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Unit of study_

CIVL2010: Environmental Engineering

Semester 2, 2022 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

This unit introduces students to the role of civil engineers and the historical development of the profession, and relates this to the Code of Ethics - Engineers Australia; impact of engineering on the human and natural environment; energy consumption, resourcing and renewal, dealing with variability in climate; definitions and practice of sustainability; environmental assessment tools and life-cycle analyses. As graduates, students may expect to find themselves in a position which touches upon a wide variety of Engineering fields (including legal, institutional, and environmental considerations). In both small and large firms they could be acting as agents and managers of technology-driven change which has social and environmental impact. Engineering decision-making and problem-solving are made more complex by technical, economic, environmental, social and ethical constraints. The goals of this unit are to introduce students to major problems of environmental deterioration and engage students in active reflection on the role of civil engineers in addressing these issues; to develop the students skills at quantifying the impact of engineering decisions within the broader economic, environmental and socio-cultural contexts; to develop communication skills through participation in group discussions, video production and written report writing. Lectures, group discussions, case problems and projects are all used in teaching and learning in this unit of study.

Unit details and rules

Unit code CIVL2010
Academic unit Civil Engineering
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge

MATH1023 AND (ENGG1801 or ENGG1810). Strong calculus knowledge from 1000 level MATH, as well as the ability to program. Basic understanding of structural mechanics (CIVL2201) is also an advantage

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Benjy Marks,
Lecturer(s) Abbas El-Zein,
Benjy Marks,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Online task Energy Quiz
In-class quiz
20% Week 05 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO4
Assignment group assignment Air Pollution Lab Report
Laboratory report
20% Week 08 n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO3 LO1 LO2 LO5
Assignment Climate Investigation
Technical report
20% Week 10
Due date: 16 Oct 2022 at 23:59
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO6 LO4
Assignment group assignment Sustainability Project
Long format report
30% Week 13 n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7
Participation Tutorial participation
Tutorial participation mark
10% Weekly 12 x one hour tutorials
Outcomes assessed: LO3
group assignment = group assignment ?

Assessment summary

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 02 Energy Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO4 LO6
Week 03 Energy Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO4 LO6
Week 04 Energy Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO4 LO6
Week 05 Pollution Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO5
Week 06 Pollution Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO5
Week 07 A whole day exercise will be performed on the University campus. Practical (8 hr) LO5
Week 08 Climate Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4
Week 09 Climate Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4
Week 10 Sustainable Systems Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO7
Week 11 Sustainable systems Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO7
Week 12 Sustainable systems Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO7
Week 13 Sustainable systems Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO7
Weekly Readings, pre-work, exercises Independent study (5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7

Attendance and class requirements

Participation marks are awarded for active participation in the weekly tutorials.

The fieldwork exercise must be attended, and this cannot be rescheduled. If you miss this exercise, you must contact the unit of study coordinator as soon as possible to organise an alternative assessment.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

All readings for this unit can be accessed on the Library eReserve link available on Canvas.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

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

  • LO1. analyse the role civil engineers play in addressing global environmental problems such as climate change
  • LO2. interpret scholarly literature in the context of engineering practice
  • LO3. communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing, on technical topics
  • LO4. apply the 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics to environmental problems
  • LO5. calculate the spread of airborne pollution
  • LO6. examine anthropogenic climate change including its causes, impacts and implications.
  • LO7. critically appraise environmental sustainability through the prism of system dynamics

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

Alignment with Competency standards

Outcomes Competency standards
Engineers Australia Curriculum Performance Indicators - EAPI
3.4. An understanding of and commitment to ethical and professional responsibilities.
4.5. An ability to undertake problem solving, design and project work within a broad contextual framework accommodating social, cultural, ethical, legal, political, economic and environmental responsibilities as well as within the principles of sustainable development and health and safety imperatives.

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

Significant changes have been made to the unit of study for 2022. Firstly, the ordering of the modules has changed. Secondly, many of the assessments have changed. The coding component of the course has been refocussed and reduced. A fieldwork exercise has been introduced in week 7, which will replace lectures and tutorials.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.