Surrey University Stag


Module code: ENGM042

Module Overview

Modern structural engineers are expected to design structures that are not only safe and stable, but also sustainable and resilient. This module is concerned with the analysis and design of steel and composite construction, focusing on multi-storey buildings. In this module, students develop the skills to evaluate the structural steel design process from the brief to the construction stage, including essential aspects related to structural integrity, sustainability and whole-life performance, constructability and health and safety.

To effectively work with design codes, engineers must understand the underpinning fundamentals of steel and composite ultimate state design to Eurocode 3 and Eurocode 4, including global and member stability, analysis and design methods. Fundamental concepts related to the performance-based design of steel structures in the context of extreme loading conditions are also introduced. Moreover, specific analysis and design procedures for cold-formed sections are covered. Ultimately, particular attention is given to the overall design process by placing key sustainability drivers at the centre of the material selection, design and construction thinking.

Module provider

Sustainability, Civil & Env Engineering

Module Leader

BOMPA Dan (Sust & CEE)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: H200

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 3

Independent Learning Hours: 97

Lecture Hours: 10

Seminar Hours: 10

Guided Learning: 20

Captured Content: 10

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Applying global design considerations to steel structures

    • Material properties to detailed design

    • Structural form and sustainability

    • Performance-based design

  • Understanding the specific challenges and opportunities of steel design

    • Composite floor design

    • Welded and bolted connections

    • Cold formed elements and connections

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination Online EXAMINATION ONLINE (4 HOURS) 30

Alternative Assessment

As an alternative to the group project an individual customised brief is provided that assesses the same learning outcomes 

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate understanding, appraisal and design of both the basic and advanced concepts of sustainable steel and composite building design.

The first two assessments (the 'Concept scheme presentation (group project)' and the 'Concept and developed design (group project)' coursework) aim at enabling a group of students to challenge and respond to a design brief by incorporating creative solutions at all levels of the concept and developed design stages, including functional framing, load transfer, lateral stability, buildability, sustainability and whole-life performance. This is a stage at which the design team could consider relevant research & development to provide innovative solutions to the brief requirements. The LOs assessed are 1, 2, 4-10 through a presentation and report.

The third assessment ('Detailed design (individual project) coursework') is used to examine the understanding, knowledge and application of fundamental theoretical principles and codified guidance to the detailed design of steel or composite members and connections, as well as to incorporate mitigation measures for the global response of the building to accidental loading. The LOs assessed are 1, 3, 7, 9, 10 through a design report.

The fourth assessment (Online examination), an open-book examination aims at assessing students’ understanding of the global response of steel and composite buildings and detailed design of hot-rolled and cold-formed elements to Eurocode 3 and 4. The LOs assessed are 1, 3, 10.

Formative assessment:

  • Project plan and concept scheme


  • Verbal feedback and dialogue through two group-based tutorials, to the group project presentation, individual pre-booked sessions.

  • Written feedback on project plan and concept scheme as well as the design reports.

Module aims

  • Capacity to manage the uncertainties associated with a complex design brief and respond to adequate steel design solutions by incorporating broader structural, sustainability and safety requirements.
  • Background to produce holistic conceptual steel building designs through generating ideas for optimised design solutions in main areas of building design.
  • The key conceptual framework, tools and skills to undertake the modelling, analysis and design of steel and composite buildings.
  • A sound understanding of the importance of stability and restraint provision required for the reliable limit state design of steel structures.
  • Fundamental understanding of the response of steel buildings to accidental loading conditions and main design principles and mitigation measures for disproportionate collapse.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Specify adequate materials, components and systems for the design and construction of both single-storey and multi-storey steel and composite structures KCPT
002 Model and evaluate the response of steel and composite structures to gravity and lateral loading conditions KCPT
003 Design a single or multi-storey steel building including individual elements and connections to Eurocode 3 and 4 based on authentic design briefs KCPT
004 Appraise the sustainability, constructability and health and safety issues relevant to the design and construction of steel and composite structures KCPT
005 Assess the environmental footprint of steel buildings KCPT
006 Apply Health and Safety legislation to the design of steel structures KCT
007 Technical report writing T
008 Teamworking, ethics and inclusive behaviour T
009 3D spatial awareness T
010 Graphical presentation of data T

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

  • Provide a stimulating environment to facilitate students’ creative, clear and critical thinking and to encourage an interest and appreciation of engineering and sustainability, with particular focus on structural steel.

  • Support achievements of the learning outcomes by providing students with the key skills in sustainable steel building design.

  • Enable learners to apply fundamental theoretical concepts in modelling, analysis and design of steel buildings.

  • Enable learners to design steel structures to current codes of practice and building and safety regulations.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lectures and captured content on fundamental steel building design concepts

  • Learning materials provided ahead of seminars

  • Seminar exercises with practical examples

  • Workshops on brief interpretation and conceptual design.

  • Guided learning on design codes, background documents, and technical recommendations.

  • Small group work

  • Inquiry-based learning

  • Observation and feedback on peers’ presentation

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ENGM042

Other information

Employability: The module provides the students with the necessary knowledge for the design of steel buildings, equipping them with essential employment skills required in consulting offices. Students acquire skills beyond conventional structural design as they learn subject-specific specialist concepts related to the structural performance of steel and composite buildings to normal and exceptional loading. Students also learn how to report their designs and drawings in a professional deliverable (assignment), justify their design choices and convincingly present their work in written and oral form.

Resourcefulness & Resilience: The students learn how to deliver real-life design solutions for steel-framed buildings, respond quickly to feedback and adapt the design to real-world problem-based constraints.  The module fosters agile and critical thinking, by requiring students to design steel structures using conventional and performance-based approaches, including evaluating the effect of accidental loading conditions and quantification of robustness. The group project facilitates collaboration and synergy in problem-solving, promoting creativity, coordination and peer learning.

Digital Capabilities: Students are supported to use fit-for-purpose digital capabilities and emerging tools, spanning from structural analysis software and CAD tools and other visualisation and communication tools. The module material is delivered, and communications are taking place mainly through the digital platform Surrey Learn. Discussion forums are available online and the students are encouraged to use these communication and interaction pathways. 

Sustainability: Students develop the skills to evaluate the structural steel design process from the brief to the construction stage. Particular attention is given to the overall design process by placing key sustainability drivers at the centre of the material selection, design and construction thinking. In addition to tackling essential aspects related to structural integrity, they address sustainability and whole-life performance indicator through both qualitative and quantitative assessments.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Advanced Geotechnical Engineering MSc 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Civil Engineering MEng 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Structural Engineering MSc 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Civil Engineering MSc 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Infrastructure Engineering and Management MSc 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Bridge Engineering MSc 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2024/5 academic year.