Surrey’s MSc Structural Engineering celebrates 50th anniversary
Our popular masters course in structural engineering has undergone much change since it was first introduced, and Emeritus Professor Hoshyar Nooshin has played an integral role in its evolution.
The MSc was launched in 1965 when the University of Surrey was known as the Battersea College of Advanced Technology and had yet to move to the current Guildford campus. Consistently well-thought of and popular over the past five decades, our MSc Structural Engineering today attracts around 80 full-time students as well as a number of Distance Learners around the world.
As an Assistant Lecturer at Battersea in the early 1960s, Professor Nooshin remembers the MSc (Surrey’s first postgraduate course in Civil Engineering) being set up – and standing on a Surrey hill watching the University’s first foundations being laid.
“Since then there have been big changes in structural engineering, which have been reflected in our MSc course. Sustainability and reliability have become major issues. While 50 years ago very little academic research had been done on the reliability of building structures, statistics and probability now play a very important role in our teaching,” says Professor Nooshin.
Professor Nooshin’s own career in structural engineering has focused on the fascinating field of spatial structures – exciting structures with ‘3D behaviour’ such as the Eden Project building and the British Museum’s new roof structure.
He was first inspired to pursue this area when listening to a lecture by Professor Zygmunt Makowski at Imperial College. When Professor Makowski then became Head of the Department of Civil Engineering at Battersea College of Advanced Technology, where he was in charge of the newly launched MSc Structural Engineering, Professor Nooshin followed him.
Having held the positions of Lecturer, Reader and Professor at Surrey, and becoming a part-time Professor after his retirement and Emeritus Professor in 2008. Professor Nooshin is still active in both teaching and research within the Department, currently supervising four research students. He has contributed to a number of ground-breaking structural engineering projects during his career, including the development of Heathrow Airport’s first jumbo jet hangers.