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Unit Overview


This unit focuses on the fracture and deformation of rocks, rock joints and rock masses; the scale effect in rock strength; failure associated with underground and surface excavations; foundations on rock; dynamics; rock breakage and comminution; and regional stability and local stability issues for underground mines, rock bursts and mine fill. It also includes slope stability principles and applications in weathered and jointed rock. Students use simple mathematical models and mathematical software (Excel, Mathcad) for the evaluation of mining-induced stress concentrations and estimate the stability of simple rock engineering structures.

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

Students are able to (1) describe the types of rock and rock mass testing and classification; (2) use stereo-nets; (3) apply knowledge of rock mechanics to analyse deformation and failure of rocks and rock masses; (4) describe the application of different rock breakage methods; (5) select suitable methods to estimate in situ stress fields; and (6) characterise the types of stress concentrations created by excavations and assess excavation stability.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) assignments; (2) laboratories (group); and (3) a final examination. 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)
Professor Arcady Dyskin
Unit rules
GENG2009 Principles of Geomechanics
and GENG2004 Solid Mechanics (ID 8044)
and MINE2001 Fundamentals of Mining Engineering (ID 8009)
and Enrolment in
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) or an associated Combined Degree
MINE4404 Rock Mechanics (ID 2620)
  • 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.