Unit code: NEC2202 | Study level: Undergraduate
    (Generally, 1 credit = 10 hours of classes and independent study.)
    Footscray Park
    NEC2102 - Solid Mechanics
    (Or equivalent to be determined by unit coordinator)


    All engineering structures are founded on or within the earth, so it is important that civil engineering students acquire a good understanding of soil and rock behaviour and their impact on such structures. This unit is designed to provide students with knowledge of basic geology, and the engineering properties and behaviour of different types of soil and rock when subjected to various degrees of weathering, moisture conditions, topographic /stratigraphic conditions, loading conditions and improvement techniques. Students will also be introduced to a range of hands-on activities and laboratory practices aimed at determining types and properties of soil and rock, which might be present on any particular site.

    Key topics include: Engineering geology; Classification, description and engineering properties of soil and rock; In-ground stress due to gravity loads and the principle of effective stress; Permeability and seepage of water through soil; Shear strength of soil; Slope failure mechanisms and related stability analyses; Earthworks and compaction of soils; Geotechnical site investigation; Introduction to geo-energy.

    Learning Outcomes

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

    1. Evaluate and analyse basic soil / rock information using various sources including geological maps, laboratory and field investigations, websites and texts;
    2. Classify major soil and rock types, and explain their typical applications for engineering uses;
    3. Predict the behaviour of various soil and rock types under different in-situ conditions by quantitatively and qualitatively assessing key soil and rock parameters;
    4. Apply numerical simulation techniques to model geomechanics problems and characterize soil / rock behaviour under various in-situ conditions; and
    5. Conduct some key geotechnical laboratory tests, analyse data and interpret results according to the relevant Australian Standards.


    For Melbourne campuses

    Assessment type: Test
    Grade: 10%
    Online quiz.
    Assessment type: Laboratory Work
    Grade: 15%
    Laboratory reports
    Assessment type: Assignment
    Grade: 15%
    Team-based problem solving exercise and report.
    Assessment type: Test
    Grade: 60%
    Two individual written tests (2hrs each) (30% each)

    Required reading

    Refer to VU Collaborate for recommended reading and additional resources.

    Elements of Soil Mechanics
    Smith, I. (2014)| Wiley Blackwell

    As part of a course

    This unit is studied as part of the following course(s):

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