. The unit also includes an introduction to unsaturated soil mechanics.

Techniques for identifying triggering mechanisms for structural and environmental failures of tailings storage facilities and municipal waste landfills will be presented and solutions to address these potential failures will be investigated. An introduction to proactive environmental geotechnical infrastructure solutions such a rammed earth structures will also be included.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) investigate applicability of ground improvement techniques to particular commercial, environmental and social settings; (2) develop simplified conceptual and numerical models to assist in the design of geotechnical structures; (3) explain the processes involved in the transport of contaminants within the ground; (4) use ill-defined data sets to analyse complex geoenvironmental problems; (5) analyse the stability of various waste disposal facilities such as tailings storage facilities and landfill; and (6) predict the potential environmental impact of waste disposal facilities.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) in-class exercises; (2) individual assignments; and (3) a final exam. 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)
Dr Cristina Vulpe
Unit rules
Enrolment in 62550 Master of Professional Engineering (Civil Engineering specialisation, Environmental Engineering specialisation, and Mining Engineering specialisation)
Enrolment in
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) or an associated Combined Degree
and Successful completion of
120 Points
and GENG2009 Principles of Geomechanics
Advisable prior study
ENSC3009 Geomechanics
or GENG2009 Principles of Geomechanics
Contact hours
54 (lectures: 30 hours
tutorials/workshops: 24 hours)
  • 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.