Masters courses in Infrastructure and Geotechnical Engineering will offer distance learning options from October 2015 – bringing specialist knowledge in two emerging areas to a broader range of students.
Distance learning is being offered across a range of modules taught as part of Surrey’s MSc Infrastructure Engineering and Management and MSc Advanced Geotechnical Engineering. Within the Infrastructure course, students will be able to study modules in Bridge Engineering, Structural Engineering, Water and Environmental Engineering, Management and Geotechnical Engineering, while within the Geotechnical course, students will be able to study modules in Energy Geotechnics, Advanced Geomechanics, Soil-Structure Interaction, Foundation Engineering.
Developed in careful collaboration with the UK government, infrastructure organisations and renowned experts in the field, the MScs are designed not only to meet the needs of UK-based practices, but also to provide the foundations for training experts in other countries.
Dr Boulent Imam, Programme Leader of the MSc Infrastructure Engineering and Management, explained, “There is a huge need for infrastructure engineers in the planning and managing of infrastructure systems in the developing world – particularly in congested countries such as China and India. This is one of the main reasons why we have opened this course to distance learners around the world.”
He added, “Having the experience of delivering distance learning postgraduate programmes for many years, we are confident that we have developed a new very high quality programme to suit new graduates as well as professionals already in employment.”
Advanced geotechnical engineering (which encompasses ground engineering) has been highlighted as one of the skill shortage areas in the UK, with Geotechnical Engineer, Tunnelling Engineer, and Civil Engineer in the oil and gas industries included on the 2013 shortage occupation list published by UKBA (UK Border Agency). In response to this skills shortage, the University has invested in a new geomechanics laboratory and included modules relevant to the skills shortage on the Geotechnical course – namely deep basement, tunnelling, subsea engineering and offshore foundation design.
Professor Suby Bhattacharya, Programme Leader of the MSc Advanced Geotechnical Engineering said, “It is widely acknowledged that providing fresh water, meeting the rapidly growing energy demand for an increasingly prosperous world population, restoring and improving ageing urban infrastructure, and addressing the infrastructure issues related to climate change are some of the major technological challenges faced by the engineering profession. The driver for this MSc course in Advanced Geotechnical Engineering was to address the ground engineering issues related to these challenges.”
Both introduced at Surrey in 2014, the MScs are delivered by university academics along with key professionals from the infrastructure and civil engineering industry and government. The MSc Infrastructure Engineering and Management course has hosted a number of important keynote speakers including Sir Michael Pitt (Planning Inspectorate Chief Executive), Sir John Armitt (Chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority), and Dr Tim Stone (Chairman of KPMG’s Global Infrastructure and Projects Group).