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When driving tunnels by pipe-jacking, relatively compressible packing material distributes the load of the jacking force at joints between pipes to reduce the risk of excessive local contact stresses. Concentrated stresses usually occur where the tunnel excavation departs from the intended line, causing sudden changes in pipeline direction.
In the present changing circumstances it is increasingly important to hold the highest possible qualifications. There are still significant numbers of mature persons working in structural engineering who discontinued their academic studies for one reason or another. Although perhaps qualified as Incorporated Engineers they aspire to chartered status, but are held back by the lack of a degree. The time (some 3 years) and the finances necessary to attempt a degree course may be beyond the means of Mature Candidates. Part-time degree courses can be attended whilst still in employment but may require 5 or 6 years’ study before graduating. The Mature Candidate route is therefore the better option. However, misunderstandings abound, the commonest being that the submission has to be an original ‘discovery’ or a profound thesis about some intractable problem in structural engineering.