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Unit of study_

CIVL6456: Energy Geotechnics

2024 unit information

This is an advanced course on geotechnical engineering. The Unit of Study will focus on the design and analyses of geotechnical applications related to energy and sustainability. This course covers essential geotechnical design concepts related to some of the current and emerging energy projects, starting from the governing mechanisms controlling heat and mass transfer, to designing geothermal foundations and geological storage facilities, as examples. Other energy geotechnical problems include the design and analyses of offshore foundations for oil and gas platforms, which must sustain unique and harsh loading conditions, and carbon geosequestration facilities subjected to high temperatures, pressures and hydrological conditions. The course concerns with the constitutive behaviour of soils, including stress, strain, heat and mass transfer, and the application of this knowledge in practical engineering problems. Theme topics related with these materials will be discussed with specific emphases on the areas of energy and environmental engineering. This course aims to develop theoretical and numerical skills for students interested in structural and geotechnical engineering.

Unit details and rules

Managing faculty or University school:


Study level Postgraduate
Academic unit Civil Engineering
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge:
[CIVL2410 OR CIVL9410] AND [CIVL3411 OR CIVL9411]

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

  • LO1. source information from literature effectively, critically analyse the conclusions, and identify the assumptions used and limitations of the existing approaches
  • LO2. determine the design parameters for given geotechnical engineering conditions based on a rational consideration of soil factors
  • LO3. identify the contributing factors influencing thermo-hydro-mechanical (THM) behaviour of soils and explain their interactions, using the theoretical framework of poromechanics
  • LO4. explain models used in predicting THM behaviour of geo-materials, including their practical requirements and potential limitations
  • LO5. operate the poromechanics models using real laboratory data to produce meaningful results, and critically evaluate the quality of lab data and ensure readiness for use in soil behaviour modelling for energy geotechnics
  • LO6. produce soundly-based interpretations of soil modelling results, giving due consideration to assumptions and limitations of the data used and those to the model used
  • LO7. engage with alternative possible interpretations of the same results, critically examine the merits of each and draw appropriate conclusions.

Unit availability

This section lists the session, attendance modes and locations the unit is available in. There is a unit outline for each of the unit availabilities, which gives you information about the unit including assessment details and a schedule of weekly activities.

The outline is published 2 weeks before the first day of teaching. You can look at previous outlines for a guide to the details of a unit.

Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Semester 2 2024
Normal evening Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Semester 2 2020
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 2 2022
Normal evening Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 2 2022
Normal evening Remote
Semester 2 2023
Normal evening Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

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Modes of attendance (MoA)

This refers to the Mode of attendance (MoA) for the unit as it appears when you’re selecting your units in Sydney Student. Find more information about modes of attendance on our website.