Professional Engineering Practice

Module aims

The civil engineering profession has a crucial role in developing the interactions between the built environment and the natural world. The aim of this module is to expand the students’ knowledge of the civil engineering profession and to develop and strengthen key practical, professional and transferable skills that are required to meet the major challenges in society. These skills include effective communication (including technical report writing and delivering presentations), strong teamwork, information retrieval, critical thinking skills, time management, professional ethics, surveying techniques and developing safe working practices.

Learning outcomes

Students should be able to:  
 
· Appreciate the wide scope of the Civil and Environmental Engineering profession and the types of projects that they may contribute to in the future.  
 
· Write a technical report that is well-researched, logically structured, clear in its arguments and correctly referenced.  
 
· Consider the ethical challenges they may face in the future, understand their ethical responsibilities to society and be familiar with the Statement of Ethical Principles.  
 
· Work effectively as part of a team to deliver a predefined goal in the classroom and ‘in the field’.  
 
· Understand core surveying principles and procedures.  
 
· Plan, undertake and report on a surveying exercise.  
 
· Understand the role of the contractor in the lifecycle of an engineering project.  
 
· Appreciate the importance of safe working practices and the responsibilities of Civil and Environmental Engineers in achieving this. 

Module syllabus

The Autumn Term features presentations from internal and external speakers that will provide an overview of the breadth of projects encompassed by Civil and Environmental Engineering. The students will, in parallel, be taught how to retrieve information, evaluate the trustworthiness of the source, structure a report and develop a good writing and referencing style. A session on engineering ethics explores the ethical challenges an engineer may face and considers how the Statement of Ethical Principles can be used in practice. There will also be a session on presentation skills that focusses on presentation structure, formatting and delivery. 
 
In the Spring Term, students will learn why surveying is required in the lifecycle of a Civil and Environmental Engineering project and will be taught the basic principles of surveying (including horizontal, vertical and 3D/4D surveying methods for measurements and setting out). The course will also include recent developments in the surveying profession, including the use of satellite positioning systems. The module will also cover basic elements of earthwork design (including area and volume calculations) and the undertaking of an environmental appraisal. The students put into practice the surveying skills learnt on the surveying residential field course, which takes place at the start of the Summer Term.  
 
The students will be shown the role of the contractor in the lifecycle of an engineering project and consider the importance of constructability and health, safety and welfare. The taught material is put into practice during a week-long design project at the end of the Summer Term. 
 
Subject to availability, the course will also include a site visit during the academic year. 

Assessments

Assessment Information is provided separately in Blackboard Learn.

Reading list

Module leaders

Dr Craig Buchanan