Introduction to Subsurface Utility Engineering

Engineering context

In any new construction project, it is paramount to know what utilities are buried underground. But how do engineers, contractors, utility providers and stakeholders share, assess and make sense of this information? Prepared by Australia's foremost utility engineering professionals, this course guides engineering professionals through the process and benefits of subsurface utility engineering.

What you will learn

Students will explore the field of subsurface utility engineering and evaluate how it can be used to improve the planning and design process for new construction.

Course outcomes

  • recognise and critique current approaches for identifying subsurface utilities
  • assess how subsurface utility engineers can support and improve the planning process for new construction 
  • describe the processes used in subsurface utility engineering and their benefits
  • evaluate the current Australian standard for Subsurface Utility Information, and if doing the course during 2017 and 2018, contribute to its upgrade.

Join the course anytime and work through it at your own pace.

"I recommend anyone working within utilities 'Asset Planning' or 'Asset Creation' areas to undertake this course, as it provides a greater appreciation of the need to capture quality data, and have it checked and validated so that future generations can rely on the data."
Charles, Spatial Information Officer
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Unit Code
Certificate of completion
Start Date
Start any time
8 hours
AU$285 to enrol
77 Students

Full Course Outline

Module 1: Figure out what’s underground

In module 1, you’ll try to figure out what’s underground in your neighbourhood. It may sound simple, but as it turns out, pinpointing with accuracy all infrastructure underground is formidable.

Module 2: Explore risks and problems

After module 2, you’ll have a handle on just how tough it is to sort through the labyrinth of pipes underground. You’ll bump up against the same challenges as experts in the field.

Module 3: See the challenge in action

By now, you will have a clear idea of the stakes in locating underground utilities. Two experts will walk you through a case study, and you’ll grapple with the many decisions engineers must make in this process.

Module 4: The field with the answers

Module 4 is all about the field of subsurface utility engineering. It’s been around for some time, but not fully adopted in Australia. You’ll sort out how its tenets solve the problems you’ve encountered.

Module 5: The largest projects

Once you’ve scoped out the field, it’s important to assess how it holds up in vast, expensive and complex infrastructure projects in Australia. In module 5, you’ll test the malleability of the field.

Module 6: The standard

Module 6 is your opportunity to see how integrating the field of subsurface utility engineering into a national standard works. If taking the course in 2017-2018 you’ll have the opportunity to share your insights to improve the standard.