LOCAL PLACES TO GO AND SEE INTERESTING STRUCTURES (WITH PICTURES)
and we also give you a good reason to go there
This photo shows part of the interior of Coventry’s famous Cathedral.
It shows one of the slender concrete columns and the picture below shows the detail at the bottom of the column. You may see that all of the load is supported on a very small metal stub which connects the column to the foundation in the floor. This is a fine example of the good use of materials in a structure.
The University holds its graduation ceremonies in the Cathedral.
This picture shows the “Millenium Arch” in the city centre. It has a steel framework with translucent cladding and is lit from inside at night. The University is to the left of the spire in the background, and the main shopping area is behind the arch.
This photo shows the new glass roof which has been installed over part of the central shopping precinct. Each sheet of glass is supported in the centre by steel wires in tension. Although most structural design is about materials like steel and concrete, in this example the properties of the glass have to be analysed.
All of the shops are within easy walking distance of the University campus.
This structure is the “Sky Dome” which is the new skating rink in the city centre. All of the steel structure has been curved and even the canopy over the entrance has been curved to match. The sheeting is painted aluminium and the brickwork is fin wall.
This picture shows a connection in the frame for the new “student first” building where students have a “one stop shop” for all administration matters such as enrolment. Connections are critical parts of structures and the strength of each bolt must be considered in the design.
The photo on the left shows the new library under construction, and the one on the right shows it complete (with the business school behind it). As an Engineer it can be very satisfying to see a project through to completion and see it fit in with the environment around it.
On a course in Civil Engineering you will learn how to design structures. First you must calculate how much load they must carry. What happens if it snows or a strong wind blows? Then you work out the strength required for each part of the structure (we have computer programmes for this).
On the site where this photo was taken there is a large new multi-screen cinema complex, a bowling/entertainment centre and several places to eat. It is just three miles from the University Campus. There is another multi-screen cinema in the city centre and films are often shown at the Arts Centre at Warwick University (Warwick University is located in the city of Coventry).
This photo shows a membrane structure. These are becoming increasingly popular because they offer an attractive and economic solution for protecting large spaces from the elements. A Civil Engineer learns how to make structures economically and aesthetically acceptable, otherwise they will never be built.
The statue under the canopy shows Lady Godiva who rode naked through the streets of Coventry many hundreds of years ago in protest at the taxes imposed by her husband. The new shopping centre behind it is one of many in the city centre, just two minutes walk from the campus.
This photo shows a cast iron bridge. 100 years ago iron was replaced by steel as the main material for large structures but civil engineers must still be aware of its properties. An ever increasing amount of construction work involves the restoration and refurbishment of historic structures. Note that the hand rail forms an integral part of this structure. Analysis would show that the bridge would be substantially weakened if the handrail was removed.
The bridge is outside an excellent pub called the Greyhound. It is just 4 miles from the campus and is in open country at Hawkesbury junction where the Oxford and Coventry canals meet. In the heyday of the canal system 200 years ago this was a centre for transhipment of cargoes and collection of tolls. In summer it is now busy with cruising narrow boats. The canal comes right into the city, and the canal basin at the end of it is just a few minutes’ walk from the University
This photo shows a tapered steel column. For many standard components it is possible to find out how much load they will carry by looking up standard tables. For this column, however, a qualified Engineer must calculate its strength. What (if anything) would happen if it was damaged or removed?
The column is in the cathedral close which is very close to the University. This part of the city contains many buildings which have survived for hundreds of years and has an excellent atmosphere in which to relax after a hard day’s study. Civil Engineering is a demanding course and success in it requires a considerable amount of hard, but rewarding, work. Students do, however, have time to enjoy a wide range of social activities including listening to live music or just relaxing. There are numerous clubs and pubs in the city centre, just a few minutes walk away.
The designer of structure like this has to decide whether to make it with steel or concrete. Civil Engineering students learn how to assess the different factors which affect this decision. Which will cost less? Which will be faster to construct? Which will be more durable? Which will be safer in a fire?
The building is our new sports centre. This is now complete and has two multi-purpose halls and a fitness gym.