CVEN4007W Civil Engineering Systems

Academic Year 2022/2023

This module introduces students to the need to think civil engineering also at system level, with civil engineering infrastructures as a part of a larger context or whole that encloses multiple interrelated variables, and that defines informed engineering decision-making schemes. It emphasizes the role of optimality in achieving highly efficient engineering systems, and enabling sustainable development. It also emphasize also the roles of engineering management at system level as an enabler of fully functional and optimal systems. Students in CVEN4007W will become aware of the role of describing systems, and finding its interdependencies, including mathematical form description, such that it can be solved with the support of computational tools.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of the course a student will be able to:

1. Understand how engineering design decisions should be performed and the need for a rationale of assessment for engineering decisions;
2. Understand how a wide range of factors and decision makers may have influence on the performance of engineering systems;
3. Construct robust and appropriate criteria for assessing design alternatives;
4. Construct extensive lists of possible alternative solutions for a given design problem;
5. Construct and implement simple models of dynamical systems representing design alternatives from verbal descriptions to quantitative predictions of performance;
6. Calculate optimal solutions to engineering problems using both linear and nonlinear methods as applicable;
7. Assess and apply appropriate multi-criteria decision methods and understand the need of a decision-maker to work with multiple indicators;
8. Understand when the tools of systems analysis are appropriate and have the confidence to apply them.
9. Understand the importance of systems analysis in the achievement of the SDGs.
10. Be able to characterize a systems problem, and solve it using adequate computational-aided techniques.

Students in CVEN4007W will also learn the importance of computational tools in the management of engineering systems. Students will be introduced to the importance of mathematical modelling and coding in the analysis of engineering systems, and development of decision-making schemes.

Indicative Module Content:

A student of Civil Engineering Systems will study:

1. Introduction to Systems Analysis.
2. Decision makers and the importance of measures of effectiveness;
3. Assessment criteria;
4. Generation of alternative solutions and the role of probability and statistics;
5. Mathematical characterization of a systems problem;
6. Modelling and Simulation;
7. Linear and nonlinear optimization;
8. Modelling of discrete and continuous systems
9. System dynamics
10. Multi-criteria decision analysis;

In Civil Engineering Systems, a system of interest will be evaluated in the module through group work, where the knowledge acquired should be applied in the evaluation of this system.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
CVEN4007W is a modulus completed through Continuous Assessment.

Group work feedback on the preliminary analysis of system of interest;
Peer-review feedback on the system of interest;
Lectures and group discussions;
Critical writing; 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Requirements:

This module is for CDIC students only.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
CDIC1023W - English 1, CDIC1028W - English 2, CDIC2016W - English 3, CDIC2020W - English 4, OVSE1003W - English 1, OVSE1008W - English 2, OVSE2007W - English 3, OVSE2014W - English 4

Additional Information:
This module is for CDIC students only. This module is delivered in UCD's overseas Campus in Xi'an, China.

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Group Project: Analysis and reporting of system of interest. Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Presentation: Presentation of preliminary system of interest. Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Examination: 1 hour End of Trimester MCQ Exam 1 hour End of Trimester Exam No Graded No


Group Project: Group-peer Review and Self-Assessment Report Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Remediation Type Remediation Timing
In-Module Resit Prior to relevant Programme Exam Board
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Peer review activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Group feedback lectures will be organised during the semester in order to guide the development of each group's system of interest.