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2010/1 Module Catalogue
Module Provider: Civil, Chemical & Enviromental Eng Short Name: SE1129
Level: HE1 Module Co-ordinator: OUKI SK Dr (C, C & E Eng)
Number of credits: 10 Number of ECTS credits: 5
Module Availability
Autumn and Spring Semester
Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment
Weighting Towards Module Mark (%)
Coursework 1- Essay on Civil Engineering topic (Autumn semester)
Coursework 2- Bridge Design Exercise - marked by load testing and staff assessment of design (Autumn semester)
Coursework issued in various weeks (3 times):
Test at the end of class (multiple choice, short answer questions) (Spring semester)
Group project (3000-4500 words), peer-assessment and personal appraisal (Spring semester)
Qualifying Condition(s) 
Assessment aggregate pass mark of 40%

Module Overview

This module provides students with an early appreciation of the nature of civil engineering practices and the responsibility that engineers have in contributing towards sustainable development.  In the first semester, a series of lectures provided by consultants, contractors and civil engineering specialists aim at raising students’ awareness in appreciating the different types of problems that civil engineers address including the integration of sustainable development with all other drivers at the inception of the design process.  This is usually illustrated via presentation of case studies.  This knowledge is consolidated further during the second semester where more specific principles are examined to highlight individual aspects of sustainable development. A series of case studies dealing with sustainable cities, water management, energy use and global climate change, risk perception and management, and life cycle thinking and dematerialisation are critically discussed.  Matters related to inter- and intra-generational ethics, social and political factors limiting engineering/business solutions to problems are also considered.  At the end of the module the students are expected to appreciate and understand the complex interaction between engineering, environmental, social, economical and ethical issues and their importance in contributing towards sustainable development.


Module Aims
  • Provide students with an appreciation of the nature of the civil engineering profession and the range of its activity.
  • Introduce students to the concepts of structural form and its role in civil engineering design.
  • Introduce students to the environmental and social constraints that need to be considered by engineers and to put engineering in its global context and thereby to provide students with the conceptual understanding they will need to pursue professional careers.
  • Introduce students to the environmental and social constraints that need to be considered by engineers and entrepreneurs, and to put engineering and entrepreneurship in their global context.
  • Provide students with the conceptual understanding they will need to pursue professional careers.
Learning Outcomes
  • Recognise structural forms and understand the principles involved in the choice of structural form
  • Appreciate the roles of the civil engineer and the links between the various parts of the civil engineering industry
  • Appreciate the different types of engineering problems and situations that civil engineers address, including environmental problems, and be knowledgeable about the appropriate approaches typically adopted in these situations
  • Understand the concept of sustainable development and be aware of its relevance to engineers.
  • Be aware that sustainable development needs to be integrated with all other drivers and be considered from the beginning of the design process.
  • Be aware of the economic benefits resulting from considering sustainability early in designing processes and products,
  • Be aware of the business opportunities resulting from a focus on sustainability.
Module Content
  • Architectural and structural forms


  • Case studies from consultants, contractors and Civil Engineering specialists


  • Graduate experience in Civil Engineering.


·         The role of Engineers and Entrepreneurs


·         Life Cycle thinking and dematerialisation


·         The oil crisis


·         Energy use and global climate change


·         Growth in air travel


·         Sustainable cities


·         Industrial ecology and symbiosis


·         Water management


·         Risk perception and risk management


·         The future of engineering and entrepreneurship



Methods of Teaching/Learning
During the autumn semester 18 hours of lectures, 4 hours of practical sessions, and 28 hours independent learning. Total student learning time 50 hours.
During the Spring semester 10 hours lectures and 40 hours independent learning. Total student learning time 50 hours.
Selected Texts/Journals

Required Reading



·         The “New Civil Engineer” magazine (published weekly)


·         Kiely G, Environmental Engineering, McGraw-Hill, 1997.  (ISBN 00770 91272)


·         Azapagic A, Perdan S and Clift R (eds.), Sustainable Development in Practice: Case Studies for Engineers and Scientists, Wiley, 2004.



Recommended background reading



·         Specific texts relevant to each student’s assignment will be discussed


Last Updated

08 October 2009