Final-year Civil Engineering students take on inaugural Capstone project

13 November 2017
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The students with engineers from GHD and Auckland transport, and project supervisor Hugh Morris.

A group of Part IV Civil Engineering students have participated in the inaugural Capstone project, a final-year project that integrates their learning, and applies it to a real-world situation.

Their project, Chapel Road Realignment and New Bridge – Scheme Assessment and Preliminary Design was supported by GHD consulting engineers, with the permission of their client, Auckland Transport. The team were tasked with providing recommendations for the realignment of a North Auckland road, which has been the site of an increasing number of traffic accidents and congestion.

GHD is one of the world’s leading professional services companies operating in the global markets of water, energy and resources, environment, property and buildings and transportation. They graciously provided support to the students with two guest lecturers, Gansen Govender and Priyanka Patel, as well as hosting site visits, office visits, and providing technical data and drawings that formed the background for the project.

The ten students each took sub-specialist roles and worked under the supervision of five academics to complete the project, which will be a requirement for all Part IV Civil Engineering students from 2018. They developed their design in parallel with the final design being developed by GHD.

As part of the project, the team had the opportunity to present their findings to GHD, as well as two engineers from Auckland Transport. Both organisations expressed their congratulations to the group, and commented how impressed they were with the depth of understanding the students had of the project.

Project supervisor Hugh Morris comments: “It was a great group of students for us to interact with as staff, and it was very rewarding to see them present to GHD and the real client with a high level of professionalism. The students have set a high standard for future teams, and have been very honest with feedback which will improve the course for the 220 Civil students next year.”

Several of the team found that this was the best group exercise in their university experience, and many noted that it was the most valuable paper they had done in their degree.

The final year Capstone project will meet the requirements for international accreditation as managed by Engineering New Zealand (formerly IPENZ). All Civil students will have the opportunity to participate in this project from 2018, and staff hope that this project will provide an ideal gateway as the students progress into employment.