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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Engineering : Civil

Undergraduate Course: Conceptual Design and Sustainability for Civil Engineers 3 (CIVE09034)

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 Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryConceptual design generates design solutions to address the competing and often conflicting demands of a project. This design process is intertwined with Engineering Sustainability: the design must not only address the client's needs, but also a wide range of other project drivers such as cost, end-of-life decommissioning, social impact, buildability, and environmental impact.

Conceptual Design and Sustainability for Civil Engineers 3 develops students confidence in creative design and concept generation through a series of open-ended design tasks. It build upon the skills learnt in Tools for Engineering Design 2 (CIVE08020); however, students have learnt a large range of analytical skills between completing TED2 and starting CDSCE3, and the course will examine how engineers apply those analytical methods in a manner appropriate for conceptual design.

Sustainability is examined as an inherent part of the design process for the built environment, including the way sustainability interacts with the needs of project stakeholders (such as clients, government and the general population). The concept of design drivers is used in the course to explore how the best possible design solution to a problem depends upon which of the drivers are decided to be most important.

The design projects require students to develop their verbal, visual, and written communication skills, which are an integral part of design within a team.
Course description Conceptual Design and Sustainability for Civil Engineers 3 is delivered through a combination of different learning methods, which are adapted from year to year.

Briefings (1 hour / week on average):
- Introduction to the course.
- Bibliographic research skills.
- Sustainability Topics (e.g. issues in engineering sustainability, life cycle assessment, sustainable development...).
- Design project briefings and discussions focused on specific aspects of a design project (e.g. choice of materials; design of connections; design for safety...)
- Digital technology in design (Building Information Modelling).

Design projects (design studio format; 3 hrs / week on average):
- Three short design projects in the first part of the semester.
- A substantial long project in the second part of the semester.
- The design projects are carried out in groups, and involve communication of ideas both within and between the groups.

Feedback and discussion sessions (critique sessions):
- Surgery hours sessions give groups opportunities to discuss project work.
- Students will develop meeting skills (such as note taking and professional design discussions).

Self-led study:
- A sustainability research task that investigates an aspect of engineering sustainability in preparation for the long design project through a bibliographic survey and poster presentation.
- Developing visual communication skills through hand drawing.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Tools for Engineering Design 2 (CIVE08020) AND Structural Analysis 3 (CIVE09036)
Co-requisites Students MUST also take: Civil Engineering Infrastructure and Construction 3 (CIVE09037)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesCourses equivalent to the second year of the University of Edinburgh's civil engineering degree programme, including civil engineering or structural engineering design. Visiting students will ideally also have taken Civil Engineering Infrastructure and Construction 3 (CIVE09037) or equivalent.The learning style for this course is likely to be very different to design courses in other University's civil engineering curricula, and consequently visiting students are encouraged to take Tools for Engineering Design 2 (CIVE08020) rather than this course if they have not tackled creative and open-ended concept design problems before.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 11, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 33, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 33, Formative Assessment Hours 6, Summative Assessment Hours 32, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 81 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Written Exam %: 0
Practical Exam %: 0
Coursework %: 100
Feedback The course is designed around continuous verbal feedback within the design project and briefing sessions.

Specific feedback on short projects will be available during the "critique" sessions, allowing timely feedback ready for the next design task. These meetings will provide verbal feedback, and the students asked to take notes.

Peer feedback (in which another group reviews a design) is an integral part of some of the design tasks.

Written feedback will be provided at the end of the long project and upon the sustainability research task.

Mid course feedback will be used within the course.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand sustainable engineering in terms of social, technical and environmental aspects, and from the perspective of different stakeholders.
  2. Identify the drivers that govern a design, including both the drivers explicitly stated in a brief and those that are implicitly interlinked with sustainable engineering, and propose feasible design solutions that address the design drivers.
  3. Select calculation methods that are appropriate for conceptual design, and apply these to evaluate multiple design options and produce optimal designs.
  4. Conduct a review of relevant literature and other information sources, and synthesize the various issues to help inform the design process.
  5. Communicate design solutions and reasoning through visual, written, and verbal work; conduct meetings that both present and seek ideas; work effectively in teams.
Reading List
Azapagic A., Perdan S. (eds). (2011) Sustainable Development in Practice: Case Studies for Engineers and Scientists. 2nd ed., Wiley.

McKay D.J.C. (1998) Sustainable Energy Without the Hot Air, UIT Cambridge,

Allwood J., Cullen J. (2015) Sustainable Materials Without the Hot Air, UIT Cambridge (available online via DiscoverEd).

Popovic Larsen O., Tyas A. (2003) Conceptual Structural Design: Bridging the gap between architects and engineers, Thomas Telford (available online via DiscoverEd).

Cobb F. (2014) The Structural Engineers Pocket Book, CRC Press, 3rd or latest edition (available online via DiscoverEd).

The UCL Drawing Gym:

Expedition Workshed:
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements This course requires attendance at the project sessions to complete the assessed coursework.
KeywordsConcept design,Creativity,Civil Engineering,Structural Engineering,Communication Skills
Course organiserDr Yavuz Yardim
Course secretaryMs Jennifer Reilly
Tel: (01316) 517073
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