CIVL5351: Geoenvironmental Engineering (2014 - Semester 1)

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Unit: CIVL5351: Geoenvironmental Engineering (6 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Postgraduate
Faculty/School: Civil Engineering
Unit Coordinator/s: Dr Elzein, Abbas
Session options: Semester 1
Versions for this Unit:
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: None.
Brief Handbook Description: Objectives: To develop an understanding of the geotechnical aspects of the design and management of industrial and domestic waste disposal systems.

Learning Outcomes: 1. Analyse flow regime in soil using Darcy equation; 2. Analyse contaminant migration in soil using coupled flow and reactive diffusion advection equations; 3. Design a single or double composite landfill liner satisfying groundwater quality requirements; 4. Predict the potential for methane production in a landfill and assess the feasibility of waste-to-energy conversion; 5. Conduct research on a geoenvironmental topic as part for group.

Syllabus Summary: introduction to geoenvironmental engineering; integrated waste management and life cycle assessment; soil composition and mineralogy; types and characteristics of contaminants; theory of water seepage in soil and hydraulic conductivity; theory of reactive contaminant transport in soil including molecular diffusion, mechanical dispersion and advective flow; analytical and numerical solutions of reactive diffusion advection equation; design of landfills; geosynthetics and geomembranes; defects and leakage rates; methane generation in landfills and landfill gas management.
Assumed Knowledge: None.
Timetable: CIVL5351 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 Lecture 2.00 1 11
2 Tutorial 2.00 1 10
3 Independent Study 5.00 1 13
T&L Activities: Lecture: Lectures will be given for 3 hours per week for most weeks in the semester.

Independent Study: Students will need to seek information from the Internet and the library to assist their design assignment work. They will also need to devote time to assignments outside lecture times.

Attributes listed here represent the key course goals (see Course Map tab) designated for this unit. The list below describes how these attributes are developed through practice in the unit. See Learning Outcomes and Assessment tabs for details of how these attributes are assessed.

Attribute Development Method Attribute Developed
Students are required to carry out the design of a landfill using realistic data and considering available material and costs. No single solution exists and students must combine the use of computational tools, analytical skills and engineering judgment to develop optimal solutions. Design (Level 4)
Analytical and computational solution of water flow and contaminant migration problems gives students discipline-specific skills in the area of geoenvironmental engineering. Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 4)
Skills in the use of report writing software (Word, Excel) and in the use of specific software for water seepage and contaminant migration. Applied research skills to investigate in-depth a geoenvironmental engineering topic assigned to the student, using library, Internet and database research (especially assignment 3). Information Seeking (Level 4)
Students must write reports for assignments 1 and 2 describing the optimal landfill designs they have attempted to develop and the rationale behind them. Students must make an oral presentation reporting their research findings for assignment 3. Communication (Level 4)
In assignments 1 and 2, students must make decisions about the most suitable design parameters to change and the best design to choose, weighing cost interests of developer against safety considerations and wider environmental and social concerns. Professional Conduct (Level 4)

For explanation of attributes and levels see Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table.

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.

Design (Level 4)
1. Design a single or double composite landfill liner satisfying groundwater quality requirements
Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 4)
2. 1. Analyse flow regime in soil using Darcy equation; 2. Analyse contaminant migration in soil using coupled flow and reactive diffusion advection equations; 3. Predict the potential for methane production in a landfill and assess the feasibility of waste-to-energy conversion.
Information Seeking (Level 4)
3. Conduct research on a geoenvironmental topic as part of a group.
Communication (Level 4)
4. Write professional reports describing optimal designs and the rationale behind them.
Professional Conduct (Level 4)
5. Exercise professional judgement in weighing cost and technical considerations against wider environmental and social interests.
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
1 Quiz No 30.00 Week 7 1, 2, 5,
2 Quiz No 30.00 Week 13 1, 2, 5,
3 Assignment No 10.00 Week 5 1, 2, 4, 5,
4 Assignment No 10.00 Week 9 1, 2, 4, 5,
5 Assignment Yes 20.00 Week 11 3, 4,
Assessment Description: Quiz 1: water seepage theory; contaminant migration theory; simple design problems.

Quiz 2: landfill design problems; methane generation; water seepage theory; contaminant migration theory.

Assignment 1: simple landfill design problem based on water seepage theory.

Assignment 2: landfill design problem based on water seepage and contaminant transport theories.

Assignment 3: research and written and verbal presentations on assigned geoenvironmental engineering topic.

Assignment: Design of a liner on the slope of a landfill

Assignment: Design of a tailings dam. Includes slope stability, staging, filters, seepage losses, foundation cut-offs.
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.

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 Lecture: Integrated waste management
Lecture: Introduction to geoenvironmental engineering; soil composition and mineralogy.
Week 2 Lecture: Types and characteristics of contaminants; chemical processes.
Lecture: Life cycle analysis in waste management
Week 3 Lecture: Theory of water seepage in soil; Darcy equation and hydraulic conductivity. Introduction to the Soil Pollution Analysis System (SPAS).
Tutorial: Water seepage in soil
Week 4 Lecture: Theory of reactive contaminant migration in soil including molecular diffusion, mechanical dispersion, advective flow, sorption and decay.
Tutorial: Contaminant migration in soil
Week 5 Lecture: Solutions to the reactive diffusion advection equation.
Tutorial: Contaminant migration in soil.
Assessment Due: Assignment
Week 6 Lecture: Barrier design I.
Other: Revision for Quiz 1.
Week 7 Other: Quiz 1.
Tutorial: Contaminant migration in soil.
Assessment Due: Quiz
Week 8 Tutorial: Barrier design.
Geomembranes; geofilters; GCLs.
Week 9 Lecture: Barrier design II.
Tutorial: Barrier design.
Assessment Due: Assignment
Week 10 Lecture: Methane generation in landfills and landfill gas management.
Tutorial: Methane generation in landfills.
Week 11 Other: Assignment 3 presentations.
Assessment Due: Assignment
Week 12 Other: Assignment 3 presentations
Week 13 Other: Revision for Quiz 2.
Other: Quiz 2.
Assessment Due: Quiz

Course Relations

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

Course Year(s) Offered
Master of Engineering (Environmental Fluids) 2011, 2012
Master of Engineering (Geotechnical) 2011, 2012
Civil 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Civil Engineering / Arts 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil Engineering / Project Management 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil Engineering / Science 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil (Construction Management) 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Civil (Environmental) 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Civil (Geotechnical) 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Civil (Structures) 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Civil / Arts 2015
Civil / Project Management 2015
Civil / Science 2015
Project Engineering and Management (Civil) 2010, 2011, 2012
Project Engineering and Management (Civil) / Science 2011
Graduate Certificate in Engineering 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Master of Engineering 2013, 2014, 2015
Master of Engineering (Civil Engineering) 2012
Master of Professional Engineering (Civil) 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Master of Professional Engineering (Fluids) 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Master of Professional Engineering (Geomechanical) 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Flexible First Year (Stream A) / Science 2012
Civil Engineering / Design in Architecture 2010
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
Design (Level 4) Yes 24%
Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 4) Yes 44%
Information Seeking (Level 4) Yes 14%
Communication (Level 4) Yes 10%
Professional Conduct (Level 4) Yes 8%

These goals are selected from Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table which defines overall goals for courses where this unit is primarily offered. See Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 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.