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Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment

Department of Civil Engineering

Course handout, CIV1005W, 2018

Course Name: CIV1005W, Introduction to Engineering
SAQA Credits: 24
Pre-requisites: None
Co-requisites: First year Civil Engineering subjects

Course convenor: Dr Nicky Wolmarans

Email address:
Office location: Room 4.41, New Engineering Building (Civil Engineering)
Consultation hours: Strictly by email appointment: Subject: CIV1005W consultation
Dr Nicky Wolmarans
Course lecturers: A/Prof Mark Zuidgeest
Mr Rene Nsanzubuhoro
Head Tutor:
Avu Maake
Teaching assistants:

First Semester
Lecture venue: Mon/Tues/Thurs/Fri: Snape TS3B
Lecture days and time: Mon/Tues/Thurs/Fri: 12:00-12:45
Studio venues Snape TS2B (or alt as announced)
Studio day and time Fri: 14:00-17:00

Second Semester
Lecture venue: Mon/Wed/Thurs: Snape TS3B (tbc)
Lecture days and time: Mon/ Wed /Thurs: 11:00-11:45
Tutorial venues Snape TS2C (tbc)
Tutorial day and time Mon: 14:00-17:00

Course objectives
This course forms the platform for the development of personal, academic and profession skills needed for
successful study and practice of civil engineering. Skills are developed through hands-on participation in projects
set in the context of civil engineering practice. The course is designed to motivate and engage the student in the
civil engineering degree and its practice.
Building towards the ECSA level outcomes
ELO Contribution of this course Level
1. Problem solving (introduced in M3; applied in M4-7):
Students are introduced to the engineering method of problem solving and are expected to
show proficiency in the application to simple convergent problems and to begin to structure
ill-defined divergent problems using an engineering problem solving approach.
2. Application of scientific and engineering knowledge (included in M1-M7):
Students will be required to apply engineering and science knowledge presented in the 1
course to solve simple problems.
3. Engineering design (introduced in M7):
Students will be introduced to a complex context in which they are required to produce a
conceptual design using engineering codes and guidelines as well as basic scientific
4. Investigations, experiments and data analysis (included in M3-M6):
Students must perform procedural investigations and experiments and present the results in
an appropriate engineering format, demonstrating competence with numerical and graphical 1
formats, demonstrate the ability to work meaningfully with precision and sensitivity, and
demonstrate principled insight in their findings and conclusions.
5. Engineering methods, skills and tools, including information technology (included variously
in all):
Students must demonstrate a minimum level of competence using spreadsheets (M3-M6)
and word processing (M2 & M7). The course also covers the requirements for engineering
calculations (M3) and technical/conceptual sketching (M1). Students work with GIS data
6. Professional and technical communication (M1, M2 & M3):
Engineering communication includes drawing, written, oral and numerical communication
forms. The first three modules include freehand sketching, technical writing and speaking,
and formal presentation of numerical calculations respectively.
7. Sustainability and impact of engineering activity: (M5 & M7)
Transportation engineering includes consideration of urban development and health and
safety issues. The informal settlement upgrade is developed on the basis of sustainable
design, especially focussing on social and environmental sustainability principles
8. Individual, team and multidisciplinary working (included variously in all):
The assignments in the course are a mix of team and individual submissions. Students must
demonstrate that they can work effectively in a group as an individual, including meeting 1
individual responsibilities, contributing positively to the group and listening attentively to
other group members. Teamwork will be assessed through the software package CATME
9. Independent learning ability (all):
Each module includes a self study assignment
10. Engineering professionalism:
Although not a direct outcome of the course, students are expected to treat their peers and
lecturers with respect and professionalism, submission deadlines and course requirements
will be strictly enforced.
11. Engineering management:
Students will need to manage a major team project in the second semester. However the
project management is not explicitly assessed, rather it influences the quality of the output of
the project

Detailed course content

Module 1: The world of civil engineering
• Civil engineering history
• Artefact analysis
• Freehand sketching
• Teamwork
Module 2: Geotechnical Engineering
• Construction and geotechnical topics
• Technical reading, writing and referencing
• Oral communication
Module 3: Concrete and density
• Material densities
• Concrete mix design
• Engineering calculations and number proficiency
Module 4: Hydraulics
• Bernoulli's equation
• Experimental data collection, analysis and presentation
• Numerical analysis
• Spreadsheet functionality and design
Module 5: Transportation engineering
• Traffic engineering
• Data survey design
• Statistical calculations
Module 6: Beams and Bridges
• Evolution of the beam
• Boundary conditions
• Loading and deflection
Module 7: Informal settlement upgrade
• Sustainable urban design
• Design process
Stage 1: Inception
Stage 2: Conceptual design
Stage 3: Detailed design
Stage 4: Documentation and Procurement
• Design reporting

Knowledge areas
Mathematical Natural Engineering Design and Complementary
Sciences Sciences Sciences Synthesis Studies
60 30 10

Learning environment
Notionally: 72 lectures and 24 studio sessions
The course will be delivered largely through problem-based learning and experiential learning principles.
This will take the form of group projects based on real civil engineering contexts. Specific lectures will
support each project. Assignments will consist of a mixture of group and individual submissions.

Suggested time allocation

Learning Activity Time (hours)
Lectures 54
Projects and Practicals 72
(5 hours per week)
Total learning time 240

Please note: The course credit rating is such that you are expected to do 240 hours of work
on the course. Over two 12-week semesters that translates into about 10 hours per week. Note
that the work done in each module is considered preparation for the portfolio and tests.
General assessment breakdown
Assessment % Estimated time The following DP rules
Module 1: Civil engineering 5% 20 hrs
Module 2: Geotech engineering & construction 5% 20 hrs Participate in and submit
Module 3: Engineering materials 5% 20 hrs all tasks on time
Module 4: Hydraulics 5% 25 hrs
Module 5: Traffic engineering 5% 15 hrs
Module 6: Beams and bridges 5% 20 hrs
Module 7: Informal settlement upgrade 35% 100 hrs
Tests 15% 15 hrs
Portfolio 20% 5 hrs

Total 100 240 hrs

Prescribed Books/Reading Materials/Notes

Prescribed book
English, Fielding, Howard, and van der Merwe; Professional Communication 2nd ed. Juta, 2006
(will be provided in class).
Articles provided for each module
Selected reading
1. Gordon, JE. 1978. Structures, or why things don't fall down. London: Penguin.
2. Braungart, M. & McDonough, W. 2009. Cradle to cradle: Remaking the way we make
things. New York: North Point Press.
3. Petroski, H. 1985. To engineer is human: The role of failure in successful design. New York:
St. Martin's Press.
4. Landis, RB. 1995. Studying Engineering: A roadmap to a rewarding career. California:
Discovery Press.
5. Covey, S.R. 1989. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal
Change. United Kingdom: Simon and Schuster.