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Teaching of hydraulic design at University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Pavel Novak, Professor Eric Valentine


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At the University of Newcastle, Hydraulic Engineering Design is part of the fourth (final) year curriculum of the (undergraduate) MEng course and of the 1-year (postgraduate) MSc course. The prerequisites are a good foundation in basic civil engineering subjects and a working knowledge of hydrology, hydraulic structures, and advanced hydraulics as covered in the previous 3 years of the undergraduate BSc course. Hydraulic Engineering Design is taught as a subject in its own right in two modules with 36 h contact each and 64 h private study requirement each. Module A is oriented toward computer-aided design. Module B has three major components: Advanced topics in dam and reservoir hydraulics, hydraulic design of highway and irrigation structures, and structural design aspects of hydraulic structures. The structure of the course is continuously updated and further details together with one example of set coursework from each module are included in the paper. The aim of the course is to provide an understanding of and ability in design; the lecturers involved in the teaching of the modules should preferably have experience in hydraulic engineering design. The emphasis in teaching, apart from explanations of the factual background to the various topics, is on the demonstration of alternative solutions to the design problems, bearing in mind environmental, economic, and sociological aspect. It is important that students, in dealing with their open-ended assignments, show the ability of independent thinking. Hydraulic problems are part of integrated civil engineering design assignments in the Newcastle undergraduate BEng course (e.g., drainage and water supply), but the Hydraulic Engineering Design course discussed in this paper is needed for a deeper understanding of various problems and for a mature design philosophy in a specialized area of civil engineering. Civil engineering courses at U.K. universities are (in addition to teaching and research assessments) subjected to a rigorous professional assessment by the Institution of Civil Engineers, as their degree qualifications are a basic part of the requirements for the status of a chartered engineer. The design courses are a vital component in the institution assessment procedure.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Valentine EM; Novak P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Hydraulic Engineering

Year: 2001

Volume: 127

Issue: 12

Pages: 1009-1012

ISSN (print): 0733-9429

ISSN (electronic): 1943-7900

Publisher: American Society of Civil Engineers


DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9429(2001)127:12(1009)


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