BEng Civil Engineering / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Design 1 (Civil)

Course unit fact file
Unit code CIVL10321
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? No


Civil engineering is one of the oldest of the engineering professions. Civil engineers are responsible for determination of the right design for different infrastructures under various constraints (engineering, economic, social, environmental, etc.) and looking after the construction process so that the safety, reliability and durability of these structures are guaranteed after completion. Design is one the core modules in civil engineering programme.  As one of the introduction courses to the freshers in civil engineering, this unit is aimed at those stated in Section 2 of this specification and consists of 2 themes:  Engineers Without Borders (EWB) design project and a Design, Make and Test (DMT) project.


To enable students to develop an understanding and appreciation of architectural and structural form.

To provide students with fundamental knowledge of the design activities required for civil engineering.

To provide opportunities for students to learn about design, teamwork and communication through an inspiring, sustainable and cross-cultural Engineers Without Borders (EWB) project and an in-house design make and test (DMT) project presentation.

To help students to understand the importance of the interaction between engineering, the environment and society by working on real world development projects.

To introduces the concepts of humanitarian engineering and increase students’ awareness of the role of engineers, their individual responsibility and the initial implication of ICE code of professional conduct during the process of their design and decision-making.


The themes are supported by a 2 hrs lecture/tutorial/presentation per week for 6 weeks, a 2 hrs lecture/tutorial/laboratory workshop per week for 5 weeks and a 3 hrs practical destructive test comprising introduction to the EWB  challenge (delivered jointly with EWB-UK), design details and design practice; introduction to DMT and its design/failure test. Details are set as

The Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Project
1. Introduction to EWB project - 2 hrs project and requirement introduction;
2. EWB brainstorm sessions -2 hrs per week for two weeks;
3. EWB guest lecture and design presentation (from students);
4. EWB project design, tutorial, solution and report
Students are required to develop some innovative design ideas, acquire knowledge and resources nationally and internationally and present their design solutions to a specified local community.  The assessment will be carried out with a combination in-class and on-line blackboard  and an invited practice engineering design lecture will be given in the middle of the project progression.The concepts of humanitarian engineering  will be integrated  into the design of this project  and will increase students’ awareness of the role of engineers and their responsibility.

Design Make and Test Project
1. DMT project introduction-- two 1hr sessions;
2. DMT project design – 2 hrs tutorial;
3. DMT project make -- four 2 hrs-sessions in lab;
4. DMT test --  one 3hrs-session for destructive test
It is a more significant project where students are required to apply and exercise the knowledge and skills obtained during the courses of Tools for Civil Engineers, Structures 1  (even though they are not  necessary to be the specified pre-requisite units)  in a design, make and test style. The students, working in groups, are required to design, construct, test and decommission a 1/20 scale multiple span temporary timber bridge. This involves checking design calculation (by VBA in Tools), presenting fabrication drawings (using CAD) for each component and making a bridge deck support unit in lab workshop in given time limits with appropriate communication, investigation, collaboration and teamwork.  A group design report has to be submitted by the students.

Assessment methods

Assessed tutorial work, Written report, Oral presentation - 45%

Practical demonstration, assessed tutorial work, written report - 55%

Feedback methods

Two weeks after submission

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 11
Practical classes & workshops 3
Project supervision 11
Supervised time in studio/wksp 9
Tutorials 6
Independent study hours
Independent study 60

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Zhang-Jian Wu Unit coordinator

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