Sustainable Infrastructure Engineering (Land) Modules

Year 1

Mechanics of Engineering Materials


Engineered components must withstand various external forces during normal usage.  An example of a simple component is the chair, which must bear the weight of the person sitting on it without breaking or undergoing significant deformation.  An engineer needs to be able to evaluate the forces that are applied to the component and to further determine the mechanical behaviour of the component in response to the applied forces.  

This module provides students with the ability to mathematically analyse simple components in static equilibrium (i.e. not in motion) under different modes of loading.  The module consists of lectures where concepts and examples will be presented and tutorials where students can pose questions from their own study.  In addition, students will also complete various assignments that are intended to strengthen their grasp of knowledge learnt in lectures and tutorials.  

The topics covered in this module include:

  • Basic concepts of force, stress, strain and mechanical properties of materials
  • Static equilibrium – free body diagram
  • Equations of equilibrium relating external and internal forces
  • Centroids and moment of inertia of cross-sections
  • Equations describing geometry of deformation or displacements / compatibility
  • Relationship between applied force and deformation of material i.e. stress-strain relationship
  • Combining equations of equilibrium, stress-strain relationships and compatibility to calculate stress and strain conditions in bodies
  • Shear force, bending moment and stresses in bending of beams
  • Torque and stress in torsion of circular section

Engineering Mathematics 1


Engineering Mathematics is the foundation of all engineering degrees. Engineering Math I aims to equip students with core mathematical skills which will help them better understand other engineering modules. This module presents the mathematical foundations of Functions, which includes function transformation, logarithms and exponential functions, trigonometric and hyperbolic functions. The more substantial part of this module begins with Limits and Continuity which includes L’ Hopital’s rule, followed by Single Variable Calculus. It covers differentiation and integration of functions of one variable, with various engineering applications.  The topics covered in this module include: 

  • To apply and solve functions involving exponential, logarithmic, trigonometric and hyperbolic in the context of engineering
  • To explain the concept of limits and continuity and solve related problems, in preparation for calculus
  • To use the rules of differentiation to compute the derivative of functions and apply derivatives in curve sketching and optimisation
  • To use integration techniques in evaluating integrals and apply definite integral in the computing area between curves, volume, arc length and surface area

C Programming


This module focuses on C programming fundamentals including arithmetic algorithms, control structures, functions, arrays, pointers, characters, input/output, file processing, and data structures. Good programming practices, common programming errors and secure programming tips are discussed. To make this module more relevant to engineers and to make students “tinkering”, microcontroller design is introduced and students are required to complete a mini-project on microcontroller design using C language. This module aims to provide students with an understanding of the role programming can play in solving problems. It also aims to develop students’ competencies in writing C programs that can solve engineering problems.

The topics covered in this module include:

  • To comprehend basic terminology used in C-programming language
  • To plan, implement, test and debug C-programs
  • To apply different variables, arithmetic and logical expressions, control selections and repetitions in C programs
  • To implement functions, arrays, and pointers in C programs
  • To use string and character processing, formatted input/output, file processing, and data structures in C programs
  • To design C programs for performing simple tasks using Arduino microcontroller

Measurements and Sensor Technology


This module introduces the basic fundamental of measurement and sensor technology. It covers from characteristics of measurement, SI standard to different types of sensors used in measurement systems such as displacement, level, velocity, flow and temperature. Principles of modern sensor technology and measurement devices are introduced. A summarized review or introduction to the electrical circuit is also covered for the background knowledge of electrical sensors. At the end of the module, students are to implement and practice the knowledge learned and to evaluate and understand measurement tool or system with sensor technology.

The topics covered in this module include:

  • To describe and understand the fundamentals and fundamentals and process of measurement and interpret related standards
  • To evaluate static characteristics of measurement and determine its accuracy, precision, reproducibility, repeatability, hysteresis and nonlinearity; and analyse the causes of errors
  • To explain the principle of sensors and transducers, determine and evaluate the sensitivity of sensors, and explain and deal with non-linearity of some sensors
  • To comprehend and apply sensor technology in spatial measurements such as proximity, displacement, distance, range, pressure, temperature, flow and level and explain the principle of their measurement.

Dynamics of Machines


This course aims to provide fundamental knowledge of Planar Kinematics and Planar Kinetics in particles and rigid bodies.

Students are trained to use vectors throughout the course and physical concepts such as velocity and acceleration (relative to moving or fixed reference frames), translation and rotation, force and moment, work and kinetic energy, linear/angular impulse and momentum, etc. are developed rigorously.

Based on the understanding of the physical concepts, students will learn the principles in kinematics and kinetics, and apply them to solve practical problems in dynamics.

Engineering Mathematics 2A


Mathematics is a foundation for engineering students to study in their specific technical fields. The aim of this module is to provide students with necessary mathematics background which is essential to their further engineering course studies. The content of this module focuses on Vectors, Complex Numbers, Matrix Algebra and Introduction to Ordinary Differential Equations (ODE). This course will mainly be conducted by classroom lecturing and tutoring. Students will need to do the homework assignments after every lecture. The final grade will be a combination of marks from quizzes, assignments and final exam.

The topics covered in this module include:

  • To apply the principles of vector algebra in solving a variety of problems in engineering (e.g. volume of parallelepiped calculation, moment of force, etc)
  • To apply the principles of complex numbers in solving engineering-related problems (e.g. complex impedance of electrical network, fluid dynamics, etc)
  • To apply and solve engineering problems using matrix algebra (e.g. systems of linear equations, mechanical systems, etc)
  • To comprehend and solve the basic first-order ordinary differential equations.

Heat Exchanger and Heat Pump


Thermodynamics is an exciting and fascinating subject that deals with energy and energy interactions. Heat transfer is a basic science that deals with the rate of transfer of thermal energy in various media. This module is designed to give students a basic understanding of the laws of thermodynamics and the principles of heat transfer, leading to analyse of thermal engine cycles and design of heat exchangers. The module introduces the concepts of heat, work, reversibility, efficiency and property diagrams of pure substance while discussing the 1st law of thermodynamics. The ideal-gas equation of state is introduced for ideal gases while real gases are described by other polytropic models. The 2nd law of thermodynamics introduces the efficiency calculation for the heat engine and refrigeration/heat pump cycle, which these thermodynamic cycles can be approximated by an idealised reversible Carnot cycle. The 3rd law of thermodynamics set the stage for the discussion of the actual vapour power cycle (Rankine) and actual vapour- compression refrigeration cycle.

In heat transfer, three main mechanisms of heat flow will be discussed; conduction, convection and radiation. Conduction introduces Fourier’s law with an emphasis on developing 1D heat transfer in steady-state condition for various structures. There are two modes of convection, namely natural and forced convection, where some convection correlations are derived to demonstrate and allow appreciation of its respective empirical convection heat transfer coefficient in the real world. Conduction and convection are re-visited again in the heat exchanger topic where design issues and the concept of Log Mean temperature Difference (LMTD), Number of Transfer Units (NTU) method are introduced. Overall, the module aims to develop an appreciation of the importance of thermal systems in sustainable infrastructures.

The topics covered in this module include:

  • To describe the Laws of Thermodynamics in thermal systems
  • To apply thermodynamics concepts to the understanding of heat pumps
  • To discuss the property diagrams and P-v-T surface.
  • To discuss the mechanisms of Heat Transfer; Conduction, Convection, and Radiation
  • To analyse heat transfer problems
  • To design a refrigerant cycle system in an assignment
  • To assess various heat exchanger configurations and their maintenance issues

Engineering Design Graphics


Understanding engineering designs is a basic skill expected of all engineers. It is essential because graphics communication and documentation using 2-D drawings and 3-D computer models are a universal means of communicating a design idea clearly and allowing the idea to be converted into physical products. This module is for SIE students in their first year of studies. Student progress shall be assessed through drawing assessment and assignment, final design project, presentations and final report.

The topics covered in this module include:

  • 3-dimensional (3-D) visualization and spatial reasoning;
  • Engineering sketching;
  • Basic descriptive geometry;
  • The fundamentals of orthographic projection;
  • Parametric and feature-based solid modelling;
  • Assembly modelling;
  • Geometric dimensioning and tolerancing;
  • Drawing convention and presentation of 3-dimensional (3-D) geometry on 2-dimensional (2-D) media;
  • Use of computer-aided design (CAD) software as the major graphical analysis and design tool.

Materials Selection for Engineering Structure


Every structural component is made of a single material or a combination of different materials. A large number of materials are available from which an engineer can choose, and the behaviour of each material is influenced by how it is processed.  So how does an engineer make a selection of which material to use?

In this module, students will learn the relationships between materials structure, processing and properties so as to understand how the properties of a material can be achieved for a specific application.  Concurrent to lectures, students will also undertake a group assignment during which hands-on activities are undertaken to select a material for an assigned application.

Effective Communication


Effective written and oral communication skills have long been viewed as core competencies for undergraduate students in major universities in the world, and they are required by employers in today’s globalized workplace. Specific communication skills required of engineering undergraduates include the ability to present academic and technical information both in writing and orally to technical and non-technical audiences.

This module aims to help students develop such abilities through academic essay writing, technical report writing, reflective writing, oral presenting and other learning activities.  SIE2016 also adopts a process-based, reading-into-writing approach so that students have the chance to learn/unlearn/relearn from the multiple drafting experience of each writing assignment.  For the principle content focus of the course, a project-based approach is used that requires teams of students to explore authentic engineering problems and develop viable solutions within real-world contexts. Within the module, they are required to read discipline-specific articles, do writing assignments and a project with an engineering focus, and interview engineers or related experts, thus facilitating greater acquaintance with the field.

The topics covered in this module include:

  • To adjust style and tone when communicating different types of information to different audiences for a particular purpose
  • To recognize the language features and conventions of academic and technical texts and employ these in their own writing and speaking
  • To develop a thesis, problem and purpose statements and support such statements with evidence
  • To develop orally and in writing effective paraphrases and summaries for a specific purpose
  • To identify and think critically about complex problems, formulate solutions and present these orally and in writing
  • To analyse, synthesize and interpret information from various sources for specific purposes
  • To cite sources correctly using APA citation style, showing academic integrity
  • To revise their writing for clarity, conciseness, coherence, and fallacies in logic
  • To give constructive criticism and feedback to peers
  • To monitor their own progress through reflection while identifying strengths and weaknesses.