C&ENVENG 3029 - Environmental Modelling & Management

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2016

The course addresses the major steps in the development of engineering models, and how they are used for decision-making, with a particular emphasis on water quality and responding to potential climate change impacts. Topics to be covered include one or more of the following: model specification (environmental processes, model complexity, model application), model calibration (gradient methods, genetic algorithms), model validation (structural, replicative and predictive validity) and stochastic modelling (types of uncertainty, random variables, risk-based performance measures and reliability analysis, including Monte Carlo simulation), environmental decision-making (multi-objective optimisation, robust decision-making under deep uncertainty). These topics will be explored through a project on managing dissolved oxygen in a river system under climate change.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code C&ENVENG 3029
    Course Environmental Modelling & Management
    Coordinating Unit School of Civil, Environmental & Mining Eng
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 4 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assumed Knowledge C&ENVENG: 1008,1009, 1012, 2068 & 2070, 4087, MATHS 2201
    Assessment Tests/quizzes 10%, assignments/projects 40%, exam 50%
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Holger Maier

    Course Coordinator and Lecturer: Prof Holger Maier
    Room N105, Engineering North Building, holger.maier@adelaide.edu.au
    Consulting times will be provided on MyUni.

    Tutors will be available for assistance during project sessions.

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    A detailed timetable and task schedule will be available in MyUni.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1. Recognise and discuss different model types (e.g. data-driven, process-driven) and their relative merits.

    2. Recognise, discuss, apply, test and critically evaluate the different steps in the development of models (e.g. model specification, calibration and validation) and the methods used in each of these steps.

    3. Recognise, interpret, discuss, apply, test and critically evaluate different optimisation methods and parameterisations for solving complex engineering problems.

    4. Distinguish between sources and different types of uncertainty, explain their potential origins and discuss how they might impact engineering modelling and decision-making.

    5. Recognise, interpret, discuss, apply, test and critically evaluate different approaches to incorporating uncertainty into engineering modelling and decision-making.

    6. Use models and optimisation approaches to solve complex engineering problems that examine the trade-offs between economic, environmental and social outcomes in an uncertain environment.

    7. Describe, discuss and critically evaluate modelling and management processes, findings and decisions.

    8. Apply an integrative or systems approach to solving engineering problems.

    9. Use computers and information technology effectively.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1-6, 8
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Lecture Notes:
    The lecture notes can be purchased from the Image & Copy Centre and can also be downloaded from the course MyUni site.

    Design Project Information and Resources:
    Relevant information, data and software required to complete the design project are available on the course MyUni site.

    Information on Submissions and Communication:
    Relevant information on submissions and communication are available on the course MyUni site, such as the assessment cover sheet, submission exemplars, a style guide for coursework submissions, information on referencing etc.

    Other Resources:
    If required, other relevant resources will be made available on the course MyUni site.
    Recommended Resources
    Online Module “Slide Handouts”:
    Handouts of the slides for the Online Learning Units can be downloaded from the course MyUni site.

    Lecture “Slide Handouts”:
    Handouts of the slides used in Lectures can be downloaded from the course MyUni site.
    Online Learning
    Online Learning Units:
    A number of required online Learning Units (LUs) are available in the “Learning Units” section of the course MyUni site, which consist of a structured sequence of activities on a particular topic. The LUs contain multimedia Online Modules (OMs), which are interactive online lectures, as well as reference to the relevant sections of the Lecture Notes (LNs), some Homework Exercises (HEs) and Online Quizzes (OQs). The OMs can be viewed on computers and mobile devices. Handouts of the slides for a particular OM can be downloaded from MyUni. Many of the OMs contain embedded quizzes, which are purely formative and designed to reinforce key concepts presented in the modules (i.e. the quizzes do not count towards assessment and can be done as many times as you like in order to improve your understanding of the material presented). However, as mentioned above, the LUs contain separate Online Quizzes that count towards the assessment.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course utilises a blended learning approach, consisting of a combination of interactive online activities, face-to-face lectures and face-to-face design sessions.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.


    Contact Hours

    Independent Study Hours

    Lectures 14 0 14
    Online Learning Units 4 42 46
    Design (3 Phases) 12 70 82
    Exam 2 0 2
    Total 32 112 144
    Learning Activities Summary
    This course consists of a set of integrated learning activities designed to provide you with the opportunity to achieve the course learning outcomes in a supportive and motivating context. The centrepiece of the course is a Design Project on environmental modelling and management that consists of three phases and spans the duration of the entire course. You will learn the fundamental principles / underlying the theory required to complete the project as part of a number of learning cycles consisting of a series of Online Modules (OMs), Online Quizzes (OQs), Lectures (Ls) and Homework Exercises (HEs). The OMs and OQs provide you with a base level of knowledge that enables more in-depth material to be explored during the HEs and Ls. The Design Project provides you with the opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding of the material covered by applying it in a realistic context. Further details of the teaching approach adopted in this course, as well as the rationale behind this, are given on MyUni.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Weighting Submission Due Date
    Learning Outcome
    Homework Exercise Quizzes (Online) (x4) 2%


    see MyUni 2,3
    Online Quizzes (x10) 8% Individual see MyUni 1-5
    Design Project (Phase 1) 15% Individual W7 2, 6-9
    Design Project (Phase 2) 12.5% Group W10 3, 6-9
    Design Project (Phase 3) 12.5% Group W13 5, 6-9
    Exam (2h, closed book) 50% Individual 1-5, 7-8
    Further details are provided on MyUni.
    Assessment Related Requirements
    This course includes assessment tasks undertaken within groups (usually pairs). These groups are self-selected. The same mark will be allocated to all group members and will be based on group output only. Group processes are not assessed explicitly in this course. To maintain the integrity of the assessment task(s) there is a requirement that all students within a group contribute to each assessment activity. Where there is evidence that group members have not sufficiently contributed to a group assessment task, the Academic Honesty policy may be applied.

    Requests for exemption from coursework components will only be considered when presented on an Exemption from Attendance Form. All exemption requests must be made by the end of Week 3 of Semester. Exemptions will not be considered for exams or in-class quizzes and cannot account for more than 30% of the overall course result.

    In order to pass this course, students must obtain at least 40% for the exam. Where this exam hurdle is not met, students will receive a course result of the lessor of their calculated grade and the nominal grade of 45, Fail. An additional exam will be available to eligible students. Students should refer to the Modified arrangements for coursework assessment policy for eligibility criteria. Students who do not pass the hurdle requirement cannot pass the course.
    Assessment Detail
    Further details on each assessment task are provided in MyUni.
    The submission time for all assessment tasks in this course is 4 pm on the due date, unless otherwise specified.

    Details of the submission process will also be provided in lectures and via MyUni as part of the information provided relevant to the assignments.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.