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CIV3906 Civil Materials Practice

Semester 1, 2012 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 0
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Engineering & Surveying
School or Department : Agricultural, Civil, Environmental Engineering

Contents on this page


Examiner: Soma Somasundaraswaran
Moderator: Ron Ayers

Other requisites

It is useful if the students have already undertaken CIV2605 and CIV2403 or CIV2901.


Civil engineering personnel work with a range of materials. Some of these materials occur naturally, such as timber, soil and water, and may be used in their natural state. Others occur naturally but must be physically altered by man to produce useful commodities, and examples of these are rubber, aggregate and bitumen. Still others, such as cement and fibre composite material, are produced by chemical and industrial processes and are such that their parent constituents are unrecognisable. It is necessary for the civil engineer to have a detailed understanding of the range of materials available, how materials may be characterised in a way that provides quantifiable material properties that are used in engineering design and construction, how materials are tested to establish their characteristics, and the limitations of these tests. It is also necessary for the civil engineer to be able to present test data in a way that is understood by other professionals, and to be able to interpret test data.


This course will involve the student in an investigation of the range of materials commonly used in civil engineering. The characterisation of materials and the need for material parameters for design will be considered. The student will test a range of materials in the laboratory to establish material properties. Presentation and interpretation of test results will also form an important part of the course.


The course objectives define the student learning outcomes for a course. On completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. distinguish which characteristics of materials commonly used in engineering are important in civil engineering design and construction;
  2. describe how key characteristics of civil engineering materials are quantified;
  3. plan the test regime used to ascertain design parameters for civil engineering materials;
  4. organise a testing procedure and sequence to obtain parameters for civil engineering design purposes;
  5. analyse test data and present the data and its analysis for use by other engineering personnel;
  6. critically assess data and its analysis presented by other engineering personnel.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Materials and their Characteristics 8.00
2. Safety 8.00
3. Concrete Testing 17.00
4. Timber Testing 8.00
5. Soil Testing 13.00
6. Aggregate Testing 13.00
7. Asphalt and Bitumen Testing 17.00
8. Road Maintenance 8.00
9. Traffic Studies 8.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • There are no texts or materials required for this course.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • CIV2403 Geology & Geomechanics: external study package, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba.
  • CIV2605 Construction engineering: external study package, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Case Studies 2.00
Laboratory or Practical Classes 22.00
Report Writing 26.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
REPORT 1 100 31 May 2012

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    (i) It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration. (ii) Students must attend all sessions to be able to satisfactorily complete the practical work.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To complete the practical component satisfactorily, students must submit the nominated practical report and obtain a Pass standard in all of the major sections as described in the assessment scheme.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded. No assignments will be accepted after model answers have been posted.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade students must complete all of the practical and other activities at a satisfactory standard, as stated in the course Assessment Scheme.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    As P is the only passing grade available for this course, all students who are qualified for a passing grade, under the requirements in 4 above, will be given a grade of P. Other students will be given either a Failing grade or an Incomplete grade.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Not applicable.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner.

  2. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be despatched to USQ within 24 hours if required by the Examiner.

  3. In accordance with University Policy, the Examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

  4. If electronic submission of assessments is specified for the course, students will be notified of this in the course Introductory Book and on the USQ Study Desk. All required electronic submission must be made through the Assignment Drop Box located on the USQ Study Desk for the course, unless directed otherwise by the examiner of the course. The due date for an electronically submitted assessment is the date by which a student must electronically submit the assignment. The assignment files must be submitted by 11.55pm on the due date using USQ time (as displayed on the clock on the course home page; that is, Australian Eastern Standard Time).

  5. If the method of assessment submission is by written, typed or printed paper-based media students should (i) submit to the Faculty Office for students enrolled in the course in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail to the USQ for students enrolled in the course in the external mode. The due date for the assessment is the date by which a student must (i) submit the assessment for students enrolled in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail the assessment for students enrolled in the external mode.

  6. The Faculty will NOT normally accept submission of assessments by facsimile or email.

  7. Students who do not have regular access to postal services for the submission of paper-based assessments, or regular access to Internet services for electronic submission, or are otherwise disadvantaged by these regulations may be given special consideration. They should contact the examiner of the course to negotiate such special arrangements prior to the submission date.

  8. Students who have undertaken all of the required assessments in a course but who have failed to meet some of the specified objectives of a course within the normally prescribed time may be awarded the temporary grade: IM (Incomplete - Make up). An IM grade will only be awarded when, in the opinion of the examiner, a student will be able to achieve the remaining objectives of the course after a period of non-directed personal study.

  9. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded IDS (Incomplete - Deferred Examination; IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

  10. Students must wear Type 1 safety boots (steel capped) complying with AS/NZS 2210 standards when participating in laboratory and field works.

  11. Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide. //