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Note for Part C Candidates

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Note for Part C Candidates ...

KS/cab: August 10/09

    LOUGHBOROUGH UNIVERSITY

    DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL AND BUILDING

    ENGINEERING

    NOTES FOR STAFF/STUDENTS

    RESEARCH PROJECTS

    (Academic Year 2008/09)

    CIVILS

    1 Information for Students/Notes for Guidance (Staff/Students)

KS/cab: August 10/09

    LOUGHBOROUGH UNIVERSITY

    DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL AND BUILDING ENGINEERING

    NOTES FOR BEng & MEng Civil CANDIDATES (2008/09)

    RESEARCH PROJECTS

    INTRODUCTION

    The project forms an important part of the degree examination. It has a modular weighting of 40 for a MEng student and 30 for a BSc & BEng student compared with 10 for most other Part C modules. The project allows a candidate considerable initiative in subject matter and method of treatment and should be approached in a careful and committed manner.

    Each candidate has a supervisor who is normally a member of the Academic staff of the Department. The role of the supervisor is to give guidance in choosing, developing and carrying out the project throughout its course. Both supervisor and the members of his/her teaching group will be responsible for assessing oral presentations for either the poster or journal paper. Each student will be allocated a report moderator who will be responsible jointly with the supervisor for assessing the final project report. The report moderator may be outside the teaching group.

A SUCCESSFUL PROJECT

    A project may be defined as 'An investigation fulfilling the requirements of a specification approved by the supervisor, and which has normally no uniquely correct answer. It is the culmination of the studies of an undergraduate and involves him/her in making judgements and compromises. The student must write a detailed report on the work that must come to clear and definite conclusions. It must also be possible to convey key elements of the project via a variety of media'.

    A good project will thus allow the student to prepare a report that contains:

a) clearly defined aims and objectives that should be stated at the outset of the

    project;

    b) a literature review of past work reported on the subject, which leads to the

    methodology;

    c) a methodology which details a specific investigation(s) carried out, the

    programme of work and why the method(s) used was/were chosen. The

    investigation may take the form of laboratory tests, field surveys, a mathematical

    analysis, an extended critical survey of source material or another practical

    application of theory and knowledge;

    d) presentation and discussion of the data and results produced by the investigation,

    and a logical argument which should lead to clearly stated conclusions.

    Unless a project permits ALL these to be reported, it will rarely be completely suitable for an engineering student. Consequently when a particular subject is chosen it is the student's responsibility to ensure that it is tackled in such a way as to enable these four

    features to be reported.

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    Each student must recognise that the project and the preparation of the report are his/her own responsibility. Advice and encouragement will be forthcoming from the supervisor but to a large extent, projects are a test of how well students are able to organise themselves and their work. A successful project necessitates a significant degree of

    motivation, initiative, self-discipline and time management.

    Each student should keep a detailed diary noting key events associated with the development of the project. This should be available for all meetings with the supervisor and may be presented as an appendix to the final report.

    Students will be expected to give individual presentations to the supervisor and their teaching group during the third week of the first semester. This gives the supervisor an opportunity to assess the progress made and assist the student in clarifying his/her objectives and methods, for finalising the Project Definition Document and Assessment weightings. It will also allow students conducting similar projects to exchange ideas.

Technician Help

    The technicians in the Department will give help only in so far as is initially specified. If further substantial help is needed a student must ask his/her supervisor to make written application for it. Occasionally there may be delays in obtaining such help. Formal tutoring in risk assessment and use of the laboratory will take place (see schedule, Appendix B).

Circulars and Questionnaires

    Circular letters and questionnaires to firms are not permitted without the agreement and

    scrutiny of the supervisor. All correspondence in connection with the project must be directed to the student's own address and not to the Department. Formal tutoring in

    conducting a survey may take place dependent upon demand (see schedule, Appendix B).

RELATIONSHIP WITH SUPERVISOR

    The supervisor will help define the project, its requirements and objectives through discussion with the student during the first 3 weeks of the first semester. From then on the role of the supervisor is to advise, to encourage and to assist in overcoming major problems. The development of a good working relationship between supervisor and student is essential to the production of a good report. How frequently the two should

    meet will be decided mutually, although this should not usually be less than once every two weeks (after week 4). It may be necessary to meet more frequently at key points in the project work. The preferred form of communication (other than meetings) is via e-mail. Failure to meet regularly with your supervisor will be viewed as non-attendance and may result in disciplinary action.

The supervisor will advise on the layout and written style of a section of the report with the

    student, after the completion of the first semester. The supervisor will not read and

    correct major sections of the report prior to receiving the finished article. The moderator is only responsible for reading and marking the project report.

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HEALTH & SAFETY

    The incidence of accidents within the Construction/Transport Industry is extremely high and the Department is committed to your safety. Recent legislation has increased substantially the responsibilities of all members of the Department in respect of supervision, safe working methods and appropriate record keeping. You must ensure you understand your responsibilities to yourself and to others. The Department‟s Health & Safety (H & S) Philosophy includes your methods of work for your project. Of the several Departments H & S objectives the most pertinent to your project are “To effectively plan, organize, enforce, monitor and review preventative measures to control risks” and “to make all staff and students aware of and follow good Health & Safety practice”. For your project you may have to submit a risk assessment for your proposed work and you should consider carefully the activities you will undertake, such as site visits, laboratory or field work or any others. You need to agree with your supervisor whether your activities will incur any significant risks and if so fill in a risk assessment form that MUST be approved and filed in the Department prior to you undertaking the work. Please note the original signed copy needs to go to Caroline Neale, Executive Officer, and a copy to be kept by the student. Formal tutoring in risk assessments will be conducted (schedule, Appendix B).

    The departments safety policy and procedures are in the Departments Safety Handbook which can be found at http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/cv/students/department.html or

    a copy is located with the Department‟s Safety Officer, Roger Mayo.

    Please note: failure to comply with the department‟s H & S guidance is considered a serious breach of conduct and may also invalidate any University Insurance cover.

THE PROJECT DEFINITION DOCUMENT

    You will be required to discuss/develop your Project Definition Document (PDD) with your supervisor in weeks 1 and 2 and then present it to the members of your supervisor's teaching group in week 3 for further feedback. It is the responsibility of the staff in each group to arrange a suitable time and venue. You are then required to submit the final

    (signed) Project Definition Document (PDD) and agreed Assessment sheet in week

    4 as a piece of coursework .

    The PDD has been designed to provide a point of reference for both student and supervisor. It should summarise planned work and enable you to organise your time effectively. The document should be developed with your supervisor and both parties and the Internal Examiner will retain a signed copy. Any subsequent divergence from the original plan should be documented and a revised document signed by both parties and dated. For those students who already have a research title with a supervisor before final year starts are advised to make a PDD as early as possible. An example Project Definition Document appears in Appendix C and an Assessment Sheet in Appendix D.

Note: You are required to submit your PDD and Assessment Sheet as Appendix 1 of

    your final report, for reference only. You must state your aims and objectives etc in the main text.

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ADVICE ON REPORTING

    The content and presentation of the report should be aimed at a readership of graduate engineers. It should be kept as brief as a proper treatment of the subject will allow. Students should remember that the value of their work will be assessed chiefly through the report. Those who carry out good investigative work but report it badly will suffer in consequence. Correct referencing of other research/information must be evident,

    plagiarism is a serious and ignorance is not an excuse. An electronic version of your

    report must be submitted and will be checked with the University plagiarism

    software.

(For University wide guidance on referencing please look at:

    learn.lboro.ac.uk/ltd/citation/harvard/L-index.htm.)

    It is not always sensible to complete all the investigation and then to try to write the report. Formulation of the report must be kept in mind throughout the development of the project and active content planning and preparation should preferably be begun in the semester one. The planning of the layout of the report is crucial and should be discussed with the supervisor. You are required to submit a written report on Monday, week 1 of the second semester, to your supervisor. This may take the form of a literature review or a statement of the proposed methodology. The subject matter must be agreed by the supervisor and should form part of the final report. This document will allow every student to receive comment on his/her writing style.

Indicative reading:

    Naoum S G 1998 “Dissertation Research and Writing for Construction Students” Butterworth Heinneman

    Fellows R & Liu A (1997) “Research Methods in Construction”, Blackwell

    Turabian, K., A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses and Dissertations. Try searching the flexible learning website at, http://www.lboro.ac.uk/service/fli/index.html

    for advice on reporting. Visit the learn server, and your module code for further advice.

THE NATURE OF A REPORT

    Every report must have a purpose, which may differ from report to report. In real life a report may often be written in order to persuade the reader to a desired course of action. Most undergraduate reports will not attempt to do this but at least they should aim to influence the reader's thoughts and provide an easily accessible source of useful

    information.

    Reports should consist of a series of independent but inter-related sections. Clear headings and sub-headings are essential and attractive diagrams and figures, complete

    with adequate titles and captions, should be used. The style of the report should follow that explained in the following sections. The use of colour, whilst attractive, is not recommended due to expense.

Titles of Project Reports

    Titles are often too long and the words “An investigation of” is invariably superfluous since a research project is always an investigation of something. A more precise definition of the way in which the topic will be treated must form a part of the introductory section of the text and should not be attempted in the title itself.

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STYLE OF PRESENTATION

    The report should be typed on good quality A4 paper with double spacing and a margin of 25mm left at either edge of all pages with similar spaces at the top and bottom. Pages will be numbered consecutively at the bottom. Further instruction on matters of style and presentation will be given in a lecture (see schedule Appendix B).

Writing the Report

    Start early, give yourself plenty of time and check with care what has been written. Employ a simple style that is easy to read. Short sentences are usually preferable to long ones. An assessor will not be impressed by the necessity to read a long and convoluted sentence several times in order to understand it. Bear in mind that when reading your report the supervisor and report moderator will be under considerable pressure with possibly eight or nine reports to read in a limited time. Anything that can be done do to make the task easier and less onerous will be greatly appreciated. Always write in the impersonal third person singular e.g. water was added to the concrete mix - not I then

    added water to the mix. You must take the time to learn to reference other work properly.

Length of Report

    The length of report must not exceed (not including appendices and reference lists) 80

    pages maximum of A4 typescript in which one page may contain approximately 250 words. The page limit will include Figures and Tables. Appendices should only provide supporting data to the text. Nothing will be gained by producing a report that is other than concise. Unduly protracted reports are tedious, fatiguing to read and do not impress, and

    will lose marks. Supervisors are instructed to only mark the first 80 pages.

Illustrations

    All illustrations should be the best possible quality as reproduction inevitably reduces resolution and quality to some extent. It may be necessary to reduce some illustrations in size considerably, so thin lines may 'break up' and very small outlined areas might 'fill in', so both are to be avoided. Shaded areas on diagrams or maps should be able to withstand reduction without blackening too much. Lettering on drawings should be about the same size as the text.

    Illustrations and tables should be referred to by number in the text (e.g. 'see Figure 1' or 'as can be seen from Table 6') and identified by their number where they appear. They should also have captions on them that state their titles and numbers. Figure captions should be placed below the figures. Table captions should follow a similar style but should be placed above the tables.

SUBMISSION OF THE FINAL REPORT

    Two bound copies of the report must be submitted in week 10 for Civils in Semester 2,

    with the coursework submission forms (Front & backing cards, as well as the Certificate of Authorship can be obtained from Mrs Joy Hull in Reception). Students must submit an electronic version of your report on an accompanying CD, CLEARLY labelled with your name, ID number, title and in a sleeve or envelope detachable from the report. This must be handed in along with the two bound hard copies in week 10. The electronic version must only include text, NO pictures OR graphs, tables are fine. Suitable formats that are acceptable to the plagiarism software are: PDF, WORD doc or RTF, Postscript, HTM or HTML. Please note: there is doubt over Microsoft works (wks) files so those students using works MUST save their file in RTF format. Students must submit Late submissions will be dealt with in the same manner as other coursework. It is your own

    6 Information for Students/Notes for Guidance (Staff/Students)

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responsibility to ensure adequate back-up has been made if you are word-processing the

    report yourself. Loss of the report due to computer crashing or printer failure will not be

    accepted as an excuse for lateness. The original and the copy of the report will remain the property of the department and be retained by the department. You should make an additional copy for your own purposes, or negotiate with your supervisor to keep the bound photocopy when marking is complete.

ORAL PRESENTATIONS

    Each student is required to make a presentation in Week 3 (5 minutes) of the first semester and Week 15 of their poster (BSc/BEng) or Conference/Journal paper (MEng), in the second semester (10 minutes presenting plus 5 minutes for questions). Formal tutoring in making a presentation will take place (see schedule, Appendix B).

    Note: Your final oral presentation is timetabled in week 15. For BEng the poster is used as the visual media, and for MEng PowerPoint or overhead projector is expected. This will occur during your written exam period. Your oral is an examination.

POSTERS

    Each BEng student is required to produce a poster (size A1) for the oral presentation in

    Week 15 of the second semester. Formal tutoring in making a poster will take place in Semester 2 (see schedule, Appendix B).

JOURNAL PAPERS

    Each MEng student is required to produce a conference style paper. Formatting for this paper is maximum number of pages should not exceed 6 pages, i.e. Title (centred, 14

    point, upper case and bold), Name (centred and upper case), Abstract (12 to 25 lines), Introduction, Body of text subdivided by headings, Conclusions, References and finally Tables and Figures at appropriate locations in text. The text should fit into A4 paper using Aerial 12 point and single line spacing. Two copies of the journal paper must be submitted in week 13 semester 2. Please note that these should not be bound as they all get bound together into a “Conference Proceedings” copy. For your information the paper

    should be organized in the following order: Title centre in 14 point, upper case and bold,

    Name centre and upper case, Abstract 12 to 25 lines, Introduction. You must use

    references correctly. You can choose what to put into your paper, if you have reviewed some good quality papers during your lit review then use these as examples to help you.

MARKING

    The project report and journal paper will be marked independently by the supervisor and report moderator and they will agree on a mark. In arriving at the final mark the assessors will unless otherwise agreed, follow the criteria agreed with the student at the outset of the project. An indication of A-grade and 'pass' performances in typical categories is given in Appendix E.

    Should the supervisor and moderator fail to agree on a mark the report will be passed on to the moderation panel (internal examiners) for re-assessment. This panel may also read randomly selected reports in order to guarantee consistency of assessment.

    7 Information for Students/Notes for Guidance (Staff/Students)

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    The final oral presentation is primarily to allow the student the opportunity to present part or all of the work, and for the supervisor and colleague(s) to question the student on the project/presentation. A standard assessment sheet is used, available from the IE. Additional time may be arranged outside of the presentation period for a viva.

LECTURING nd semesters. The You will receive some formal lecturing throughout the 1st and 2

    schedule is given in Appendix B . An asterisk indicates lectures that are relevant to all students, otherwise choose lectures appropriate to your project only.

KEY DATES FOR YOUR DIARY:

Semester 1

    Project Definition Document worked up by your Supervisor Weeks 1 & 2 Present Project Definition Document Week 3

    Submit (as coursework) PDD and Assessment Sheet Week 4

    (signed by you and your supervisor)

Semester 2

Submit part of report to Supervisor for internal feedback Week 1

    Submit Final Report (Civils) Tuesday of Week 10 Submission of Journal Paper (MEng) Week 13

    Submit poster on Presentation Day (BSc/BEng) Monday of Week 15 Presentation of a Conference/Journal Paper (MEng) Tuesday of Week 15

    Remember: Meet regularly with your supervisor, and to make the meeting efficient prepare questions or data for discussion.

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APPENDIX A

SPECIMEN LAYOUT OF TITLE PAGE FOR UNDERGRADUATE PROJECT REPORT

Hole in white cover

    LAYING ROADWAY DRAINS

    by

    R H BEND

    A Project Report submitted in partial

    fulfilment of the requirements for the award

    of BEng of the Loughborough University

    March 2008

    Supervisor: T. Square, PhD, MICE

    Department of Civil and Building Engineering Note: Remember to bind in a certificate of authorship (hard copy of this plus the front and

    back card covers are available from Joy Hull in Reception/General Office and an electronic

    copy can be found on the Departmental web page)

    9 Information for Students/Notes for Guidance (Staff/Students)

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    WEEK/DATE PERIOD SUBJECT LECTURER Week 1 02.10.08 Thurs 4.00 5.00 pm Introduction* Koji Shiono/Dino

    Bouchlaghem Week 2 09.10.08 Thurs 4.00 5.00 pm Library Stephanie Mckeating Week 3 16.10.08 Thurs 4.00 5.00 pm Plagiarism* Stephanie Mckeating Week 4 23.10.08 Thurs 4.00 5.00 pm Risk Assessment for Roger Mayo

    Practical Work

    Week 5 30.10.08 Thurs 4.00 5.00 pm Writing the Report* Simon Austin Week 6 06.11.08 Thurs 4.00 5.00 pm Conducting a Survey Pat Carrillo

    (subject to demand)

    Thurs 4.00 5.00 pm Hands on session Stephanie Mckeating Week 7 13.11.08

    (Computer Lab)

    Week 8 - 20.11.08 Thurs 4.00 5.00 pm Hands on session Stephanie Mckeating

    (Computer Lab)

    Week 8 - 27.11.08 Thurs 4.00 5.00 pm Career Talk Susan Reed To be arranged in Designing a Poster Rod Shaw

    Semester 2 (BEng)

    To be arranged in Writing a Paper (MEng) Mohammed Raoof Semester 2

    NB: Lectures will be in U/0/20 - Brockington

Room capacity : 218 Wheelchair access: Yes Tiered seating: Yes

    Equipment: Data projector open access during the academic semester*

    DC Control; Video/DVD (bookable); PA (bookable); OHP x 2; Slide projector

    (carousel); Motorised Chalk boards, Projection Surfaces

Civil BEng : Part C/Civil MEng : Part D/AEDM/CEM/CMQS Part C

    Organisers for Presentations of PDD at Week 3 and Organisers for Poster sessions at Week 13 are as follows:

    Water Engineering Andrew Wheatley

    Geotechnics Neil Dixon

    Structures Jamal El-Rimawi

    Surveying David Twigg

    Building Construction Pat Carrillo

    CEM/AEDM Bruce Wright/Dino Bouchlaghem CMQS Lisa Swaffield

    10 Information for Students/Notes for Guidance (Staff/Students)

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