Courses & Units

Foundation Engineering and Design ENG421



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 ENG421
Credit points 12.5
Faculty/School College of Sciences and Engineering
School of Engineering
Discipline Engineering

Dr Hong Y Liu

Level Advanced
Available as student elective? No
Breadth Unit? No


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 22/2/2021 23/3/2021 12/4/2021 30/5/2021

* 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 (see withdrawal dates explained for more information).

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

1. 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.

2. Design appropriate testing methods to determine the drained and undrained shear strengths of engineering soils in laboratory and field.

3. Evaluate the stability of geostructures against typical failure mechanisms using analytical and numerical methods.

4. 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 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1 Approved Pathway Student Contribution 2 Domestic Full Fee
030911 $993.0 $993.0 not applicable $2,798.0

1 Please refer here more information on student contribution amounts.
2 The information on Approved Pathway courses can be found here.
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 this page to get an indicative course cost.




Mutual Exclusions

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



Teaching Pattern



Four major assessments:  practicals (10%), quizzes (10%), design projects (50%) and end of semester exam (30%)

TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable


Booktopia textbook links

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