ENGE411-22X (C) General non-calendar-based 2022

Engineering Construction Practice

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 18 July 2022
End Date: Sunday, 11 September 2022
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 31 July 2022
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 28 August 2022


This course is concerned with the nature and properties of construction materials for civil projects, general design principles and construction practices in rock and soil, and selected case studies (both historical and current). It also considers appropriate engineering geology practice for various surface and subsurface projects, with emphasis on project failures and the implications for sound geotechnical practice. Knowledge of precedent is fundamental to engineering design and construction, and the course content is inherently practical rather than theoretical.

This course is concerned with general design principles and construction practices in rock and soil, the role of water and its control in excavations, selected case studies (both historical and current), and the properties of construction materials for civil projects.

Learning Outcomes

  • Be able to record field observations faithfully and clearly, and to relate those observations through presentation to an audience.

  • Understand and apply engineering geology philosophy and methodology in the design, construction and maintenance of surface and underground civil and mining structures.

  • Be familiar with design and construction requirements for principal types of engineering works, including dams, canals, tunnels, bridges, slopes and river/coastal protection.

  • Assess material use and design requirements for civil construction.

  • Understand groundwater management on construction sites, including dewatering and related ground improvement techniques.

  • Be able to conduct a literature review using international, peer-reviewed journal sources.

  • Use case studies of past engineering projects as geological precedent for future site investigation and geotechnical construction practice.
    • University Graduate Attributes

      This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

      Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

      Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

      Employable, innovative and enterprising

      Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

      Biculturally competent and confident

      Students will be aware of and understand the nature of biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand, and its relevance to their area of study and/or their degree.

      Engaged with the community

      Students will have observed and understood a culture within a community by reflecting on their own performance and experiences within that community.

      Globally aware

      Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.


(1) ENGE 410 and (2) approval from the Head of Department of Geological Sciences


ENGE 472

Timetable Note

Two lecture sessions per week: Mondays & Tuesdays, 9 am – 1 pm.
Field Trips:
29th August – 2nd September: Christchurch Day Trips
4th – 8th September: Nelson & Tasman District Residential Field Trip

Course Coordinator

Clark Fenton

Lecturers: various practitioners from industry


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Case History Portfolio 50%
Field Notebook 25%
Critical Review 10%
New Technologies Report 15%

Textbooks / Resources

Recommended Reading

Bell, F. G; Engineering geology and construction ; Spon Press, 2004.


Prerequisites: Students should have completed ENGE417

Recommended preparation: ENGE417 and or GEOL338

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,120.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

Minimum enrolments

This course will not be offered if fewer than 10 people apply to enrol.

For further information see School of Earth and Environment on the departments and faculties page .

All ENGE411 Occurrences

  • ENGE411-22X (C) General non-calendar-based 2022