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Unit outline_

CIVL3811: Engineering Design and Construction

Semester 2, 2021 [Normal day] - Remote

The twin foci of this unit are: to enable students to participate as design engineers by developing an understanding of the design principles and techniques involved in the planning of a range of construction activities; and to assist students in preparing themselves for the role of a site engineer in a construction project wherein they will become familiar with the planning and execution of those activities, albeit with supervision and guidance from experienced professionals. Construction topics include hard rock tunnelling and general rock excavation; soft ground tunnelling; underground construction; micro tunnelling; cut and cover tunnelling; earth retaining systems; piling; formwork and falsework; dewatering; pavement design and construction - rigid and flexible; stormwater drainage design and construction; marine construction; civil construction in environmentally sensitive areas; contract administration for construction engineers; general engineering in remote localities (project based); construction methods in bridge engineering; QA documentation on a typical project; insurance in the construction industry, OHandS issues in the construction industry; timber engineering; post-tensioned/prestressed concrete construction.

Unit details and rules

Academic unit Civil Engineering
Credit points 6
CIVL1810 or CIVL2810
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Faham Tahmasebinia,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Final exam (Take-home short release) Type D final exam Final Exam
Students will solve a real problem in practice.
50% Formal exam period 3 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10 LO11 LO12
Assignment Assignment 1
Research and analysis task.
15% Week 06 TBA
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO6
In-semester test (Take-home short release) Type D in-semester exam In-semester exam
Take - home short release
20% Week 09
Due date: 15 Oct 2021 at 18:00
2.5 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO6 LO9
Assignment Assignment 2
Research and analysis task.
15% Week 13 TBA
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO8
Type D final exam = Type D final exam ?
Type D in-semester exam = Type D in-semester exam ?

Assessment summary

The overall assessment will be based on submitting 2 technical assignments during the semester. 

An in-semester exam will be held by week 9. The final exam will be held in the exam time.

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 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.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

The late submission will be penalized 10% of the overall weight of the assignment per day after the due date.   

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 Detailing in the Composite Structures Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4
Week 02 Detailing/Design in Pre-Stressed Structures - Part 1 Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO6 LO8 LO9
Week 03 Detailing/Design in Pre-Stressed Structures - Part 2 Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO6 LO8 LO9
Week 04 Detailing/Design in Foundation and Retaining walls. Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5 LO6 LO8 LO10
Week 05 Design and Analysis of Tunneling (Part 1) Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO10
Week 06 Design and Analysis of Tunneling (Part 2) Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO11
Week 07 Introduction to Bridge Engineering (Part 1) Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO11
Week 08 Introduction to Bridge Engineering (Part 2) Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9
Week 09 Lateral stability of building structures - Part 1 Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9
Week 10 Lateral stability of building structures – Part 2 Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Week 11 Green building: How can passive and active systems work together? Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO7 LO8 LO9
Week 12 Design stable roof systems Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO6 LO7
Week 13 Introduction to Fire Engineering in Buildings Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO8 LO9

Attendance and class requirements

Students must attend either to the online or face-to-face tutorial sessions.

Also, they need to try to do some technical contributions during the tutorial sessions. Students who are unable to take part to the tutorial session will lose 2 marks per week. 

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

Students will have access the lecture slides, pre-recorded lectures as well as number extra teaching resources to gain a better understating of the practical aspects in engineering construction.    

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. research and report on specialised topics in engineering construction
  • LO2. communicate engineering construction concepts and issues clearly and concisely
  • LO3. develop familiarity with insurance and other forms of risk management and with occupational health and safety issues in the construction Industry
  • LO4. design prefabricated and modular elements
  • LO5. design and construct pavements: (a) flexible pavement construction (incl pavement construction materials) and (b) rigid pavements construction (incl joints)
  • LO6. understand construction related issues and undertake limited design of selected construction operations
  • LO7. apply particular construction related aspects of digital engineering including building information modelling
  • LO8. design deconstruction strategies to deal with buildings and infrastructure at the end of their service life
  • LO9. understand design and construction aspects of: environmental engineering, general engineering for environmentally sensitive projects (incl EPA projects).
  • LO10. Design and Analysis of Tunneling . Students will understand the main practical procedure which can be taken place during the construction in the tunneling construction.
  • LO11. Design and Analysis Pre-stressed Bridges. Students will work out the main practical procedure which can be taken place during the construction in the different types of the bridges.
  • LO12. Active and Passive and HVAC Systems in Buildings. Building Services and Fire protection in Buildings . Introduction to Modular Building.

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

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

Based on the following suggested plan, the proposed layout of the course became more practical for students who are planning to have their internship in the coming summer.


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.