ENEC14014 - Structural and Geotechnical Design

General Information

Unit Synopsis

In this unit, you will analyse, design and prepare documentation for major civil engineering projects involving a broad range of investigation and design activities.You will establish project requirements and determine design loads and conditions, analyse structures and design components using Australian Standards and/or relevant guidance. You will use commercial computer software STB2010 and GeoStudio to analyse and design the structures with various design actions; conduct site investigations, test and characterise geotechnical materials, design foundations and earth retaining structures, and make assessments of geotechnical stability. In this unit, you are expected to document the process of modelling, testing and analysis, and communicate, work and learn, both individually and in teams, in a professional manner. This unit provides an opportunity to promote the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 11: sustainable cities and communities.


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 4
Credit Points 12
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.25
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites
Prerequisite: (ENEC12012 Stress Analysis or ENEC13010 Solid Mechanics) AND ENEC12008 Geotechnical Engineering AND (ENEC13015 Steel & Timber Design or ENEC13011 Steel Structures) AND (ENEC13016 Concrete Technology & Design or ENEC14013 Concrete Structures)

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School No Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 1 - 2024

Term 1 - 2024 Profile

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 12-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 25 hours of study per week, making a total of 300 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Written Assessment 30%
2. Written Assessment 50%
3. Presentation 20%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 1 - 2022 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 85.71% (`Agree` and `Strongly Agree` responses), based on a 29.17% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Moodle
Both structural and geotechnical engineering assessments were very relevant and practice-oriented.
The high fidelity assessments will be maintained in future offerings.
Action Taken
More industry practices will be incorporated into the assignments for further improvement.
Source: Moodle
The course content was diverse and informative.
The diversity of the content will be upheld in the next offering.
Action Taken
The diverse contents of this unit will be continued in the next offering.
Source: Moodle
The lecturers were very well planned, in-depth discussion of topics and never stretched for time.
The conceptual discussions and their articulation in an easy to understand manner is central to this design unit and this teaching style will be maintained in future.
Action Taken
The same teaching style will be followed in the next offering.
Source: Moodle
Some assessments were returned late which hindered learning.
Care will be taken to return assessments within the two-week time period.
Action Taken
The order of assignments will be altered in the next offering, which will help in returning the marked assignments within the return deadlines.
Source: Moodle
RC design and labs could have been taught in other units.
This is a high priority and the teaching team is working to restructure some aspects of the unit. The lab component has now been moved and from 2023 onward will be discontinued.
Action Taken
RC design has already been removed and the laboratory component will be discontinued from 2023.
Source: Unit evaluation
Because of the delay in returning marked assignments, students are unable to understand their mistakes. This prevents students to learn from their mistakes and impacts their performance in the subsequent assignments and/or exams.
The order of assignments will be altered in the next offering, which will help in returning the marked assignments within the return deadlines. Feedback on the viva will be made available to students immediately after the viva.
Action Taken
Source: Unit evaluation
Too many assignments in this unit.
RC design has already been removed. The laboratory reports will be discontinued from 2023.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate a commitment to ethical practice by promoting principles of sustainable development and awareness of stakeholder requirements
  2. Determine and justify loads and load combinations for a structural system
  3. Analyse and design concrete and masonry structural components using appropriate Australian Standards
  4. Describe and apply site investigation and geotechnical testing techniques to characterise sites and geotechnical materials based on Australian Standards
  5. Analyse and design foundations and earth retaining structures and assess the stability of slopes
  6. Accurately model and analyse structural and geotechnical systems using industry-standard software and Australian Standards.

The Learning Outcomes for this unit are linked with the Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency Standards for Professional Engineers in the areas of 1. Knowledge and Skill Base, 2. Engineering Application Ability and 3. Professional and Personal Attributes at the following levels:

3.1 Ethical conduct and professional accountability. (LO: 3N)
1.2 Conceptual understanding of the mathematics, numerical analysis, statistics, and computer and information sciences which underpin the engineering discipline. (LO: 3I)
1.4 Discernment of knowledge development and research directions within the engineering discipline. (LO: 2I 3I 4I)
3.5 Orderly management of self, and professional conduct. (LO: 4I)
1.1 Comprehensive, theory-based understanding of the underpinning natural and physical sciences and the engineering fundamentals applicable to the engineering discipline. (LO: 3A 4I)
1.3 In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering discipline. (LO: 2A 3A 4I 5A)
1.5 Knowledge of engineering design practice and contextual factors impacting the engineering discipline. (LO: 2A 3A 5A)
1.6 Understanding of the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds of sustainable engineering practice in the specific discipline. (LO: 1A 3I)
2.1 Application of established engineering methods to complex engineering problem solving. (LO: 3A 5A)
2.2 Fluent application of engineering techniques, tools and resources. (LO: 3A 5A 6A)
2.3 Application of systematic engineering synthesis and design processes. (LO: 2A 3A 4A 5A)
2.4 Application of systematic approaches to the conduct and management of engineering projects. (LO: 2I 3A 5A)
3.2 Effective oral and written communication in professional and lay domains. (LO: 3A 4A)
3.6 Effective team membership and team leadership. (LO: 3A 4A)

Note: LO refers to the Learning Outcome number(s) which link to the competency and the levels: N – Introductory, I – Intermediate and A - Advanced.
Refer to the Engineering Undergraduate Course Moodle site for further information on the Engineers Australia's Stage 1 Competency Standard for Professional Engineers and course level mapping information https://moodle.cqu.edu.au/course/view.php?id=1511

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 - Written Assessment
2 - Written Assessment
3 - Presentation
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
5 - Team Work
6 - Information Technology Competence
7 - Cross Cultural Competence
8 - Ethical practice
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10