The practice of civil engineering involves a series of decisions having to be made on choices, from a diverse and complex set of alternatives. Such choices are often interrelated and are usually urgent. These decisions have to be made throughout the life of a project, from the basis of the initial conception through the design phase and material and procedure selection to the construction and commissioning of the completed structure. At any stage, the effectiveness of the whole process can be compromised by poor decision-making.
As a result, a heavy demand is placed upon the managerial and technical skills of the engineers involved. There has been a continuing tendency for civil engineering projects to become increasingly large and increasingly complex. This has naturally resulted in the technical and managerial functions not only becoming more difficult, but also becoming more important. As a result, there is a continuing need to provide training programmes that upgrade the skills and capabilities of engineers, and other construction professionals in modern engineering, and managerial techniques. An important secondary objective of the MSc/Diploma programme is to provide this service.
By allowing a wider perspective of engineering technology and economy to be taken, it is anticipated that the quality of engineering management should thereby improve. Emphasis is placed upon the publication and presentation of the results of this research to the widest possible national and international audience. Clearly, the spin-off benefits of this programme include enhancing the initiative, creativity and purposeful thinking that are generated in those who participate.