Courses & Units

Foundation Engineering and Design ENG315


This unit builds on the basic concepts and fundamental principles of engineering geology and soil mechanics covered in a prerequisite unit. It gives an introduction to Geotechnical Engineering, and provides the basic concepts and mechanics necessary for geotechnical design. Through this unit, students will develop an understanding of the factors influencing soil strength, and apply this understanding to explore the stability of slopes, retaining walls and foundations. This unit is aimed to investigate the stability of the ground, and the stability of any structures built in or on the ground. An understanding of the factors influencing the ability of the ground to withstand loads of various types is essential for all civil engineers. It emphasizes understanding principles and applying them to practical situations. The aim is to give students the necessary skills to design, construct and supervise geotechnical projects.


Unit name Foundation Engineering and Design
Unit code ENG315
Credit points 12.5
College/School College of Sciences and Engineering
School of Engineering
Discipline Engineering
Coordinator Doctor Hong Liu
Available as an elective? Yes
Delivered By University of Tasmania


Location Study period Attendance options Available to
Hobart Semester 1 On-Campus International Domestic


International students
Domestic students

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Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Semester 1 20/2/2023 21/3/2023 10/4/2023 28/5/2023

* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (refer to How do I withdraw from a unit? for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2023 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2023 will be available from the 1st October 2022. Note census date cutoff is 11.59pm AEST (AEDT during October to March).

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  • Describe the behaviour of engineering soils under typical loading conditions in terms of total stress, effective stress, stress and strain invariants, and stress history according to poroelastic model, Mohr-Coulomb failure model and critical state model.
  • Design appropriate testing methods to determine the drained and undrained shear strengths of engineering soils in laboratory and field.
  • Evaluate the stability of geostructures against typical failure mechanisms using analytical and numerical methods.
  • Design typical geotechnical structures such as footing, pile, slope and retaining wall including their documentations to ensure their short-term and long-term stabilities using both total and effective stress analysis methods.
Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1,3 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1,3 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2,3 Domestic Full Fee 4
030911 $1,037.00 $1,037.00 not applicable $2,938.00

1 Please refer to more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Please refer to more information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses.
3 Please refer to more information on eligibility for HECS-HELP.
4 Please refer to more information on eligibility for FEE-HELP.

If you have any questions in relation to the fees, please contact UConnect or more information is available on StudyAssist.

Please note: international students should refer to What is an indicative Fee? to get an indicative course cost.




Mutual Exclusions

You cannot enrol in this unit as well as the following:



Teaching Pattern

3 x 90 minute lectures weekly, 1 x 60 minute tutorial weekly, 4 x 3hr practicals

AssessmentFinal exam (30%)|Design projects (35%)|Practicals (10%)|Tutorials (15%)|Middle-semester quiz (10%)
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



Required readings will be listed in the unit outline prior to the start of classes.

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