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Systems Modelling and Design (CVEN30010)

Undergraduate level 3Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 3
Subject codeCVEN30010
Semester 1
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

Systems Modelling and Design is a capstone subject including components from hydrology, hydraulic engineering and geotechnical engineering. This subject contains a design project capsulising knowledge from all three areas. Students will be given briefings on related topics in hydrology, hydraulic engineering and geotechnical engineering in lectures and tutorials; but the emphasis is on self-learning and problem-solving. Students will gain an understanding of the principles governing the flow of water through soil and its consequent impact on failure of soil structures such as what occurs in landslides. Computer models to investigate these areas and laboratory experiments illustrating these phenomena will also be conducted. Students will also learn how to use the systems approach to solve engineering design problems. The application of the systems approach is illustrated via the major design project and complemented with optimisation techniques.

To complete the capstone design project, students are required to apply their knowledge in hydrology, hydraulics and geotechnical engineering to solve a number of design problems while considering multiple and sometimes conflicting design criteria. Students are required to prepare a technical report that documents the designs, relevant data, and result analysis. Both the technical knowledge (e.g. catchment modelling, water distribution system design, and seepage and slope modelling) and transferable skills (e.g. systems approach for problem solving, optimisation, trade-off analysis, data management, communication) obtained through this subject will prepare them for employment in the industry, as well as future study or research.

This subject builds on knowledge gained in subjects such as Engineering Mathematics, Fluid Mechanics and Earth Processes for Engineering and assumes a familiarity with concepts of sustainability and engineering systems. This subject also delivers introductory material for engineering graduate coursework subjects including Geotechnical Engineering, Civil Hydraulics and Quantitative Environmental Modelling.


Stresses in soils, permeability and seepage, flow nets, the effect of seepage on stability, slope stability principles, surface runoff, landslides, design and remediation, trade-off analysis in engineering design, optimisation techniques, the use of computer simulation models to solve engineering design problems.

Intended learning outcomes


On completion of this subject the student is expected to:

1. Use a systems approach to solve engineering design problems, including design problem definition (including identifying technical, economic and environmental design constraints and objectives), potential solutions identification and evaluation, solutions selection and conceptual design development.

2. Use software to assist the design of hydraulic and geotechnical structures.

3. Use optimisation techniques to assist solution processes.

4. Critically evaluate the outputs of design software.

5. Analyse the influence of engineering materials on design performance.

6. Communicate technical issues, ideas and solutions clearly and effectively to a wide range of audience and in a variety of forms (including technical reports).

Generic skills

  • Ability to apply basic knowledge of science and engineering in engineering design.
  • Ability to use systems approach to solve complex engineering design problems, including problem formulation, solution evaluation and solution selection.
  • Proficiency in engineering design.
  • Ability to communicate clearly and effectively to a wide range of audience and in a variety of forms.
  • Ability to manage data efficiently.
  • Ability to conduct an engineering project.
  • Ability to function effectively as an individual and in a team.
  • Being creative and innovative and becoming aware of multiple and sometimes conflicting design objectives and criteria in real-world engineering projects.

Last updated: 10 August 2019