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The University of Southampton

FEEG6021 Sustainable Infrastructure Systems

Module Overview

Sustainable Infrastructure Systems is a core module designed for Research Engineering students registered on the EPSRC fundedC entre for Doctoral Trainingi n Sustainable Infrastructure Systems (CDT-SIS) at the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment, University of Southampton, as part of the first year taught programme. This module provides formal training in interdisciplinary areas of Engineering and Science within a common framework that addresses infrastructure interdependencies, sustainability and society. The approach adopted is to expose students to a range of real world challenges faced by society in the pursuit of delivering infrastructure essential to the Water, Energy and Transport sectors. The module is timetabled over a week-long block during semester 2 during which students attend lectures and seminars in which experts from both academia and industry present case studies of current problems in which they are involved, illustrating the range of techniques employed to find solutions. The module involves at least two site visits of relevance (e.g. to transport infrastructure construction sites, power stations) during which industry partners discuss socio-economic, political, operational, and strategic challenges faced by the sector they represent. The key theme that runs throughout this module is the identification of common challenges faced by the different industrial sectors in delivering and maintaining often contentious infrastructure projects, and difference or similarities in approaches adopted to find solutions. The module will provide a good background for the Group Design Project and Individual Projects that take place during Semester 2 and the summer, respectively.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • recognising and using subject-specific theories, paradigms, concepts and principles
  • analysing, synthesising and summarising information critically, including prior research
  • applying knowledge and understanding to complex and multidimensional problems in familiar and unfamiliar contexts
  • recognising the moral and ethical issues of investigations and appreciating the need for professional codes of conduct.
  • receiving and responding to a variety of information sources (e.g. textual, numerical, verbal, graphical)
  • communicating appropriately to a variety of audiences in written, verbal and graphical forms
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • preparing, processing, interpreting and presenting data, using appropriate qualitative and quantitative techniques and packages including geographic information systems.
  • using the internet critically as a means of communication and a source of information.
  • developing the skills necessary for self-managed and lifelong learning (e.g. working independently, time management and organisation skills).
  • identifying and working towards targets for personal, academic and career development
  • developing an adaptable and flexible approach to study and work.
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • planning, conducting, and reporting on investigations, including the use of secondary data
  • referencing work in an appropriate manner.


The module consists of ten 3-hour sessions (morning and afternoons) during a week-long block in Semester 2 during the Easter period. During an introductory lecture the problems and challenges of delivering the UK infrastructure plan essential to ensure economic growth and maintenance of living standards and quality of life will be defined and aims of the module outlined. Following this the opening third of the module will focus on the challenges faced in development of energy systems, considering solutions adopted over scales that range from the small, e.g. local low-head hydropower initiatives, to the large, e.g. advances in nuclear and traditional hydrocarbon based systems. In addition to the engineering challenges, assessment of environmental impacts and socio-political perspectives will be considered, leading to discussion of potential mitigation options. A site visit to a local power station will form part of this component of the module. The second element will focus on transport systems. Key challenges associated with meeting road, rail, shipping, and air transportation will be discussed, and how the problem solving approaches used in this sector have common parallels or may be used to solve problems in other sectors. A site visit of a local transport construction visit will take place. The final section of the module will consider challenges faced by, and potential solutions available to, the water industry in light of a shifting climate and population growth. Topics covered will include water resource management, waste water treatment, and strategies for assessing and managing coastal and river flooding. The module finishes by examining the interactions between the sectors and how solutions may be better integrated. Timetable of lectures and seminars will be provided at the start of the course.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The course will be delivered through a series of lectures and seminars (including those given by invited guest speakers) based on discussion and evaluation of relevant case studies; group discussion; and field visits. Directed reading, assignments, private study.

Wider reading or practice60
Completion of assessment task60
External visits12
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Annie R. Pearce, Yong Han Ahn. Sustainable Buildings and Infrastructure: Paths to the Future. 

Ulf G. Sandström. Biodiversity and Green Infrastructure in Urban Landscapes: The Importance of Urban Green Spaces. 

examples of key academic journals available via Blackboard.. 

Frank R. Spellman. Water & Wastewater Infrastructure: Energy Efficiency and Sustainability. 

Michael Penn. An introduction to civil and environmental engineering. 

Mayada Omer. The Resilience of Networked Infrastructure Systems: Analysis and Measurement. 

Lester Hoel, Nicholas Garber, Adel Sadek. Transportation Infrastructure Engineering: A Multimodal Integration. 

John B. Miller. Case Studies in Infrastructure Delivery. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Assignment  ( words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Assignment 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Assignment 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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