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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Engineering : Civil

Undergraduate Course: Tools for Engineering Design 2 (CIVE08020)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Engineering CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course introduces students to a wide range of skills that are required in civil engineering design, and that make part of the engineers' toolbox. It provides students with experience of solving and communicating solutions to open-ended engineering problems that require compromise between competing criteria and priorities. It develops competence and confidence in communication skills including sketching, engineering drawings and oral presentation. It also introduces engineering tools such as basic CAD and spreadsheet skills via self-directed learning.
Course description Engineers design things. The 'things' that Civil, Structural and Environmental engineers design include buildings, flood prevention schemes, bridge repairs, highway maintenance strategies, or 100 year city strategies. We do not always design new things; very often we need to come up with ways to maintain or strengthen our existing infrastructure. Engineering is fundamentally creative, and Tools for Engineering Design 2 helps develop the skills needed for Engineering Design.

A key aspect of design is that there are no single correct answers. It is relatively straightforward to come up with a solution that works; the challenge for a good designer is to come up with the 'best' solution. That is not straightforward: some solutions might be impractical or unsafe to build, some might use materials that cannot be found locally, some will be very expensive or poor aesthetically. Designers often work with incomplete information, a Client who changes their mind part way through the project, or contradicting requirements. Iteration is always needed to find the 'best' design solution.

Tools for Engineering Design 2 helps students develop a 'toolbox' of strategies for tackling open-ended design problems. The course introduces the challenges of iterative design through a series of short group projects and tasks. The projects gradually build students' awareness of and confidence in tackling conceptual design problems, a thread that is picked up in the third year course 'Conceptual Design for Civil Engineers 3' and elsewhere in the degree programme.

The course covers:
- What is design?
- Communication (drawings, group work, meetings, discussion)
- Self-led learning (CAD, spreadsheets, drawing)
- Calculations in design
- Design and build project
- New build project
- Upgrade project
- Compilation of a portfolio of the above work

As well as learning about the design process, students learn specific skills required by a designer: how drawings are used at different stages of design; calculations and spreadsheets; and the basics of computer aided drawing (CAD).

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.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Civil Engineering 1 (CIVE08001)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesNone, but visiting students should note that this is a course on Civil Engineering design.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 33, Formative Assessment Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 54 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100% coursework, largely based upon group work and requires attendance during timetabled hours.

Project 1 20%
Project 2 20%
Final portfolio of work 60%
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 the final portfolio work. Verbal feedback will be given upon each group's design project submissions, and each group will be asked to keep a written record of this feedback.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Have experience of the challenges of creative open-ended design, including iteration, compromise, conflict, uncertainty, optimisation, choice, team-work and communication.
  2. Identify the drivers that govern a design problem and create conceptual design techniques to develop solutions that best satisfy these competing demands.
  3. Apply engineering tools to tackle complex design problems, typical of those found in civil engineering design.
  4. Communicate using different styles of basic drawings (sketches, technical drawings, CAD) and verbal communication (within or outwith the design team).
  5. Develop self-learning skills and the ability to apply these skills in sensible, self-critical way, including conducting and recording engineering calculations and software.
Reading List
Expedition Workshed website,

The Hitchhiker's Guide to AutoCAD Basics, from

From the course Learn site:

Ibell T. (2016) ¿Virtual by design¿, The Structural Engineer, 94 (3), 88¿89

Wise C.M. (2008). ¿The call of the wild: the next 100 years¿, The Structural Engineer, 86(14), pp. 146¿153
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information The course requires attendance at and participation in all of the weekly project sessions. Non-attendance without good reason will result in an individual student's mark being reduced for group design work.
KeywordsEngineering design,Iterative,creative design,Civil engineering projects,Engineering drawings
Course organiserDr David Rush
Tel: (0131 6)50 6023
Course secretaryMr Craig Hovell
Tel: (0131 6)51 7080
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