A Structural Engineering Reflection (Pt. 2)

Week 12. Wow how the weeks have flown by. So seeing as its the last week of learning before exams start I thought it would be fitting to give a breakdown on the semester 2 papers of this year! (n/b: we have the same papers as civil in 2nd year)

STRCTENG 201: This is the structures and materials design paper. So in the first 5 weeks you learn about steel, wood, and concrete, its a lot more memory learning rather than calculation based, and if you’re in person you get to do some pretty cool labs too, like a concrete lab where you get to make a block of concrete yourself! From week 6 it gets into the proper calculations. You learn new methods to analyse beams, frames, and trusses (even if they’re statically indeterminate :0). The content is a lot and can be quite challenging so you really need to put your head down and do the practice problems for this paper, though James (the lecturer) is super helpful if you have any questions or need help!

CIVIL 200: This paper is called ‘Introduction into Geotechnical Engineering’ and as it sounds it is the very basics of geotechnical engineering. Now if you were like me and didn’t know what geotechnical engineering was, an over simplification would be learning and understanding the mechanics of everything under the ground (ie. the soil, the rock, how it behaves with load etc.) Now that wasn’t the best explanation but I’m sure you get my point. The first few weeks is an intro into the physical properties of the different types of soil, rock, clay etc. that can be found. Then later on it gets into more calculation based learning, regarding stresses, seepage, shear strength and many more things to look forward too.

ENVENG 200: This is the Environmental Engineering paper. I personally really enjoyed this paper because a wide range of different topics regarding the environment which are covered. Some of the main topics include, global environmental issues, three waters (meaning stormwater, wastewater and drinking water), sustainability, waste management and environmental impact assessments. This paper overall is a mix of theoretical learning and calculations which I really enjoyed as it was a break from the super calculation heavy papers, and it was easy to see how to this paper and what we were learning is applicable to the real world.

ENGGEN 204: This is a paper is called ‘Professional Skills and Communication’ so as the name says it is a course which is designed to improve your soft skills as an engineer. In a short summary, you are put in a group for the whole semester and you have multiple group projects to complete, now this may be great or not great to hear for some of you, but regardless I think it is helpful as it teaches you how to work in a group, how to communicate with others effectively, especially in a lay manner which is a crucial skill to have as an engineer.

Overall the papers this semester were a good mix and covered the range of different civil/structural disciplines there are. In the beginning I did find I had some free time of my hands purely because for once the papers were less calculations and more learning about concepts etc which was a nice break, but unfortunately that does end around week 3/4.

Like always if you have any questions or would like to find out more about these papers or structural in general feel free to reach out!

– Izzy 🙂

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