RSE4112 - Advanced rock mechanics - 2017

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



Prof Bre-Anne Sainsbury

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2017 (Day)


This unit extends existing knowledge of rock mechanics particularly in relation to the systematic design of excavations and support systems in rock masses. It explores the variability of rock mass strength at different scales and outlines techniques engineers can use for long-term planning and risk reduction.

It also outlines the procedures used to develop, implement and maintain a Ground Control Management Plan. The ground control methodology is largely determined as a function of the interaction of various qualities of the rock mass with various aspects of the planning and design methodologies. Depending on the nature of these interactions, rock support and reinforcement is modified to achieve effective ground control.

This unit focuses on defining the processes in which rock related risks are identified and managed and an individual's Duty of Care.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Generate a strength-scale relationship of a rock mass.
  2. Generate and assess discrete fracture networks for rock mass characterisation.
  3. Generate long-term excavation strategies based on numerical stress analysis.
  4. Appreciate the nature of seismic events and analyse the data recorded by microseismic networks.


Continuous Assessment: 50%

Examination (2 hours): 50%

Students are required to achieve at least 45% in the total continuous assessment component 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

2 hours lectures, 3 hours practice class and 7 hours private study per week

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


CIV2242 and completion of 132 credit points