Structural Engineering

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STUDENT AFFAIRS
340A-B Structural and Materials Engineering Building (SME)
http://www.structures.ucsd.edu

All courses, faculty listings, and curricular and degree requirements described herein are subject to change or deletion without notice. Updates may be found on the Academic Senate website: http://senate.ucsd.edu/catalog-copy/approved-updates/.

Structural engineering is the branch of engineering concerned with the design and analysis of civil, mechanical, aerospace, marine, naval and offshore structures. It requires knowledge and competence in the areas of materials, response of individual structural components, and the behavior of entire structural systems.

Department Focus

The instructional and research programs of the department are grouped into four programmatic focus areas: civil structures, aerospace and composite structures, renewal of structures, and geotechnical engineering. Both the undergraduate and graduate programs are characterized by strong interdisciplinary relationships with the Departments of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Physics, Mathematics, Bioengineering, Chemistry, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, the Materials Science Program, and associated campus institutes such as the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, Institute for Pure and Applied Physical Sciences, Institute for Biomedical Engineering, Center of Excellence for Advanced Materials, California Space Institute, Calit2’s Qualcomm Institute, and Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

The programs and curricula of the Department of Structural Engineering will educate and train engineers in a holistic approach to structural systems engineering by emphasizing and building on the commonality of engineering structures in materials, mechanics, analysis and design across the engineering disciplines of civil, aerospace, marine, and mechanical engineering.

Although structural engineering is traditionally viewed as an activity within civil engineering, in actuality many other engineering disciplines such as aerospace, marine (naval, offshore), and mechanical engineering contain well established discipline-specific structural systems and components. In all of the various engineering disciplines there exists a large commonality in the structural materials used, in the general principles of structural mechanics, in the overall design philosophy and criteria, and in the modeling and analysis tools employed for the numerical quantification and visualization of structural response. Particularly, small disciplinary differences in materials and computational tools are rapidly disappearing with the civil engineering community opening up to new structural materials developed and used to date primarily in the aerospace industry, and with computational developments which are less product specific but more geared towards a holistic structural systems design approach with interactive graphics, object-oriented database management and concurrent visualization and data processing. Developments in overall structural systems design are increasingly cross-disciplinary over many traditional engineering areas.

The Undergraduate Program

Degree and Program Options

The Department of Structural Engineering offers an unique engineering program leading to the BS in structural engineering that is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (EAC/ABET). The Department of Structural Engineering also offers a nonaccredited BS in engineering sciences. The BS programs require a minimum of 148 units, plus college general-education requirements in humanities and social sciences.

All structural engineering programs of study have strong components in laboratory experimentation, numerical computation, and engineering design. Design is emphasized throughout the curricula by open-ended homework problems, by laboratory and computer courses that include student-initiated projects, and finally, by senior design project courses that involve teams of students working to solve engineering design problems brought in from industry. The structural engineering programs are designed to prepare students receiving bachelor’s degrees for professional careers or for graduate education in their area of specialization. In addition, the programs can also be taken by students who intend to use their undergraduate engineering education as preparation for postgraduate professional training in nontechnical fields such as business administration, law, or medicine.

Structural engineering is concerned with the design and analysis of civil, mechanical, aerospace, marine, naval, and offshore structures. Examples include bridges, dams, buildings, aircraft, spacecraft, ships, oil platforms, automobiles, and other transportation vehicles. This field requires a thorough knowledge of the behavior of solids (concrete, soils, rock, metals, plastics, and composite materials), fluid mechanics as it relates to structural loads, dynamics as it relates to structural response, mathematics for the generation of theoretical structural models and numerical analysis, and computer science for simulation purposes associated with computer-aided design, response analyses, and data acquisition. Basic understanding of materials behavior and structural performance is enhanced by laboratory courses involving static and dynamic stress failure tests of structural models, and response of structural systems. Within this area, students can specialize in (a) civil structures, (b) aerospace structures, (c) renewal of structures, or (d) geotechnical engineering.

The engineering sciences program follows the overall structural engineering program except that the number of required design courses is reduced. In addition to core courses in dynamics, vibrations, structures, fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, heat transfer, and laboratory experimentation, a large number of technical electives are scheduled. This aspect of the curriculum allows flexibility by permitting specialization and in-depth study in one area of the engineering sciences or through a sequence of courses on various emerging technologies. Students must consult their advisers to develop a sound course of study to fulfill the technical elective requirements of this program.

Major Requirements

Specific course requirements for the major are outlined in a table herein. In addition to the required technical courses specifically indicated, a suggested scheduling of general-education courses (GE) are distributed in the curricula for students to use to meet college general-education requirements. To graduate, students must maintain an overall GPA of at least 2.0, and the department requires at least a C– grade in each course required for the major.

Deviations from the program of study must be approved by the Undergraduate Affairs Committee prior to taking alternative courses. In cases where a student needs to take a course outside UC San Diego, prior departmental approval is essential. In addition, technical elective (TE) course selections must have departmental approval prior to taking the courses. In the accredited program, TE courses are restricted to meet ABET standards. Courses such as SE 195, SE 197 and SE 198 are not allowed as technical electives in meeting the upper-division major requirements. SE 199 can be used as a technical elective only under restrictive conditions. Policies regarding these conditions may be obtained from the department’s Student Affairs Office. Graduate level courses may be petitioned for technical elective credit.

Students with different academic preparations may vary the scheduling of lower-division courses such as math, physics and chemistry, but should consult the department prior to doing so. Deviations in scheduling lower-division structural engineering courses are discouraged due to scheduling constraints. A tentative schedule of course offerings is available from the department each spring quarter for the following academic year.

General-Education/College Requirement

For graduation, each student must satisfy general-education course requirements determined by the student’s college, as well as the major requirements determined by the department. The six colleges at UC San Diego require widely different general-education courses, and the number of such courses differs from one college to another. Each student should choose his or her college carefully, considering the special nature of the college and the breadth of general education.

The structural engineering program allows for twelve general-education (GE) courses so that students can fulfill their college requirements. In the ABET accredited programs, students must develop a program that includes a total of at least twenty-four units in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, not including subjects such as accounting, industrial management, finance, or personnel administration. It should be noted, however, that some colleges may require more than twelve GE courses indicated in the curriculum tables. Accordingly, students in these colleges may take longer to graduate than the indicated four-year schedule. Students must consult with their college to determine which GE courses to take.

Professional Licensing

All students are encouraged to take the Engineering-in-Training (EIT) examination as the first step in becoming licensed as a professional engineer (PE). Students graduating from an accredited program can take the PE examination after EIT certification and two years of work experience; students graduating from a nonaccredited program can take the PE examination after EIT certification and four years of work experience.

For further information please contact your local Board of Registration for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists or visit http://www.pels.ca.gov/.

Structural Engineering
(ABET Accredited Program)

Program Mission and Objectives

The BS structural engineering program is accredited by the ABET Inc. Engineering Accreditation Commission (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology). Accreditation is an assurance that the program meets established quality standards.

BS Structural Engineering Mission

To provide a comprehensive education and training to engineers using a holistic approach to structural systems engineering by emphasizing and building on the commonality of engineering structures at the levels of materials, mechanics, analysis, and design.

BS Structural Engineering Objectives

Program objectives represent graduates’ performance three to five years after completing the BS program:

  1. Take advantage of a strong technical education at the undergraduate level to prepare for successful professional careers in industry or to continue with a graduate education in their area of specialization.
  2. Consistently and successfully apply fundamental structural engineering principles within their chosen engineering application area (such as aerospace, civil, marine, and mechanical).
  3. Apply broad multidisciplinary skills necessary to accomplish professional objectives in a rapidly changing technological world.
  4. Understand the ethical issues pertaining to engineering, adopt industry standards of ethical behavior, and apply appropriate communication and collaboration skills essential for professional practice.

BS Structural Engineering Outcomes

Program outcomes are the expected knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors of students at the time of completing the BS program:

  1. An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
  2. An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as being able to analyze and interpret data
  3. An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs
  4. An ability to function in multidisciplinary teams
  5. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
  6. An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
  7. An ability to communicate effectively with written, oral, and visual means
  8. The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context
  9. A recognition of the need for and an ability to engage in lifelong learning
  10. A knowledge of contemporary issues
  11. An ability to use modern engineering techniques, skills, and computing tools necessary for engineering practice

 

FALL

WINTER

SPRING

FRESHMAN YEAR

   

Math 20A

Math 20B

Math 20C

GE

SE 1

SE 2/2L

Chem 6A

Phys 2A

Phys 2B/2BL

GE1

GE

GE

SOPHOMORE YEAR

 

Math 20D

Math 20F

Math 20E

Phys 2C/2CL

SE 110A

SE 102

SE 101A

SE 101B

SE 110B

GE

SE 92

SE 101C

JUNIOR YEAR

   

SE 121

SE 130A

MAE 170

SE 103

SE 115

TE3

GE

GE

SE 130B

GE

GE

GE

SENIOR YEAR

   

SE 125

SE 131

SE 140

TE

SE 120

FS

FS4

FS

FS

GE

GE

TE

1In fulfilling the general-education requirements (GE), students must take a total of at least twenty-four units in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, not including subjects such as accounting, industrial management, finance, or personnel administration. Twelve GE courses are listed here; individual college requirements may be higher.

2Transfer students admitted to the university prior to fall 2010 who have completed MAE 9 are not required to take SE 9. Freshman students admitted to the university prior to fall 2007 who have completed MAE 9 are not required to take SE 9.

3Technical elective (TE) course must be an upper-division or graduate course in the engineering sciences, natural sciences or mathematics, selected with prior approval of the department to meet ABET standards.

4Students must take one full-focus sequence (FS) in: (a) Civil Structures, (b) Aerospace Structures, (c) Renewal of Structures, or (d) Geotechnical Engineering. Students should note that not all focus sequence classes will be offered every year. Students admitted to the university prior to fall 2010 will be allowed to use the courses outlined in past focus sequences from the catalog year in which they entered the university.

Engineering Sciences (Nonaccredited Program)

FALL

WINTER

SPRING

FRESHMAN YEAR

   

Math 20A

Math 20B

Math 20C

GE

SE 1

SE 2/2L

Chem 6A

Phys 2A

Phys 2B/2BL

GE1

GE

GE

SOPHOMORE YEAR

 

Math 20D

Math 20F

Math 20E

Phys 2C/2CL

SE 110A

SE 102

SE 101A

SE 101B

SE 110B

GE

SE 92

SE 101C

JUNIOR YEAR

   

SE 121

SE 130A

MAE 170

SE 103

SE 115

TE3

GE

GE

SE 130B

GE

GE

GE

SENIOR YEAR

   

SE 125

SE 131

SE 140

TE

SE 120

TE

TE

TE

TE

GE

GE

TE

1In fulfilling the general-education requirements (GE), students must take a total of at least twenty-four units in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, not including subjects such as accounting, industrial management, finance, or personnel administration. Twelve GE courses are listed here; individual college requirements may be higher.

2Transfer students admitted to the university prior to fall 2010 who have completed MAE 9 are not required to take SE 9. Freshman students admitted to the university prior to fall 2007 who have completed MAE 9 are not required to take SE 9.

3Technical elective (TE) course must be an upper-division or graduate course in the engineering sciences, natural sciences or mathematics, selected with prior approval of the department to meet ABET standards.

Policies and Procedures for Structural Engineering Undergraduate Students

Admission to the Major

Due to the large number of students interested in structural engineering undergraduate programs, and the limited resources available to accommodate this demand, the university has declared the majors in the Department of Structural Engineering (BS structural engineering, BS engineering sciences) as impacted.

Effective fall 2014, freshman admission will be limited to both majors (BS structural engineering and BS engineering sciences). Students will be selected according to the UC San Diego Office of Undergraduate Admissions Holistic Review scores, taking into consideration the number of slots available in the Department of Structural Engineering. Students who meet the UC San Diego admission criteria will be admitted into their chosen impacted major, starting with the student having the highest holistic review score, until the admission target number is reached. Students will be notified directly by the Office of Admissions and Relations with Schools whether they have been admitted into their chosen impacted major.

All potential freshmen must indicate on the UC application if they wish to major in structural engineering or engineering sciences. Freshman students who applied but were not admitted directly from high school into the impacted structural engineering or engineering sciences majors will be admitted into the major indicated as their second choice on the UC application (providing it is an “open” major).

Effective fall 2015, new transfer students will be selected by the UC San Diego Office of Undergraduate Admissions based on the students’ community college GPA and taking into consideration the number of slots available in the Department of Structural Engineering. Additionally, transfer students should have completed courses equivalent to UC San Diego’s Math 20A-D, 20F; Physics 2A-C, 2BL, 2CL; and Chem 6A. All potential transfer students must indicate on the UC application if they wish to major in the impacted structural engineering or engineering sciences majors. Students who meet the UC San Diego admission criteria will be admitted into their chosen impacted major, starting with the student having the highest community college GPA, until the admission target number is reached. Transfer students who have excelled in their community college courses, especially courses in math, physics, and chemistry, will have the strongest advantage. These students will be notified directly by the Office of Admissions and Relations with Schools whether they have been admitted into their chosen impacted major.

Transfer students who applied but were not admitted directly from community college into the impacted structural engineering or engineering sciences majors will be admitted into the major indicated as their second choice on the UC application (providing it is an “open” major).

Continuing Students

Applications will be accepted once per year at the end of spring quarter for admission into the impacted structural engineering or engineering sciences majors. For detailed information please see the “Policies and Procedures” section of the Department of Structural Engineering website at http://structures.ucsd.edu.

Interested continuing students must not be past sophomore standing (six quarters), as time to graduation would be delayed since the majority of departmental upper-division courses are currently offered only once a year. In addition, continuing students who wish to be considered must meet the following minimum requirements:

  1. completed at least one year (three quarters) in residence at UC San Diego
  2. completed the lower-division requirements for the requested major

Applications will be ranked according to the highest UC San Diego GPA in the required courses and applications will be approved until the predetermined target enrollment number is reached.

Transfer Students

Requirements for a structural engineering major, or into structural engineering courses, are the same for transfer students as they are for continuing students. Accordingly, when planning their program, transfer students should be mindful of lower-division prerequisite course requirements, as well as for meeting collegiate requirements.

Students who have taken equivalent courses elsewhere may request to have transfer credits apply toward the department’s major requirements. This is accomplished by submitting a petition for transfer credits together with a transcript and catalog course description from the institution where the course(s) were taken. These documents are reviewed for approval by the Structural Engineering Undergraduate Affairs Committee.

No transfer credit will be given for courses similar to SE 1, SE 2/SE 2L, SE 9. SE 1, SE 2/SE 2L, and SE 9 must be taken by all students majoring in structural engineering.

Transfer petitions are available online on TritonLink.

Academic Advising

Upon arrival, students must make an appointment with the undergraduate adviser in the Structural Engineering Student Affairs Office to plan a program of study. The program plan may be revised in subsequent years, but revisions involving curricular requirements require approval by the undergraduate adviser or the Undergraduate Affairs Committee. Because some courses and/or curricular changes may be made every year, it is imperative that students consult with the department’s undergraduate adviser and their assigned faculty adviser on an annual basis.

Many structural engineering courses are offered only once a year and therefore should be taken in the recommended sequence. If courses are taken out of sequence, it may not always be possible to enroll in subsequent courses as desired or needed. If this occurs, students should seek immediate department advice. When a student deviates from the sequence of courses specified for the curriculum in this catalog, it may be impossible to complete the structural engineering major within the normal four-year period. Students should refer to the four-year plan and course prerequisite map on the department website at http://www.structures.ucsd.edu.

In addition to the advising available through the Structural Engineering Student Affairs Office, programmatic or technical advice may be obtained from structural engineering faculty members. A specific structural engineering faculty adviser is assigned to each structural engineering student. All structural engineering students are required to meet with their faculty adviser at least once a year, preferably before the beginning of fall quarter.

Program Alterations/Exceptions to Requirements

Variations from, or exceptions to, any program or course requirements are possible only if a petition is approved by the Structural Engineering Undergraduate Affairs Committee before the courses in question are taken. Petition forms may be obtained online on TritonLink and must be processed through the Structural Engineering Student Affairs Office.

Independent Study

Structural engineering students may take SE 199, Independent Study for Undergraduates, under the guidance of a structural engineering faculty member. Normally, this course is taken as an elective on a P/NP basis. Under restrictive conditions, however, it may be used to satisfy upper-division technical elective course requirements for the major. Students interested in taking an SE 199 course must identify a faculty member with whom they wish to work and propose a research or study topic. After obtaining the faculty member’s concurrence on the topic and scope of the study, the student must submit a Special Studies Course form to the Structural Engineering Undergraduate Affairs Committee. Students who are interested in having the course count as a technical elective requirement must take the course(s) for a total of four units and must also submit an Undergraduate Petition form. The forms must be completed, approved, and processed prior to the beginning of the quarter in which the course is to be taken. This should not be done during the add/drop period. Detailed policy in this regard and the requisite forms may be obtained from the Student Affairs Office.