In order to make a useful contribution to the design of buildings, a building engineer must have knowledge that includes the following fields:
- Structural design solutions and calculations
- Commonly used and innovative materials (structural and environmental properties)
- Building physics and climate design (energy use, daylight, acoustics, thermal comfort)
- Facade design
- Building organization and management
- Building costs
This knowledge is acquired in a two-year programme, designed to help you graduate as a highly educated expert engineer with a practical perspective. Following graduation your knowledge and experience will make you prepared for a wide range of professions.
In the curriculum chart you can find the general content and set-up of the two years, depending on your specialisation (Structural Design or Building Technology and Physics). The first semester (September – January) of year 1 counts for the most part courses that are in common for both specialisations. You will select your specialisation in the first weeks after arrival. The other courses are specific for your specialisation, and are partially compulsory, partially elective.
The second semester (February – July) of year 1 has one common course recommended for all Building Engineering students, which is MEGA, a large inter-disciplinary design project organised together with the Faculty of Architecture. The remaining courses again are specific for your specialisation, and are partially compulsory, partially elective.
Year 2 for two thirds comprises your individual Master’s thesis project. This is a 40 ECTS research project of which the topic is mainly determined based on your own initiative and scientific interest. The research plan is written with assistance of staff and sometimes of a company. After agreement on the plan, you will elaborate your research independently or in the context of ongoing research. As a project leader and researcher, you are responsible for both planning and scientific content, which will learn you many skills. Reports of Building Engineering students can be found in the Delft Educational Repository. The remaining room in year 2 will be used by a few elective and some compulsory courses (20 ECTS in total).
For those interested in doing an Internship during their MSc, the specialisation Structural Design offers somewhat less room for this than the specialisation Building Technology and Physics. Sometimes students use the summer between year 1 and year 2 for this or extend their study beyond two years
The design phase of buildings involves not only structural experts and architects but, increasingly, structural designers as well. These ‘designing engineers’ act as a bridge between architects and the structural experts who focus on verification of standards, dimensioning and detailing. The Structural Design specialisation has been created in response to this development.
The specialisation Structural Design from the Msc. track Building Engineering has a broader approach than the MSc track Structural Engineering. It integrates different disciplines such as building services, architecture, mechanics etc. For Structural Engineering the approach is more elementary on the principle of mechanics and knowledge of materials and therefore has an approach that is more in-depth.
Building Technology and Physics
Even more than the load-bearing structure, the appearance and the interior climate define the way users enjoy the building. Global warming urges us to transform both existing stock and new design into zero-energy buildings, with a low environmental footprint. In the specialization Building Technology and Physics you will gain insight in all techniques that contribute to this.
Building Technology allows an engineer to translate the wishes of the architect into reality. This means determining which materials will be used for the finishing of the building and also ensuring that a sustainable building is constructed. You need to know about building components, material properties, building physics, environmental impact of materials and of technical installations in buildings. Since the façade is one of the most technically demanding and challenging components of a building, the emphasis for a building technologist lies on façade design and construction.
Building Physics is the science that studies the laws of nature related to the built environment: light, sound, energy temperature, fluid and air flows, often in relation to human physiology. By modelling and simulating the physics of the building, its performance is predicted and, if necessary, modified by adjusting the design.
A handy booklet is published with all aspects of the Master-track Building Engineering. You will find all data of our study programme, possible electives, advice for your personal study planning, and all ins and outs of how to start and succesfully finish the Master's phase at our group. You can obtain a hardcopy from the secretary of the department 3MD: Secr-3MD-CiTG@tudelft.nl with reference of the title Information Booklet Building Engineering.