Engineering Institute of Technology


Unit Name


Unit Code



Unit Duration



Bachelor of Science (Engineering)


Duration 3 years

Year Level


Unit Creator/Reviewer





BCS204S, BCS207S

Credit Points



Total Program Credit Points 81 (27 x 3)

Mode of Delivery

Online or on-campus

Unit Workload

(Total student workload including “contact hours” = 10 hours per week)

Pre-recordings / Lecture – 1.5 hours Tutorial – 1.5 hours

Guided labs / Group work / Assessments – 2 hours

Personal Study recommended - 5 hours

The aim in presenting this unit is to provide students with an understanding of the theory, principles, and techniques of road design in the context of traffic engineering, with a particular emphasis on road geometry, road construction and materials. This unit will serve to synthesise much of the subject-matter covered in previous units and apply the student’s knowledge to road design scenarios.


The subject matter covered in this unit will include: road planning, traffic engineering, particularly on flow theory; materials and pavement, road geometry and the related civil construction works including roadworks, drainage, plant and explosives and earthworks.


An important component of the unit is a team road design project which is a problem-based collaborative learning strategy.


At the conclusion of this unit, students will have been imparted with the requisite knowledge to undertake road design and planning and site supervision.


Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this Unit, students are expected to be able to:

  1. Recognise and prioritise factors involved in the planning of the roads and relate this to traffic flow theory.

  2. Evaluate the operational performance of a road (road capacity) by critically analysing the often observed traffic flow parameters.

  3. Adapt road engineering theories and principles to produce effective road design geometry.

  4. Categorise and prioritise the properties of alternative road materials to justify their selection in specific scenarios.

  5. Propose drainage and pavements systems and design and critique appropriate systems for roadwork’s and earthworks actions.

  6. Communicate and perform effectively on an example road design project by contributing to the production and justification of a report and presentation.

    Completing this unit may add to students professional development/competencies by:

    1. Fostering personal and professional skills and attributes in order to:

      1. Conduct work in a professionally diligent, accountable and ethical manner.

      2. Effectively use oral and written communication in personal and professional domains.

      3. Foster applicable creative thinking, critical thinking and problem solving skills.

      4. Develop initiative and engagement in lifelong learning and professional development.

      5. Enhance collaboration outcomes and performance in dynamic team roles.

      6. Effectively plan, organise, self-manage and manage others.

      7. Professionally utilise and manage information.

      8. Enhance technologist literacy and apply contextualised technologist skills.

    2. Enhance investigatory and research capabilities in order to:

      1. Develop an understanding of systematic, fundamental scientific, mathematic principles, numerical analysis techniques and statistics applicable to technologists.

      2. Access, evaluate and analyse information on technologist processes, procedures, investigations and the discernment of technologist knowledge development.

      3. Foster an in-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge, computer science, engineering design practice and contextual factors applicable to technologists.

      4. Solve basic and open-ended engineering technologist problems.

      5. Understand the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds associated with sustainable engineering practice.

    3. Develop engineering application abilities in order to:

      1. Apply established engineering methods to broadly-defined technologist problem solving.

      2. Apply engineering technologist techniques, tool and resources.

      3. Apply systematic technologist synthesis and design processes.

      4. Systematically conduct and manage technologist projects, work assignments, testing and experimentation.

The Australian Engineering Stage 1 Competency Standards for Engineering Technologists, approved as of 2013. This table is referenced in the mapping of graduate attributes to learning outcomes and via the learning outcomes to student assessment.


Stage 1 Competencies and Elements of Competency


Knowledge and Skill Base


Systematic, theory based understanding of the underpinning natural and physical sciences and the engineering fundamentals applicable to the technology domain.


Conceptual understanding of the, mathematics, numerical analysis, statistics, and computer and information sciences which underpin the technology domain.


In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the technology domain.


Discernment of knowledge development within the technology domain.


Knowledge of engineering design practice and contextual factors impacting the technology domain.


Understanding of the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds of sustainable engineering practice in the technology domain.


Engineering Application Ability


Application of established engineering methods to broadly-defined problem solving within the technology domain.


Application of engineering techniques, tools and resources within the technology domain.


Application of systematic synthesis and design processes within the technology domain.


Application of systematic approaches to the conduct and management of projects within the technology domain.


Professional and Personal Attributes


Ethical conduct and professional accountability.


Effective oral and written communication in professional and lay domains.


Creative, innovative and pro-active demeanour.


Professional use and management of information.


Orderly management of self and professional conduct.


Effective team membership and team leadership.

Successfully completing this Unit will contribute to the recognition of attainment of the following graduate attributes aligned to the AQF Level 7 criteria, Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency Standards for Engineering Technologists and the Sydney Accord:


Graduate Attributes

(Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Professional and Personal Development)

EA Stage 1 Competencies

Learning Outcomes

A. Knowledge of Science and Engineering Fundamentals

A1. Breadth of knowledge of engineering and systematic, theory-based understanding of underlying principles, and depth of knowledge across one or more engineering sub- disciplines


1.1, 1.3


1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

A2. Knowledge of mathematical, statistical and computer sciences appropriate for engineering technology




1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

A3. Discernment of knowledge development within the technology domain


1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

A4. Knowledge of engineering design practice and contextual factors impacting the technology domain




3, 4, 5

B. Problem Solving, Critical Analysis and Judgement

B1. Ability to research, synthesise, evaluate and innovatively apply theoretical concepts, knowledge and approaches across diverse engineering technology contexts to effectively solve engineering problems


1.4, 2.1, 2.3


1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

B2. Technical and project management skills to design complex systems and solutions in line with developments in engineering technology professional practice


2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.2


3, 4, 5

C. Effective Communication

C1. Cognitive and technical skills to investigate, analyse and organise information and ideas and to communicate those ideas clearly and fluently, in both written and spoken forms appropriate to the audience




3, 4, 5

C2. Ability to engage effectively and appropriately across a diverse range of cultures



D. Design and Project Management

D1. Apply systematic synthesis and design processes within the technology domain

2.1, 2.2, 2.3

3, 4, 5

D2. Apply systematic approaches to the conduct and management of projects within the technology domain





E. Accountability, Professional and Ethical Conduct

E1. Innovation in applying engineering technology, having regard to ethics and impacts including economic; social; environmental and sustainability


1.6, 3.1, 3.4


3, 4, 5

E2. Professional conduct, understanding and accountability in professional practice across diverse circumstances including team work, leadership and independent work


3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6


3, 4, 5

Unit Competency and Learning Outcome Map

This table details the mapping of the unit graduate attributes to the unit learning outcomes and the Australian Engineering Stage 1 Competency Standards for the Engineering Technologist.




Graduate Attributes














Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency Standards for Engineering Technologist

























































































































































































Unit Learning Outcomes



































Student assessment

Assessment Type

When assessed

Weighting (% of total unit marks)

Learning Outcomes Assessed


Assessment 1

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation

Example Topic: Road planning & traffic consideration.

Students may complete a quiz with MCQ type answers and solve some simple equations to demonstrate a good understanding of the fundamental concepts


Week 3






Assessment 2

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation

Example Topic: Geometric design; Road capacity.

Students may provide solutions to simple problems on the listed topics


Week 6




2, 3


Assessment 3

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation / Project

/ Report

Example Topic: Road materials & road drainage; Roadworks OR

Road design project is designed as a problem-based learning strategy – i.e. identifying a real-world problem, gathering information, sharing information, solving the problem and finally presenting the work as a project report. Where possible CAD modelling software package could be used.

Students may complete a quiz with MCQ type answers or solve some simple problems or using software to complete a practical.


Week 9




4, 5, 6


Assessment 4

Type: Examination Example Topic: All topics

An examination with a mix of detailed report type questions and/or simple numerical problems to be completed in 3 hours


Final Week




1 to 6


Attendance / Tutorial Participation

Example: Presentation, discussion, group work, exercises, self-assessment/reflection, case study analysis, application.



1 to 6

Prescribed and recommended readings


Required textbook(s)


Underwood, R. T. 1995, Road engineering practice, South Melbourne: Macmillan Education Australia.

Austroads 2007-9, Guide to Traffic Management: Parts 1-13, Austroads Publications, Sydney, NSW.

Department of Transport & Main Roads - Road Planning and Design Manual, Chapters 1-5, 13, 14, 18 & 19.


Reference Materials

Garber, NJ & Hoel LA 2009, Traffic and Highway Engineering, SI edition, 4th Edition, Cengage Learning, Stamford, USA.

Roess, RP., Prassas, E.S and McShane, W.R 2011, Traffic Engineering, 4th Edition, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.


Unit Content:

One topic is delivered per contact week, with the exception of part-time 24-week units, where one topic is delivered every two weeks.


Topic 1


  • The Purpose of Roads

  • Basic Elements of a Road

  • The Development of Roads in Australia


    Topic 2


    Road Planning

  • Basic Considerations

  • Road Classification

  • The Basic Transport Planning Process

  • Specific Corridor Studies

  • Community Participation

  • Environment Assessment

  • Planning Scheme Reservations


    Topic 3


    Traffic Considerations

  • Road-user Characteristics

  • Vehicle Characteristics

  • Traffic Characteristics

  • Traffic Noise

  • Air Pollution

  • Traffic Studies


    Topic 4


    Geometric Design Principles

  • Design Speed

  • Cross-section Elements

  • Sight Distance

  • Horizontal Alignment

  • Vertical Alignment

  • At-grade Intersections

  • Grade Separations and Interchanges


    Topic 5


    Geometric Design Practice

  • Undivided Rural Roads

  • Undivided Urban Roads

  • Divided Rural Roads

  • Divided Urban Roads

  • Freeways


    Topic 6


    Road Capacity

  • Concepts of Capacity

  • Basic Definitions

  • Two-lane Rural Roads

  • Multi-lane Rural Roads

  • Freeways

  • Un-signalised Intersections

  • Signalised Intersections

  • Urban Roads


    Topic 7


  • Naturally Occurring Materials

  • Crushed Rock

  • Aggregate

  • Bituminous Materials

  • Concrete

  • Geotextiles


    Topic 8


  • Maintenance of the Natural Flow of Water

  • Collection of Surface Water on the Road Reserve

  • Control of Moisture in Roads

    Topic 9

    Roadworks, Plant and Explosives

  • Basic Types of Plant

  • Considerations Relating to the Use of Plant

  • Explosives


    Topic 10


  • Preparation for Earthworks

  • Cutting (or Excavation)

  • Filling (or Embankment)

  • Stability of Slopes and Batters

  • Earthworks Calculations


    Topic 11

    Flexible Pavements

  • Elements of Flexible Pavements

  • Types of Flexible Pavements

  • Design of Flexible Pavements

  • Construction of Flexible Pavements

  • Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Pavements

  • Stabilisation of Pavements and Subgrades

  • Recycling of Pavement Materials

  • Tests on road sub-base and finish (such as the California Bearing Ratio (CBR))

  • Top durability and consistency


Topic 12

Unit Review

In the final week, students will have an opportunity to review the contents covered so far. Opportunity will be provided for a review of students’ work and to clarify any outstanding issues.

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