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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Engineering : Civil

Undergraduate Course: Conceptual Design for Civil Engineers 3 (CIVE09028)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Engineering CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 9 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryConceptual Design for Civil Engineers 3 builds students' confidence in producing design solutions that meet the often conflicting demands of a project, including buildability, operation, cost, maintenance, environmental impact and end-of-life, as well as satisfying fundamental engineering requirements. It follows on from Tools for Engineering Design 2 (CIVE08020); however, CDCE3 draws upon the knowledge and theory that students have covered between the two courses, and explores how theoretical methods are applied to open-ended design problems.
Course description An engineer's design toolbox contains a range of theoretical techniques (taught through courses such as fluid mechanics, structural mechanics, materials, maths, etc.). A designer must also build up knowledge of how designs can be built and operated, and the safety or sustainability implications of their design, as well as being confident in communicating their ideas and discussing them with the client. Students develop a large amount of knowledge and techniques during the 2nd and 3rd years of our degree programmes, but mostly these techniques are applied to practice problems that have single correct answers.

Conceptual Design for Civil Engineers 3 examines how these techniques and knowledge are applied to design problems that are open-ended, do not have single answers, and thus require iterative design to find the "best" solution. These ideas were first introduced in Tools for Engineering Design 2 (CIVE08020), and CDCE3 gives the chance to practice conceptual design to several design problems that draw upon the knowledge developed built up between the course courses. In particular, the course shows how the very precise methods taught in our theoretical courses are often too complex for conceptual design, and develops approximate methods for initial sizing and assessment of design solutions.

The course is taught through project work within the timetabled hours, with discussion and critique of the various projects providing feedback to develop students' design skills. During the course, students tackle three short group projects in the first half of semester, which give them the chance to learn and practice design skills. A longer design project is tackled in the second half of the semester.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Behaviour and Design of Structures 2 (CIVE08012) AND Structural Mechanics 2A (SCEE08002) AND Structural Mechanics 2B (CIVE08010) AND Tools for Engineering Design 2 (CIVE08020)
Co-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students also take Detailed Design of Structures 3 (CIVE09029)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have taken courses on structural mechanics and structural design (steel and concrete), equivalent to the courses specified for University of Edinburgh students.

Visiting students are encouraged to take Tools for Engineering Design 2 rather than this course if they have not tackled creative open-ended design before.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2015/16, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 30, Formative Assessment Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 57 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100% coursework. Assessed through a series of design projects, which require attendance during timetabled hours.
Feedback Group and class feedback takes place within discussion sessions in the timetabled hours. Written feedback on a group's work will also be provided upon one formative project and upon the design projects.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Propose engineering designs that are feasible, in terms engineering mechanics, the Client's requirements, and other competing requirements of the design.
  2. Identify the drivers that govern a design, and ensure that all of these are considered during the design process, rather than after the design concept has been fixed.
  3. Produce "optimal" design solutions by examining and evaluating multiple design options, and by using appropriate calculations to refine the designs.
  4. Select and apply appropriate calculation methods that are appropriate to the stage of the design process.
  5. Communicate design solutions and put forward reasoned arguments for how these designs address the client's requirements, the requirements of other stakeholders in a project, and design drivers that are not explicitly stated.
Reading List
Fiona Cobb, "Structural Engineer's Pocket Book", Butterworth Heinemann.

Expedition Workshed website,
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information 10 design project sessions, each 3 hours.
KeywordsConceptual engineering design,Open-ended design,iteration,design calculations
Course organiserDr Timothy Stratford
Tel: (0131 6)50 5722
Course secretaryMrs Lynn Hughieson
Tel: (0131 6)50 5687
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