Faculty of Engineering

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

Department of Civil Engineering


Professor Ranjith P Gamage/Professor Jayantha Kodikara



  • Second semester 2016 (Day)


  • Second semester 2016 (Day)


The unit covers all aspects of geomechanics at an elementary level, as well as basic engineering geology, formation and weathering processes, sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks, soil and rock forming minerals, geological mapping and modelling, site investigations, in-situ testing, engineering classification of soil and rock, weight-volume relationship, and the two/three phase model. It also includes effective stress theory, stresses in a soil mass and shear strength. The unit includes elementary level application of geomechanics knowledge in the analysis and design of shallow and deep foundations.


At the completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. use knowledge of basic engineering geology in designing civil infrastructure on soils/rocks
  2. plan and interpret results of geotechnical site investigations,
  3. classify soils and rocks including mineralogical compositions
  4. identify different phases in soils and determine their densities, void ratios, porosities
  5. determine total, effective and pore water pressures in soils/rocks including implications of loading on drainage behaviour of soils/rocks
  6. identify and determine appropriate shear strength parameters of soils/rocks for engineering design
  7. estimate incremental stresses in soils/rocks due to applied loads
  8. use knowledge of soils/rocks in designing simple foundations


Continuous assessment: 50%
Examination (3 hours): 50%
Students are required to achieve at least 45% in the total continuous assessment component (assignments, tests, mid-semester exams, laboratory reports) and at least 45% in the final examination component and an overall mark of 50% to achieve a pass grade in the unit. Students failing to achieve this requirement will be given a maximum of 45% in the unit.

Workload requirements

One 2 hour lecture plus one 1 hour lecture, one 2 hour practice class, one 1 hour laboratory and 7 hours of private study per week

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)