Among the new and exciting relevant course programmes being offered at the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) in Semester 2 of 2021 is a Diploma in Civil Engineering, focusing mainly on road construction.
At the commencement of Semester 2 in September 2021, the Programme has enrolled 39 students. About 50 percent of the students enrolled are in-service students from government ministries and the private sector. In-service students undertake classes after work from 5 pm till 9 pm while the pre-service students undertake full-time classes from 8 am to 5 pm.
The Diploma in Civil Engineering programme aims to produce graduates with the technical skills the country need for its economic development. Moreover, the programme also aims to provide place-bound professional engineers in public works and industry positions with access to modern tools to efficient designs and construct durable roads. The programme in road construction and development would also address economic development needs to create incentives for more economic activities which will contribute to expanding the economic base of the national economy.
Roads form a large component of the national investment in infrastructure but they have deteriorated due mainly to poor design and lack of maintenance and destruction during natural disasters. These call for national and provincial governments to be proactive in ensuring that infrastructure development programmes meet the highest quality standards and are implemented within the proposed time frame. Hence, there is increasing appreciation of the need for efficient design and construction to minimize the long term life cycle with costs including operation, maintenance, management and renewal of these major physical assets. These also increase the demand for technical specialists with road engineering skills to take up career opportunities that exist within national and provincial governments, local authorities, private sector civil and mining companies, construction consulting and regulatory organisations.
For semester one, the subjects undertaken under the Diploma in Civil Engineering programme include construction mathematics, engineering communication, basic computing skills for engineers, fundamentals of civil engineering, civil engineering survey, and civil engineering technical drawing. For semester two, the programme includes book-keeping for engineers, fluid mechanics, soil mechanics, solid mechanics, computer-aided drawing (CAD); and civil engineering materials.
There are 6 lecturers currently teaching the students, 3 with masters’ degrees and 3 with bachelors’ degrees with vast work experience and in teaching.
A few activities undertaken by students undertaking the Diploma of Civil Engineering programme are depicted below.