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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) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course introduces students to a wide range of skills that are required in civil/mechanical 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 and verbal communication within and outwith of groups. It also introduces engineering tools such as basic CAD and data analysis skills via self-directed learning.
Course description Engineers design things. The 'things' that engineers design range from mile-high skyscrapers to underwater vehicles, from flood prevention schemes for informal settlements, to wind turbines, from single use PPE for hospitals to 100-year city strategies. We design things that need to fit into and strengthen our existing infrastructure. Engineering, therefore, 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 short group projects and tasks. The projects gradually build students' awareness of and confidence in tackling conceptual design problems, a thread that is fundamental through engineering degree programmes.

The course covers:
- What is design?
- Communication (drawings, group work, meetings, discussion)
- Self-led learning exercises
- Design, build, re-design project
- Master planning project
- Upgrade project
- Reflection exercise on what you have learnt on this course.

As well as learning about the design process, students learn specific skills required by a designer: how drawings can be used at different stages of design; good team-working practices; and using simple tools to optimise solutions.

The course is taught through project work with discussion and critique of the various projects providing feedback to develop students' design skills.

o Transferable skills
o Reading lists
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students also take Programming Skills for Engineers 2 (SCEE08014)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, 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 20, Formative Assessment Hours 4, Summative Assessment Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 64 )
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%

Self Learning Exercises 30%
Reflection Question Exercise 30%

If you fail a course you will be required to resit it. You are only required to resit components which have been failed.
Feedback Group and class feedback takes place within discussion sessions in the timetabled hours. 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. Tackle the challenge of creative open-ended design, including iteration, compromise, conflict, uncertainty, optimisation, research, choice, through team-work and communication.
  2. Identify the explicit, implicit, and underlying 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 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-led learning skills and the ability to apply these skills in sensible, self-critical and reflective way, including conducting and recording engineering calculations and software.
Reading List
Expedition Workshed website,

Draft and Craft with AutoCAD - LinkedIn Learning.

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 secretaryMs Jennifer Reilly
Tel: (01316) 517073
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