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Practical advice - Civil Engineering - The University of Sydney

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PRACTICALADVICE
YourLaboratoryProgram
Oneofthegraduateattributesoftheengineeris:"Anabilitytodesignandconductexperimentsandtoanalyseandinterpretdata
fromthoseexperiments."
Yourhandsonlaboratoryskillsincludesafety,observation,operatingexperimentalequipment,andrecordingofdata.
Thelabanalysisskillsincludeinterpretationandsummationofdata,critique,commentaryandreportwritingandreferencingof
reliablesourcestoaddrelevancetotheexperimentalobservations.
LABsafetyisacriticalcomponenttoyourlabexperienceandaconsciousnesswhichyoutakewithyouintotheworkplace.
Theseskillsaredevelopedincrementallythroughyourdegreeandculminateinyourfinalyearproject/thesis.
YouareadvisedtousetheWRISEsite(http://learningcentre.usyd.edu.au/wrise/)todeveloptechnicalreportwritingskillsatevery
opportunity.

LaboratoryClasses
Labscanbeoneofthemostenjoyablepartsofyourdegree:Labclasseswillhelpyouvisualisethetheoryandputitinto
practice.Thefollowingtipswillhelpyoulovethelabsandbenefitfromthemscientifically:
Doanyrequiredprework,
Payattentiontotheresultsandobservationsduringtheexperiment,
Relatethesubsequentcalculationsandconclusionstothetheorycoveredinclass.
Inmanylabsyouwillberequiredtocompletethetasksinateam.

Labsubjects
Thefollowingsubjectsarewhereyouwillbedevelopingyourlabexperience:whetheritbehandsonpracticalwork,
demonstrationsbyCivilstaff,orreportwritingskills:
ENGG1800:IntroductiontoEngineeringDisciplines
PHYS1001:Physics1(Regular)
ENGG1803:ProfessionalEngineering1
GEOL1501:EngineeringGeologyI
CIVL2110:Materials
CIVL2201:StructuralMechanics
CIVL2810:EngineeringConstructionandSurveying
CIVL2410:SoilMechanics*
CIVL3612:FluidMechanics*
CIVL4024:EngineeringProjectA
CIVL4025:EngineeringProjectB

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Practical advice - Civil Engineering - The University of Sydney

*these2subjectshaveextensivelabrequirements.Eachlabhasanonlinecomponentwhichmustbecompletedpriortothe
labsession.

TeamWork
Inanumberofsubjectsyouwillbeinvolvedinworkingthingsout,solvingnewproblems,developingsolutions,andquiteoften
inteams.Thesecretbehindthesetasksisthattheoutcomeisnotsoimportant,it'sunderstandingtheprocessofproblem
solvingandteamnegotiationthatmakesyoualeadingengineer.
Whatisteamwork?Teamworkinvolvesworkingcollaborativelywithothers,inordertoachieveagoal.Asanindividualyouwill
needtotakeaonarolewithintheteam,sharingresponsibilityandcontributingideas.
Employersareincreasinglyvaluingconsultancyandteamworkskills.Canyoubeconfidentwiththefollowingcommontasksof
theworkplaceengineer?
Makeaphonecalltoaclient.
Writeaprofessionalemail.
Chairagroupmeeting.
Liaisewithallstakeholdersonaprojectbuilders,architects,accountants,clients,residentsandlocalcouncil.
Respondinaconfidentandprofessionalwaywhenaproblemorerrorisidentified.
Giveapresentationtomanagement.
Writeatechnicalreportinlanguagewhichcanbeunderstoodbynonengineers.
Coordinateyoureffortswiththeskillsofotherexpertstocreateasafeandreliableengineeringsolution.
Duringyourdegreeyouwillbeworkingwithotherstudentsingroupsonassignmentsandprojects.Insomecasesthese
studentswillbelikemindedwithyou,inothercasestheywillbeverydifferenttoyouandyou'llwishyoudidn'thavetoworkwith
them.
Howeveritisyourresponsibilitytomanageyourteamandyourrelationshipswiththemwiththeaimofcompletingasuccessful
assignment.Thisincludesstudentswhoarenotthesamecultureasyouandwhomightbemoreorlessambitiousthanyou,or
moreorlesscapablethanyou.
TIPS:
Createcommongoals:discusswhatyouareaimingforandsetoutcomes.
Securecommitmentfromeachpersontotheoutcomes.
Establishthegroundrulesbywhichtheteamoperates:forexample:takeresponsibilityforyourownlearning,actionsand
reactionsspeakforyourselfbehonestandopen(addyourowneffectivegroundrules).
Setupaframeworkbywhichyouwillhandlepotentialteamproblems,includingpossiblepenalties.
Meetearlyandcreateaprojectplan.
Donotdividetheworkupandleaveeachpersontocompletetheirsectionandthenjustpasteittogetherattheend.
Clearlydefineandagreeontherolesofeachperson.
Whereeachpersonhasdeliverablessettimesforthemtosubmitadraftandalldraftswillbediscussedinateammeeting
beforebeingfinalised.
Keeparecordofmeetings,deliverables,collaborationsetcsothatifastudentdoesnotmakeanadequatecontributionitis
welldocumented.
Practiseopencommunicationandpositivefeedback.
Inteammeetingseveryoneneedstocontributetotheplanning.Thismeansshystudentsandinternationalstudentsmust
speakandmakeacontribution,andotherstudentsshouldavoidbeingdominant.
Usefulexternallinks
Togiveyourgroupassignmentsthebestchanceofsuccessmakeuseoftheinformationinthefollowinglinks:
Teamworkskills:beinganeffectivegroupmember(UniversityofWaterloo)(https://uwaterloo.ca/centreforteaching
excellence/teachingresources/teachingtips/tipsstudents/beingpartteam/teamworkskillsbeingeffectivegroupmember)
WorkinginGroups.doc(UniversityofSouthampton)(http://www.studyskills.soton.ac.uk/studyguides/)
TeamworkingSkills(UniversityofKent)(http://www.kent.ac.uk/careers/sk/teamwork.htm)
TeamworkSkillsToolkit(GriffithUniversity)(http://www.griffith.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/290870/Teamworkskills.pdf)

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ComputerResources
3rdand4thyear,andpostgraduatestudentsmayusetheCAHawkinsComputerLaboratory
(http://sydney.edu.au/engineering/civil/currentstudents/hawkinslab.shtml)intheDepartmentofCivilEngineering.
1stand2ndyearstudentsshouldusetheUniversityComputerAccess
Centres(http://sydney.edu.au/current_students/life/study_spaces_computers.shtml),suchasthePNRLearningHubortheSciTech
library,orintheengineeringLinkBuilding.
TheComputerAccessLabsprovideallstudentsandstaffoftheUniversityofSydneywith6MbofFreeInternetaccessaday(42
MBperweek).Thistranslatestoabout3045minutesofbrowsingwebsitesoutsidetheUniversityeveryday.Theamountused
iscalculatedoverarolling7dayperiod(soyoucanusenoneononeday,andthen12MBonthenextday,etc).Studentshave
free,unlimitedaccesstointernalUSYDinternetsitesfromthesecomputerlabs.

StudentEmail
TheUniversitysuppliesallstudentswithafreeemailaccount,calledSydneyMail.
Youshouldcheckthisemailaccountregularly,asthisisonekeywayinwhichtheuniversitycommunicateswithyou.
ConfigureSydneyMailtoshowyournamecorrectly
YoumayhavenoticedwhenyouuseSydneyMailthattherecipientmayreceivethemessageasfollows:
From:abcd1234@uni.sydney.edu.auwithoutgivingyourfullname.
ConfiguringSydneyMailemailtoputyournameinthe"from"fieldbydoingthefollowing:
LogintoSydneyMail.
ClickOptions,thenclickAccount,andintheAccountInformationbox,clickEdit.
Whenyoufinishaddingorupdatinginformation,clickSave.
FullinstructionsareontheMicrosoftOutlookwebsite(http://help.outlook.com/enau/140/ms.exch.ecp.editaccount.aspx?r=eu&l=1).

StudentSoftware
Ifyourequirespecialistsoftwarepleaselookatthethisdocument(http://sydney.edu.au/engineering/civil/current
students/documents/studentsoftware.pdf).
Thisincludesthefollowingsoftware:
Afena
Felpa
Gentop
Feseep
FLEA
XSlope
SpaceGas
Microstran
PRFSA
Piglet

200215TheUniversityofSydney.Lastupdated:01September2015
ABN:15211513464.CRICOSnumber:00026A.Phone:+61293512222.
Authorisedby:ProHead(IT),SchoolofCivilEngineering.

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