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CIVL5453: Geotechnical Hazards (2019 - Semester 2)

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Unit: CIVL5453: Geotechnical Hazards (6 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Postgraduate
Faculty/School: Civil Engineering
Unit Coordinator/s: Dr Rognon, Pierre
Session options: Semester 2
Versions for this Unit:
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: None.
Brief Handbook Description: Geotechnical hazards include landslides, rock falls and mud flows. They are triggered by soil/rock failure due to natural or human causes. The objective of this Unit of Study is to develop the ability to assess and mitigate the risks associated to such events.

Students will learn how to estimate when and where these events are likely to occur, how to define safety zones and how to design effective protection structures. The syllabus is comprised of (i) Landslide Risk Assessment and Management procedures (ii) post-failure and out of equilibrium soil mechanics applied to prediction of rock fall, landslide and mud flow run-out distance and impact force on structures; (iii) design of geotechnical protection structures using Finite Element modelling.

Senior geotechnical engineers from major companies will deliver some guest lectures presenting on practical case study involving geotechnical hazards throughout the semester.
Assumed Knowledge: (CIVL2410 AND CIVL3411) OR (CIVL9410 AND CIVL9411). Students are assumed to have a good knowledge of fundamental soil mechanics, which is covered in the courses of soil mechanics (settlement, water flow, soil strength) and foundation engineering (soil models, stability analyses; slope stability; retaining walls; foundation capacity).
Lecturer/s: Dr Rognon, Pierre
Timetable: CIVL5453 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 Lecture 3.00 2 11
2 Tutorial 1.00 1 11
3 Project Work - in class 2.00 1 2
4 Project Work - own time 5.00 1 2
5 Independent Study 5.00 1 13
T&L Activities: Lecture: Lectures will be given to provide background information, new concepts, and theoretical and analytical approaches to geotechnical flows problems.

Project Work - own time: Project will require work outside class time to complete.

Tutorial: Tutorial exercises will be conducted throughout the semester, to develop analytical skills in geotechnical flows modelling and to provide indication of exam questions

Independent Study: Study of course material to enable assignments to be completed and concepts understood

Learning outcomes are the key abilities and knowledge that will be assessed in this unit. They are listed according to the course goal supported by each. See Assessment Tab for details how each outcome is assessed.

(6) Communication and Inquiry/ Research (Level 4)
1. Write geotechnical report with extensive consideration of theoretical and methodological issues.
2. Interpret and discuss uncertainty in theoretical/practical context.
(4) Design (Level 4)
3. Apply theories of rock and soil motion to design protection systems and building foundations.
(2) Engineering/ IT Specialisation (Level 5)
4. Proficiency in Landslide Risk Assessment and Management procedures recommended by the Australian Geomechanics Society
5. Develop geotechnical solutions to mitigate rock and soil motion.
(1) Maths/ Science Methods and Tools (Level 4)
6. Proficiency in computer simulations of out of equilibrium motions.
7. Understand physical models of rock falls, landslides and mud-flows, and their limitation.
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
1 Quiz No 20.00 Week 7 2, 3, 4, 5, 7,
2 Project Yes 30.00 Week 11 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7,
3 Final Exam No 50.00 Exam Period 2, 3, 5, 7,
Assessment Description: Quiz: Paper based mid-semester quiz

Project:

Use a Finite Element software (previousely introduced in class) to propose a safe solution to a real geotechnical problem.

Produce a 6 minutes movie presenting your solution and rational.

Late penalty for the project: 5 marks per day past due date.

Final Exam: Paper based examination

Minimum performance criteria: 50% of the weighted averaged of the Quiz, Project and Final exam mark.
Grading:
Grade Type Description
Standards Based Assessment Final grades in this unit are awarded at levels of HD for High Distinction, DI (previously D) for Distinction, CR for Credit, PS (previously P) for Pass and FA (previously F) for Fail as defined by University of Sydney Assessment Policy. Details of the Assessment Policy are available on the Policies website at http://sydney.edu.au/policies . Standards for grades in individual assessment tasks and the summative method for obtaining a final mark in the unit will be set out in a marking guide supplied by the unit coordinator.
Policies & Procedures: See the policies page of the faculty website at http://sydney.edu.au/engineering/student-policies/ for information regarding university policies and local provisions and procedures within the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies.
Prescribed Text/s: Note: Students are expected to have a personal copy of all books listed.
Recommended Reference/s: Note: References are provided for guidance purposes only. Students are advised to consult these books in the university library. Purchase is not required.
  • Granular Media: Between Fluid and Solid

Note that the "Weeks" referred to in this Schedule are those of the official university semester calendar https://web.timetable.usyd.edu.au/calendar.jsp

Week Description
Week 1 Geotechnical hazards: risk assessment and management
Week 2 Stresses in soils and rocks
Week 3 Causes of soil and rock Failure (part 1)
Week 4 Causes of soil and rock Failure (part 2)
Week 5 Rock fall
Week 6 Recap
Week 7 Assessment Due: Quiz
Week 8 Hazards in geotechnical projects (Guest lecture)
Week 9 Hazards in geotechnical projects (Guest lecture)
Week 10 Hazards in geotechnical projects (Guest lecture)
Week 11 Hazards in geotechnical projects (Guest lecture)
Assessment Due: Project
Week 12 Landslide dynamics
Week 13 Recap
STUVAC (Week 14) This week is free for independent study
Exam Period Final exam
Assessment Due: Final Exam

Course Relations

The following is a list of courses which have added this Unit to their structure.

Course Year(s) Offered
Master of Professional Engineering (Geomechanical) 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Civil (till 2014) 2014
Civil Engineering / Arts 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil (Construction Management) (till 2014) 2014
Civil (Environmental) (till 2014) 2014
Civil (Geotechnical) (till 2014) 2014
Civil (Structures) (till 2014) 2014
Civil/ Project Management 2019, 2020
Civil 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Civil / Arts 2015, 2016, 2017
Civil / Project Management 2016, 2017, 2018
Civil / Science 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Civil/Science (Health) 2018, 2019, 2020
Civil (Construction Management) 2015
Civil (Environmental) 2015
Civil (Geotechnical) 2015
Civil (Structures) 2015
Civil Mid-Year 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Civil/Science (Medical Science Stream) 2018, 2019, 2020
Master of Engineering 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Accelerated) (Civil) 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Accelerated) (Fluids) 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Accelerated) (Geomechanical) 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Accelerated) (Structural) 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Civil) 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Fluids) 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Structural) 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Civil / Commerce 2015
Civil / Design in Architecture 2015
Civil / Medical Science 2015

Course Goals

This unit contributes to the achievement of the following course goals:

Attribute Practiced Assessed
(6) Communication and Inquiry/ Research (Level 4) No 23%
(7) Project and Team Skills (Level 3) No 0%
(8) Professional Effectiveness and Ethical Conduct (Level 3) No 0%
(5) Interdisciplinary, Inclusiveness, Influence (Level 4) No 0%
(4) Design (Level 4) No 25%
(2) Engineering/ IT Specialisation (Level 5) No 24%
(3) Problem Solving and Inventiveness (Level 4) No 0%
(1) Maths/ Science Methods and Tools (Level 4) No 28%

These goals are selected from Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018 which defines overall goals for courses where this unit is primarily offered. See Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018 for details of the attributes and levels to be developed in the course as a whole. Percentage figures alongside each course goal provide a rough indication of their relative weighting in assessment for this unit. Note that not all goals are necessarily part of assessment. Some may be more about practice activity. See Learning outcomes for details of what is assessed in relation to each goal and Assessment for details of how the outcome is assessed. See Attributes for details of practice provided for each goal.