The field of highway engineering is a vital part of national and international infrastructure development. This unit (NEC2204) of study introduces students to the principles of road design and construction which can be applied in various urban and rural contexts. Students learn to perform geometric road design, including route location, superelevation, transition curves, grading and earthwork calculations. They work in small teams on real world projects which require consideration of the natural and existing built environment, OH&S compliance and established reporting protocols. Unit topics include: Earthworks including equipment, determination of quantities and costs, preparation and use of mass haul diagrams; route location factors, route selection, horizontal alignment including circular curves and transition curves and superelevation, determination of sight distance; vertical alignment including grades and vertical curves; pavement design methods for both flexible and rigid pavements, determination of number of equivalent standard axles, use of California Bearing Ratio; road construction equipment capabilities; introduction to road drainage methods, surface and subsurface drainage; road maintenance issues and programs.

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:


NEC2104 - Engineering Surveying

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Apply appropriate geometric standards to the design of rural roads;  
  2. Demonstrate understanding of methods to determine efficient earthworks operations;  
  3. Conceptually map the process for designing road pavements;  
  4. Identify, formulate and solve emerging problems, and perform requisite design/redesign work;  
  5. Use a systematic approach to design and evaluate engineering solutions taking into account all relevant technical, environmental, economic and social considerations;  


Assessment type Description Grade
Assignment Group Assignment. 25%
Project Individual Project 25%
Test Individual Tests (2) 50%

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As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

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