Course Title: Investigation Project

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Investigation Project

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


120H Civil, Environmental & Chemical Engineering


Sem 1 2006

Course Coordinator: Dr John V. Smith

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 99252184

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Geological Engineering 2

Course Description

This course is designed to give you the opportunity to apply the principles of geological engineering to project work as typically required of a professional geological engineer. This course will draw upon your previous studies and allows you to develop a project-based approach to geological engineering investigation and design. You choose either semester for your design or investigation project. You will be encouraged to select your own project topics, with assistance and advice from academic staff if necessary. Although preference will be for the two project topics to be in unrelated areas, they may be in a related field if clearly distinct objectives are defined.

Investigation Project

The Investigation Project will involve a detailed study or review of work that has been undertaken by others, and is relevant to the chosen topic. It may involve a report on competing products or analytical methods as applied in a particular situation. An essential part of the Investigation Project is your critical review of case history and/or product performance reports, and making recommendations.
In contrast to normal course work the investigation will:
b) be different for each individual so that every student has to work independently;
b) be less well defined so that students have to find their own way through investigations,
c) be much more complex than previous class work so that students will have to plan their work several months in advance;
e) require assistance from supervisors and others.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

  • Ability to interact with industry practitioners
  • Ability to conduct research independently
  • Ability to provide spoken and written technical reports

Demonstrate the ability to perform work and report on a geological engineering topic meeting industry standards of accuracy and relevance.

Overview of Learning Activities

This course is structured to provide you with an environment which is conducive to your development as an adult learner. The course essentially consists of self-paced learning activities. The semester commences with an introductory briefing and discussion, and several progress report submissions and meetings are required to ensure satisfactory timelines are being maintained. You will be required to submit a detailed scope report to the Course Coordinator for approval of each project within two weeks of the start of the semester.

For each project, a primary supervisor will be selected from industry or departmental staff. You will be expected to actively seek help from your supervisor and from others, particularly people working in the relevant industry. You will communicate with your supervisor regularly. You will also meet with the Course Coordinator at intervals not exceeding two weeks, and will present a written progress report for discussion.

For each project, you will be required to present your findings in a seminar that will be held during the last six weeks of each semester. Seminar presentation will be at a professional level, using appropriate visual aids and other technology, and with handouts that summarise the content. All students taking the course will attend all seminars, and will actively participate in questioning and discussion.

Your submission for the project will be a properly bound and presented engineering report, one copy for the primary supervisor and one copy for the RMIT Course Coordinator. In assessment of these reports, quality and clarity will be considered more important than quantity. It is acknowledged that projects in different topic areas will require more or less data content within appendices.

Overview of Learning Resources

Resources required will vary according to the selected topic.

Overview of Assessment

Oral presentation and written reporting will both be used to assess the outcome of the course.