ENNR313-17S2 (C) Semester Two 2017

Natural Resources Engineering Design Studio 2

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 17 July 2017
End Date: Sunday, 19 November 2017
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 28 July 2017
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 13 October 2017


Conceptual design of multi-disciplinary natural resources engineering projects; regulatory planning; professional skills; economic, social and environmental assessments.

Natural Resources Engineering Design Studio 2 is an essential course in your natural resources engineering education. Unlike the majority of your lecture courses that focus on providing you with the fundamentals of engineering science, whether it be in geomechanics, transportation engineering, materials, structural mechanics or any of the other disciplines covered in your programme, Design Studio 2 aims to provide you with a realistic design experience where the emphasis is on high-level conceptual design.

While studying natural resources engineering it is tempting to see engineering problem-solving as being associated with analysing design details – for example the pump in a water supply system, the specific characteristics of a wetland, or the sizing of an anaerobic digester. While natural resources engineers are very much concerned with such details they must also be able to take large-scale, complex projects and conceptualise solutions that achieve the specific design goals for the project, while at the same time being technically feasible, financially viable, environmentally sustainable, and socially and culturally acceptable. Such large-scale projects never have a single, clear solution. Many factors need to be considered in making design decisions and your creativity as a professional engineer plays a key role in producing a solution that meets the goals of your client.

The success of such large scale projects is grounded in the engineering science of the core natural resources engineering disciplines, but that engineering science in itself is insufficient to handle these complex problems and to produce design solutions that satisfy the many, and often conflicting, requirements.

Our goal in this course is to provide you with your first encounter with a complex natural resources engineering design problem that will require you to think in a different way to the detailed design problems with which you are rather more familiar. At times this experience will feel disconcerting. There will not be hard and fast rules to fall back on in making your design decisions. You won’t be able to look over the shoulder of others working on the same project to see if they have the right answer, as there simply isn’t a “right” answer. This “blank sheet” type problem where your creativity, reinforced by your technical knowledge, is free to explore multiple possible solutions and weigh up their advantages and disadvantages against a set of requirements imposed by your client, the local consenting authority and other stakeholders, is exciting, challenging and liberating. This notion of working for a client and finding solutions that satisfy their needs, and that help them to achieve their goals, is a fundamental aspect of engineering practice.

To achieve this goal the course is designed around a complex project that you could realistically encounter in your future professional career. The course resources and activities are specifically designed to support your development as a design engineer such that by the end of the course you will possess a range of skills that will enable you to approach such problems with some degree of confidence.

In order to bring the flavour of the professional world to the classroom you will do the majority of the work in this course as part of a team of four or five members. Your team will be supported by a practising engineer who will act as a mentor throughout the semester, offering you guidance and advice on how you might tackle the problem you are confronted with. Their perspective will provide you with an insight into how professional design engineers approach complex problems.

It is our hope that you will find this experience stimulating and educational and leave you with a sense of what might lie in store for you in your future career.

Learning Outcomes

To develop professional skills in integrated and conceptual design.

More specifically at the completion of the course you will have acquired the following knowledge, skills and personal attributes:

- Understand the value of integration in engineering design,
- Ability to work on “complex” (as defined by IPENZ) engineering problems and appreciate this uniqueness,
- Ability to integrate economic, social, cultural and environmental concerns within the context of natural resources engineering design projects,
- Scope a project in terms of client wishes and the key engineering issues involved,
- Determine the resource management issues and constraints on a project,
- Ability to apply knowledge of natural resources engineering fundamentals taught in one or more previous courses,
- Demonstrate an ability to identify information needs, find new information and apply it.
- Identify and assess conceptual issues and constraints associated with project requirements,
- Prepare an estimate of cost for a natural resources engineering project,
- Undertake a peer review of another engineer’s work,
- Prepare engineering drawings of sufficient detail for cost estimates and funding decisions,
- Prepare a professional report and poster for a client,
- Develop group skills by working in a team and,
- Develop professionalism as an engineering team member.



ENCI312, ENCI313

Equivalent Courses

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Markus Pahlow


Ian Mason

Guest Lecturers

Roger Forde (NZDF) , Vaughan McEwen (NZDF) , Robert Ansell (NZDF) , Andrew Holmes (Hawkins) , Andrew Whaley (GHD) and Frances Lojkine (Stantec)


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
final exam 25%
Group project 40%
Individual report 15%
Peer review 5%
Poster 10%
Professionalism 5%

1. A student cannot pass this course unless the students achieves a mark of at least 40% in the final exam. A student who narrowly fails to achieve 40% in the exam, but who performs very well in the other assessments, may be eligible for a pass in the course.

2. All assignments must be submitted by the due date. Each assessment describes the penalty for a late submission. If a student is unable to complete and submit an assignment by the deadline due to personal circumstances beyond their control they should discuss this with the lecturer involved as soon as possible. Extensions for Portfolio ENCN301 are not transferable to ENCI313.

3. Students in this course can apply for aegrotat consideration provided they have sat the final exam.

4. The mark allocated to each student for the group project will be modified through a peer evaluation process. Details of this process will be included in the design brief document.

Textbooks / Resources

Recommended Reading

Choi, Ying-Kit; Principles of applied civil engineering design ; American Society of Civil Engineers, 2004.

Christchurch City Council Infrastructure Design Standards. Available at: https://www.ccc.govt.nz/consents-and-licences/construction-requirements/infrastructure-design-standards

Ministry for the Environment (1991) Resource Management Act, MfE New Zealand. Available at: http://www.mfe.govt.nz/rma

Selwyn District Council Engineering Code of Practice. Available at: https://www.selwyn.govt.nz/council/policies-and-strategies/code-of-practice

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $919.00

International fee $5,000.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Civil and Natural Resources Engineering .

All ENNR313 Occurrences

  • ENNR313-17S2 (C) Semester Two 2017