Civil Engineering Semester Review

As a third-year civil engineering student, I have completed a series of daunting course work over my semester. This semester I studied steel and concrete structures, geomechanics and a conceptual project. A semester filled with tough intensive coursework’s, I wanted to write a blog on some of the work I’ve done this year.
Tank farm design
Part 1 
This was an intensive three-hour exam style session in which myself and my group had to design a site investigation for a Petro-Chemical plant on clay soil near to a protected site. This involved working out a desk study using old maps and intuition from the site.
Using techniques, we had learned in class for taking soil samples we needed to work out how to take samples of the site to produce an accurate representation of the site.
Part 2 
In part two of this coursework, we were given tons of gathered data from a borehole taken on site and results of a triaxial lab. From this, we needed to design a foundation raft for each 35m diameter tanks, a protective embankment and a road embankment. From this, we needed to carry out slope stability checks and settlement. Using excel we were able to carry out multiple iterations of this.
As our site was made up of soft clay, this meant the settlement was very high we needed to investigate ways of reducing this, using piles or other methods and identify a cost for it. Something we investigated was the impact of the weight of a truck on the road embankment and the use of new digital soil measurement technology to monitor the soil before, during and after construction.
Steel Coursework
Having spent a large amount of time looking at Eurocode 3, on steel structures, I was given an outlined design of a multi-story building made from steel. I need to carry out analysis of the moments, shear and wind force on the building and choose a propitiate steel section sizes for the columns, beams and wind girder. I used ROBOT to create a model of the structure and to analyze the forces on the wind girder, however, the rest of this structure needed to be analyzed by hand.
Concrete Coursework
Following from the steel coursework I was tasked to use my knowledge of Eurocode 2, concrete structures, to design an underground car park to go under my steel structure. We needed to design elements to redistribute the moment around the column and design the reinforced concrete T beam and columns under the self-load of the members and the force imposed from the steel structure. This involved creating an excel sheet to work in accordance with the Eurocode and allow multiple iterations to design the most efficient structure.
Conceptual design
My favorite project of the year was my multi-disciplinary project in which my team was challenged to design a pavilion structure to go next to the V&A. This project meant we needed to investigate a design process looking at stakeholders and the local city of Dundee. From having looked a preconceptual idea to designing our own and then working on one idea to finalize it in line with the architects advise we were able to move through multiple design iterations.
After we locked the design, we needed to analyze it using Tekla and hand calculations to design the columns and beams and ensure it fits in with our design. We needed to redesign the structural system as it gave extremely large section sizes.
Having submitted our portfolio showing our design process and progression I begin to prepare for my upcoming exams soon after Easter.

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Hi, I'm a Masters Civil Engineering student and the marketing officer at the Centre for Entrepreneurship. I hope you enjoy reading my blog about studying at the University of Dundee.

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