Author: Elliot Neale -
I am very conscious that I have not posted for quite some time, I think it would be best to provide a general overview of the exchange programme and elaborate a little on each module, explaining a little about the course.
Following my last post we had a one week semester break in October to relax a little after the first 6 weeks. There was a great event on the last day of term called Kulturnatten where the city was opened up and you could visit places that are normally closed to the public, for example Parliament, military bases or the UN Head Office. The city was full and there was free food on open fire pits, free drinks on boats and street parties. The event ran from 3pm to 5am and was an excellent way to see another side of the city and see attractions you would not normally see. I decided to spend the remainder of the break to visit the city some more and catch up on my work.
The second half of the term however was very intensive with multiple hand ins each week, mid term exams and many presentations. I would describe the work load as rather heavy and gave little time to really appreciate the exchange. The final three weeks of term were especially difficult with exams and coursework ongoing at the same time. Thankfully I finished on the 18th December and a group of friends came over to visit (the flight cost 50dkk or £5 each, very cheap). The one key benefit of exams before the Christmas break was that there was no work to be completed over the holiday. It was a time to rest and recuperate before the intensive January course.... and visit the Christmas Market.
I also played rugby for DTU 1st XV later in the term in the last game of the season. We played a team called Hundested, a team in the North of the island. They were top of 1st division and we were playing in the quarter finals. I played in the second row position for the full game (I am not built for that). The final score was unfortunately 3-64 to Hundested. We were taught a lesson and took quite a battering unfortunately. I had an okay game and put in some good tackles and made a few good runs but this was not good enough to change the score line. In my opinion, joining the rugby club was a great decision as I got to meet a lot of new people and play sport as part of a team. Although I did pick up a few injuries, it was great social and great fitness.
I will go through each of the modules explain what I thought about each, in no particular order.
Transport, Economics, Planning, Organisation and policy
Although the title is a bit long winded, it was an excellent management module and made me really think about policy implementation. The module was focused around a central piece of coursework, about 15,000 words in length, with lectures from people in industry. Lecturers included CEO's of public bodies, Operations Directors and senior researchers. Although not strictly civil engineering it was still a really good module to understand the processes and difficulties in implementing policies. We also got the chance to go to the Danish Parliament and see areas closed to the public, in addition, we also had a two hour meeting with the current Transport Minister.
Smart Connected Liveable Cities
Probably my favourite module. The module focused on urban planning and the various sections that need to be considered in the design of a city. The course was rather 'holistic' and used slightly different methods of assessment than normal. There were six small courseworks that were completed generally in class. There was one reading assignment, where we had to review a utopian or dystopian book. We also had a writing assignment where we had to right a short story, 5000 words, about the development and growth of a city in the next 100 years. The story had to incorporate all the values taught earlier in the course. We also had a number of visits to various parts of the Copenhagen region. These were also very interesting and aided the learning intentions of the course. I would highly recommend this course!
Fire Structural Design
Fire structural design is exactly as it sounds. The design of various structural elements under a fire load, applying eurocode and including the Danish and Swedish annex. The module builds upon what is taught in structures 1,2 and 3 plus structural design and construction but not too heavily. All is explained well and the supplementary notes and textbook are very helpful. Although the tutorials were very difficult and took quite some time to understand, if you do take this course persevere with the tutorials, you will get there! The lecturer was very good and has appeared on National Geographic a number of times. The module was not too difficult and developed my structural engineering skills. I would recommend this course!
Water Resources Management
Water resources management was probably by far the hardest and least satisfying module. The module focused on solving water shortages on the North China Plain. The coursework was centred around matlab programming at a much higher level than that I had been taught, using optimisation operators within a dynamic script linked with a function for over 25 variables. We received quite a lot of assistance but this did not really help in producing a quality piece of work.
The mid term exam was equally not good as it was negatively marked. Overall I would say to a prospective Bath student to avoid this module. There is little or nothing taught at Bath that relates to this module. It greatly sapped any time that I had and I spent nearly every day working on the programmes.
I would unfortunately say that this class is on the same level as water resources management. The course was poorly explained, examination method was highly unfair and no help provided. I hoped that this module would develop on what was taught at Bath by Mark but did little to develop our bridge engineering skills. The courseworks focused upon our ability to plug numbers into complex equations to provide an answer that had little or no meaning. Equally, I would avoid this course.
Apologies for the two bits of negativity but I feel it is important to explain the course. I am in the process of completing an intensive January course. I will post an overall review of exchange in the next fortnight or so.