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CIVL9903: Civil Engineering Design (2019 - Semester 1)

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Unit: CIVL9903: Civil Engineering Design (6 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Postgraduate
Faculty/School: Civil Engineering
Unit Coordinator/s: Prof Airey, David
Hewitt, John
Session options: Semester 1
Versions for this Unit:
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: None.
Brief Handbook Description: This course provides an introduction to civil/structural engineering design, using generally building related material, from the perspective of a

practicing engineer. Course material, including face to face lectures, drawing office guidance and assignments will be based as much as is

practicable on actual project practice, focussing on the understanding and schematic design of systems. In this way, the course aims to provide

an understanding of:

the interactions between a practicing engineer and other team members.

the conditions under which design is prepared, including meeting tight programmes.

the variety of situations, materials and loadings that need to be taken into account.

The key content of this course is to experience the design process, as applied to civil/structural engineering. Most university engineering

courses are based around understanding the scientific and analytical background to engineering, and applying them to defined problems where

the answers are known. This course takes that knowledge and skills and applies it to real project problems where there may be no fixed

solutions, and creativity and practical decision making is required to find a good design, out of many possible solutions.

An understanding of the conditions under which designs are prepared and of the critical importance of communicating one’s design/work

effectively to other team members and to the client, are essential for all Civil Engineers, irrespective of the particular discipline stream being


This course generally follows on from the courses in Concrete Structures 1 (CIVL 3205) and Steel Structures 1 (CIVL 3206), which provide the

basic design skills necessary to begin to become a design engineer. (They are ‘assumed learning’ for this course.) Other parts of earlier or

parallel courses may be drawn on and materials other than concrete and steel will be considered. In particular, site related construction issues

and evaluation of in-situ soil conditions will be investigated.

Lectures will be provided to show how theoretical knowledge gained in earlier courses can be applied quickly to develop and assess a variety

of options, using fundamental understanding of basic concepts together with simple design tools, and examples from actual project experience.

A significant proportion of the course will involve developing a design for a given building project brief, stage by stage through the semester,

with assignments based around conceiving and evaluating options for each aspect, assessing pros and cons, and recommending and presenting

concept/schematic designs, with preliminary calculations.

There will also be work focussed on consolidating previous study of basic engineering principles, plus a session on creativity and art in


Assignments will mostly be group based, working in groups of four students, which will be consistent through the course so that the teams

remain together to develop the project design. There will be some individual components of group assignments which much be completed to

gain the group mark.

Students are generally to choose the members of their own groups, which will remain fixed through the semester.
Assumed Knowledge: CIVL3205 AND CIVL3206.
Lecturer/s: Hewitt, John
Tutor/s: Peter Ansourian

John Ryder

Gavin Lume - External

Saba Gharedash

Faham Tahmasebinia

Rod Broune - External

Paul Antonatos - External

Bruce Macpherson - External

Eamonn Madden – External

Richard Hough - External

Peter Allen - External
Timetable: CIVL9903 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 Lecture 2.00 2 13
2 Tutorial 3.00 1 13
3 Independent Study 4.00 1 13
T&L Activities: Tutorial: group work on design challenges - facilitated by lecturer and tutors

Independent Study: independent study to complete design assignments and to reinforce learning from lectures and tutorial work

Learning outcomes are the key abilities and knowledge that will be assessed in this unit. They are listed according to the course goal supported by each. See Assessment Tab for details how each outcome is assessed.

Unassigned Outcomes
1. ability to formulate and solve structural design problems
2. ability to formulate and solve geotechnical engineering problems
3. ability to formulate and solve design problems for civil engineering works
4. ability to apply appropriate discipline specific expertise to develop solutions to design problems
5. ability to prepare documentation to communicate results of design tasks (appropriate for engineering practice)
6. ability to meet expected professional practice requirements for a trainee engineer
7. Ability to manage and contribute to successful completion of group projects
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
1 Assignment 1 - Floor structures Yes 12.00 Week 4 (Monday, 5 pm) 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7,
2 Assignment 2 - Art No 6.00 Week 4 (Tuesday, 1 pm) 5,
3 Assignment 3 - Stabilty Yes 12.00 Week 7 (Monday, 5 pm) 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7,
4 Assignment 4 - Geotechnics Yes 12.00 Week 8 (Friday, 5 pm) 2,
5 Assignment 5 - Roof and summary report Yes 18.00 Week 13 (Tuesday, 2 pm) 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7,
6 Final Exam No 40.00 Exam Period 1, 4,
Assessment Description: Assignment: Series of design assignments. 60% total

Final Exam: Final examination. 40% total

Note that students must obtain a mark of at least 45% in the final exam to pass the unit, regardless of assignment marks
Grade Type Description
Standards Based Assessment Final grades in this unit are awarded at levels of HD for High Distinction, DI (previously D) for Distinction, CR for Credit, PS (previously P) for Pass and FA (previously F) for Fail as defined by University of Sydney Assessment Policy. Details of the Assessment Policy are available on the Policies website at . Standards for grades in individual assessment tasks and the summative method for obtaining a final mark in the unit will be set out in a marking guide supplied by the unit coordinator.
Policies & Procedures: The faculty attempts to maintain consistency and quality in its T&L operations by adhering to Academic Board policy. These policies can be found on the Central Policy Online site. A brief summary of the relevant T&L policies that should be referred to while filling in these forms can be found at the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies Policy Page.
Recommended Reference/s: Note: References are provided for guidance purposes only. Students are advised to consult these books in the university library. Purchase is not required.
Note on Resources: The unit is of a wide-ranging nature, and all text and reference books previous and current courses have relevance. In addition, reference will be made to many codes and guides to practice, of which the following list covers only the structural field: Current SAA Codes, Manuals and Specifications, particularly AS4100 - Steel Structures Code AS3600 - Concrete Structures Code AS1554 - Manual Welding, Part I AS1170 - Loading Code, Parts I and II AS1511 - High Strength Structural Bolting Code MAI Steel Structures Austroads Bridge Design Specification AS1720 - Timber Engineering Code (Purchase of separate codes is recommended).

Note that the "Weeks" referred to in this Schedule are those of the official university semester calendar

Week Description
Week 1 Design problem
Week 2 Design problem
Week 3 Design problem
Week 4 Design problem
Assessment Due: Assignment 1 - Floor structures
Assessment Due: Assignment 2 - Art
Week 5 Design problem
Week 6 Design problem
Week 7 Design problem
Assessment Due: Assignment 3 - Stabilty
Week 8 Design problem
Assessment Due: Assignment 4 - Geotechnics
Week 9 Design problem
Week 10 Design problem
Week 11 Design problem
Week 12 Design problem
Week 13 Design problem
Assessment Due: Assignment 5 - Roof and summary report
Exam Period Final exam
Assessment Due: Final Exam

Course Relations

The following is a list of courses which have added this Unit to their structure.

Course Year(s) Offered
Master of Professional Engineering (Accelerated) (Civil) 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Accelerated) (Fluids) 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Accelerated) (Geomechanical) 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Accelerated) (Structural) 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Civil) 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Fluids) 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Geomechanical) 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Structural) 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

Course Goals

This unit contributes to the achievement of the following course goals:

Attribute Practiced Assessed
(7) Project and Team Skills (Level 2) No 0%
(8) Professional Effectiveness and Ethical Conduct (Level 1) No 0%
(6) Communication and Inquiry/ Research (Level 1) No 0%
(5) Interdisciplinary, Inclusiveness, Influence (Level 2) No 0%
(3) Problem Solving and Inventiveness (Level 2) No 0%
(4) Design (Level 2) No 0%
(2) Engineering/ IT Specialisation (Level 1) No 0%

These goals are selected from Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018 which defines overall goals for courses where this unit is primarily offered. See Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018 for details of the attributes and levels to be developed in the course as a whole. Percentage figures alongside each course goal provide a rough indication of their relative weighting in assessment for this unit. Note that not all goals are necessarily part of assessment. Some may be more about practice activity. See Learning outcomes for details of what is assessed in relation to each goal and Assessment for details of how the outcome is assessed. See Attributes for details of practice provided for each goal.