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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

CIVE5330M Bridge Engineering

15 creditsClass Size: 40

Module manager: Dr Emilio Garcia-Taengua

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module provides in-depth specialist knowledge on how bridges are designed and built, as well as an overview of the different approaches to their inspection and maintenance.


Understanding of the characteristics and behaviour of different types of bridges, their main components and the principles underlying their design.
 Knowledge of alternative bridge construction/erection techniques and awareness of the major factors that influence the choice between them.
 Understanding of the principles of structural analysis and design necessary for the modelling and analysis of bridge superstructures and how they relate to conceptual design.
 Development of the critical thinking skills necessary to compare

Learning outcomes
The learning outcomes are aligned with UK-SPEC / AHEP standards set out by the Engineering Council. On completion of this module, the students will be able:
1. To demonstrate in-depth specialist knowledge and sophisticated understanding of the behaviour, modelling, design, construction and maintenance of different types of bridges.
2. To exhibit mastery in identifying limitations and proposing creative solutions to the complex problems posed by bridge design and construction.
3. To identify and critically assess the relevance of different sources of information to conduct appropriate research informing decisions on alternative bridge designs, construction techniques and maintenance plans.
4. To demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the techniques applicable to bridge design, in particular: engineering design, structural modelling, and structural analysis.
5. To proactively formulate the ideas and hypotheses underpinning the design of a bridge; to outline the construction processes by which the construction of a bridge can be executed; and to define and implement plans to evaluate their
6. To critically and creatively evaluate current issues, research and advanced scholarship in relation to bridge engineering.

In addition to the above, the students will also develop the skills necessary for employment in a higher capacity in industry or to undertake a higher research degree:
7. To present and discuss complex information in a succint but precise manner.
8. To think critically and follow an articulate approach to project specification and problem solving.
9. To organise their work with effective self direction and decision making.
10. To implement independent learning methods in a way which ensures continuing professional development and allows successful participation as required for professional accreditation.
11. To work as an individual and as part of a team in the professional environment.


 Bridge design: historical perspective, types of bridges, conceptual design, aesthetics, durability, inspection, maintenance and repair strategies.
 Bridge deck loading and analysis: loading to Eurocodes, influence lines, bridge deck types, semi-integral and integral bridges.
 Bridge construction methods: stationary systems, moveable scaffolding, balanced cantilever construction, launching methods, erection by heavy lifting, segmental bridges, and principles of accelerated bridge construction (ABC).
 Concrete bridges: precast-pretensioned beams and in-situ slabs, cast-in-placepost-tensioned concrete girder bridges, cable layout and losses, longitudinal design, construction methods, construction stage analysis.
 Steel and composite steel-concrete bridges: composite I-girder decks, plate girders, box girders, welded and bolted connections, fabrication.
 Cable-supported bridges: cable stayed, extradosed, and suspension bridges; span configurations, components, towers and pylons: design and construction, cable types and analysis, principles of wind resisting design.
 Arch bridges: types, behaviour and analysis, construction methods.
 Substructures: abutments, bearings, piers and columns, towers, expansion joints, foundations, soil-structure interaction.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours120.00
Total Contact hours30.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

-Preparation prior to each lecture ¿reading of core material, discovery exercises: 36 hours.
-Desk-based research and preparation of presentation for seminar: 14 hours.
-Bridge design project or case study: 40 hours.
-Revision for exam: 30 hours.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

-The study and preparation of a presentation on topic of choice and the bridge design group project are directly related to practically all the learning outcomes of this module, and this is reflected in their relative weight in the formal assessment (60% in total). Also, all these elements are designed to encourage the development of independent learning skills and team work, which are critical to the students¿ future professional development.
-The bridge design project in particular is a markedly technical component, as it involves the application of structural analysis and design as well as bridge modelling utilizing the relevant software.
-Standard exam. Consisting of several short questions and exercises, it is designed to encourage revision of all the module¿s contents and to consolidate synthesis of all this knowledge.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Group ProjectBridge Design Project30.00
Oral PresentationPresentation during seminar (15-30 minutes)20.00
Problem SheetProblem Sheets20.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)70.00

Resit 100% online time-limited assessment

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online Time-Limited assessment5 hr 00 mins30.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)30.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 28/04/2023 14:52:56


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