KB4022 - Design and Materials

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What will I learn on this module?

You will learn about some of the issues which will underpin your learning and practice as a construction engineer. Specifically you will learn about the following areas:

Mechanics of materials:

Material qualities

Material properties at a micro level,

Material properties at a macro level
Through laboratory and other class work you will consider and test a range of the commonest used materials in the industry such as:

• Classification of rocks and soils
• Rock identification and erosion
• Soil formation – weathering and deposition
• Properties and classification of soils – particle size distribution, moisture content, and consistency limits
• Steel
• Concrete
• Timber

In addition you will examine alternative material use to achieve enhanced sustainability including the use of re-cycled materials and you will develop skills in designing concrete structural members through your understanding of material properties and capacities.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through engaging with lectures, seminars and laboratory experiments. The active engagement of laboratory work will be a dominant factor.


The delivery format is to be a 2 hour lecture and 1 hour seminar for the first year. The some of the seminars in the first semester are to be laboratory work. The second semester consists of a 2 hour lab laboratory based discovery learning supported by a 1 hour seminar session for result analysis formative assessment.

Knowledge transfer will begin with the lecture experience and will give you the basis to extend your learning further. There will be interactive exchanges between the tutor and you and your colleagues in the seminars and problems and guided activity will be carried out in the laboratory sessions. These will allow you to have discussions and to reflect on what you are learning so that you can inform imporve and feed forward your learning into the assessments and your future academic and practical career.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The eLearning portal [blackboard] will be used to upload lectures and additional reading prior to the lecture, thus allowing you to read ahead , prior to your contact time. Additional reading materials will be provided to support the delivery of the module and enhance the range of information that is made available for directed research. The directed reading material will permit you to develop technical skills and the theoretical knowledge required to work towards developing professional judgement. It is the intention that using these support mechanisms you can begin to take the first steps to learning on your own.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
The student will be able to:
1. Identify key properties of all commonly used civil engineering materials
2. Synthesise a solution for achieving enhanced sustainability with regard to low environmental impact and cost effectiveness
3. Explain the fundamentals of material performance and apply the learning to theoretical and practical design problems.




Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
4 Specify a suitable use for appropriate materials in a given design scenario, including all health and safety aspects including analysis of simple structural elements with regard to material properties.


Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5 Work as a member of a small team in order to create materials for laboratory testing and respect the values of other team members.

How will I be assessed?

Marked assessment will be by exam and coursework, which will be designed to enable you to demonstrate you abilities to satisfy the module's learning outcomes.

The exam (module learning outcomes 1 and 3) is closed book

The lab reports encompass module learning outcomes 1,2,4,and 5,

Assessment for learning will occur throughout the module, with informal assessment and review practices integrated into the structured seminar
and laboratory programme in order to assist your development and prepare you for the marked assessment. Feedback on the marked assessments will be in writing and will also feed forward to remaining assessments in the module and throughout the programme.

Pre-requisite(s)

N/A

Co-requisite(s)

N/A

Module abstract

This module aims to introduce students to a range of Design & Technology informed by the material component and technology systems. Basic engineering materials that are required within the civil engineering/construction industry are examined to enable the student to develop technical skills and a critical appraisal capability. You will be expected to read around the subject and use problem solving skills, to determine practical applications of the taught content. The module will introduce the engineering properties of materials and apply these principles to design and engineering practice. This will allow you to develop engineering judgement. The learning will be about material use in an environmental context, taking account of sustainability, costs both in terms of affordability and environmental impact costs. Two aspects of health and safety are to be considered: the first being the health and safety of the material in itself and secondly the application and in use aspects in practice. Discovery learning is a key aspect of the module and active engagement is required to enhance the learning experience. Assessment will be by exam and a laboratory portfolio of work.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 to 5 years part-time, depending on entry qualifications

Department Mechanical and Construction Engineering

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

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