Course Title: Land Contamination and Geohazards

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Land Contamination and Geohazards

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


120H Civil, Environmental & Chemical Engineering


Sem 2 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016


City Campus


172H School of Engineering


Sem 2 2017

Course Coordinator: Dr. Suzie Reichman

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3319

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 12.12.11

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Basic knowledge of geology, hydrogeology and environmental chemistry.

Course Description

Assessing and managing environmental risks associated with contaminated soil, groundwater and geological hazards is of critical importance to environmental engineering.

The course provides an introduction to the professional assessment and management of contaminated land and groundwater. Through the course you will learn how to conduct environmental site assessments for potentially contaminated land, in accordance with state and national policies. You will learn fundamental skills required by professional environmental site assessors, including geochemistry, soil and groundwater assessment methods and basic environmental and health risk assessment.

You will work with environmental data to develop conceptual site models and remediation or management strategies for contaminated soil and groundwater. You will also learn how to assess risks from geo-hazards using appropriate data and conceptual models.

Please note that if you take this course for a bachelor honours program, your overall mark in this course will be one of the course marks that will be used to calculate the weighted average mark (WAM) that will determine your award level. (This applies to students who commence enrolment in a bachelor honours program from 1 January 2016 onwards. See the WAM information web page for more information.)

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes for BH080 Bachelor of Environmental Engineering (Hons):

1.3. In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering discipline.
1.4. Discernment of knowledge development and research directions within the engineering discipline.
1.5. Knowledge of contextual factors impacting the engineering discipline.
1.6. Understanding of the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds of contemporary engineering practice in the specific discipline.
2.1. Application of established engineering methods to complex engineering solving.
2.2. Fluent application of engineering techniques, tools and resources.
2.3. Application of systematic engineering synthesis and design processes.
2.4. Application of systematic approaches to the conduct and management of engineering projects.
3.1. Ethical conduct and professional accountability
3.2. Effective oral and written communication in professional and lay domains.
3.3. Creative, innovative and pro-active demeanour.
3.4. Professional use and management of information.

On completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. Interpret and communicate information on the contamination of soil and groundwater and its significance
  2. Interpret environmental contamination problems in both the regional and local hydrogeological context, and evaluate impacts on groundwater quality, soil quality, amenity and potential future land uses.
  3. Explain the terminology and describe the methodology of environmental contamination management, monitoring, auditing, remediation and clean up validation
  4. Appraise geo-environmental hazards and analyse their management strategies
  5. Explain and implement sound engineering design principles for waste disposal and other potentially hazardous sites, such as landfills 

Overview of Learning Activities

Face to face learning includes lecture sessions, class discussions and field trip.

Total study hours: You will undertake the equivalent of four hours per week in lectures and field classes. In addition you can expect to spend a minimum of four hours per week in independent and group study working on revision tasks and assignments.

Overview of Learning Resources

Environmental policies relevant in Australia and Victoria, plus recent research literature, which is provided via the course website and library.

Support can also be found at RMIT Library Guides:

Overview of Assessment

Assessment will be based on both individual and collaborative tasks. You and your colleagues will be required to give a group presentation and produce a group report for a contaminated site assessment and management plan. Theoretical and applied principles will be assessed via a final exam.

Note that: ☒This course has no hurdle requirements.

Assessment Task 1:  In-class presentation (Group)

Weighting 15%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1,2,3 & 4

Assessment Task 2:  Major assignment report (Group)

Weighting 35%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1,2,3 & 4

Assessment Task 3: Final exam

Weighting 50%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1,2,3,4 & 5.