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CEG2102 : Environmental Systems and Quantification

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Professor David Werner
  • Lecturer: Dr David Milledge
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
European Credit Transfer System


The aim of this course is to equip students with a conceptual grasp of the fundamental elements of environmental systems and processes at a variety of scales in a rapidly changing world, using the natural and anthropogenic water cycle as a case study. The course aims to enable students to attend more detailed modules on hydrology, environmental engineering and sustainability within the context of a sound understanding of natural cycles and processes.

Students will also learn skills required for characterization, instrumentation and quantification of environmental systems in situations relevant to civil engineers with a focus on the water cycle. The course will relate to the digital theme of the civil engineering syllabus, addressing data acquisition technologies, informatics, and quantification methods to create environmental metrics.

Civil Engineering involves interventions in and interactions with environmental systems at a range of scales. This module will train students about hydrological and geochemical cycles and ecological processes that engineers comprehend, characterise and engineer. The module will start with an introduction of the Earth’s water cycle and will develop understanding of how human intervention has modified this cycle and the consequences for flooding risks, water quality and ecology. The course will then focus upon climate change pressures and the environmental cycles and spatial scales of most relevance to civil engineers. Thus, in the hydrological cycle you will be introduced to analysis of the quantity and quality of water as it moves through the climate system and through catchments including soil, hillslopes, groundwater, and rivers. You will learn how to measure and quantify components of the water balance, rainfall, evaporation and runoff in catchment systems. You will learn key concepts, methods and terminology in current use in Civil Engineering and Environmental Management. We will teach you how to instrument the environment, both spatially and temporally, and hence quantify key elements within the water cycle in both the lab and the field. These cycles are mediated by ecological processes at a variety of scales. You will get an engineer’s eye view of these processes at a macro and microscale and learn how key ecological considerations can be used in engineering design.

Outline Of Syllabus

Introduction to the Sustainable Development Agenda and Sustainable Development Goal 6, Safe Water and Sanitation
Health and Safety
Hydrological Cycle and Climate Change
Rainfall, Evaporation, Soil Water and Groundwater Rivers, Runoff, Floods SuDS and NBS Hydroecology
Water quality, ecological and public health considerations

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture181:0018:00Lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion120:0020:00Revision for and completion of exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion116:0016:00Lab report based on field work and Lab exercise. Determining Ouseburn catchment metrics
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical43:0012:00National Green Infrastucture Facility / Environmental lab / flow gauging / visit to the Great Park
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study122:0024:00Self-taught materials, videos and small informatic exercises to underpin quantification method
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study110:0010:00Includes background reading/reading lecture notes for a full understanding of material
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Introductory concepts to be taught through stimulating lectures that also contain solid engineering content including theoretical knowledge and basic calculations. Fieldwork, sampling and subsequent laboratory work is used to back up the concepts add local case study in pollution and flooding that must be written up.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Digital Examination1201A60Inspera exam
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation1M25Group presentation (20 minutes)
Prof skill assessmnt1M15Skills assessment. Mark is based and academic assessment of professional conduct, such as observing health and safety rules, and contributing to team work.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Introductory concepts tested through examination of knowledge and basic calculations to be backed up by fieldwork, lab work and quantification methods using informatic tools that must be written up. The oral presentation tasks students with the integration of literature and field data and assesses their ability to effectively present and communicate their knowledge gained from the literature review and taught classes as well as team working and task management skills.

In line with the requirements of the accrediting body students are expected to develop a professional attitude. To meet this skills outcome, participation will be required in core elements of this module.

Semester 1 Study Abroad students would be required to submit an essay. This environmental systems essay will require the student to call upon the course material, using examples and case studies. Students will be expected to compose coherent arguments about water and chemical cycling relevant to Civil Engineering. Diagrams, maps and pollution. The essay would be up to a 10-12 page Word document.

Reading Lists