1 August 2016
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In this winning entry to the Institution’s 2016 Excellence in Structural Engineering Education Award, Tim Stratford describes the changes that the University of Edinburgh’s School of Engineering has made to its civil engineering degree programmes in order to put creative design at the heart of the learning process. The article discusses the motivation for these changes, the steps that have been taken to create a “design thread” for students, the results that have been achieved, future challenges relating to digital engineering, and learning points which will help other universities wishing to set out on a similar path.
The Connaught Tunnel is a 19th-century brick-lined structure that has been renovated to facilitate the route of the southeast spur of London’s Crossrail project from Canary Wharf to Abbey Wood1. Modifications include the total replacement of the original, twin, single-track tunnels (lined in brick and cast steel) with a single, twin-track, reinforced concrete box. This was partially built in situ where the alignment passes beneath existing dock walls, and partially in cofferdam where it crosses the dock passage between the two Royal Docks (Albert and Victoria). Inverts in the original tunnels were lowered in places to accommodate the design train envelope and overhead line equipment. This paper outlines the constraints inherent in an undertaking of this nature, and describes the analytical processes that were adopted to assess the performance of the existing brick structures and the new central concrete box section.
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