With regard to the article concerning 'soft' degrees (NCE 15 June) I find it surprising that leading engineers feel that emphasis is not being given to design in degree courses.
The civil engineering course I'm taking at City University, London, lays great emphasis on design, with a course dedicated to conceptual design and feasibility, with a separate steel-design element as well as a concrete-design element.
The university has clearly outlined the importance of design for successful project completion. I also found design elements in my geology and soil mechanics courses.
The article claimed that some of the things considered fundamental were being reduced, but failed to take in to account that the fundamentals themselves are changing, for example, the greater importance now being placed on management.
Surely the best way to tackle the issue of design and build contracts not living up to their potential is to improve their management. Yet incorporating management into degree courses is only possible if 'core time' is better distributed.
Prakash Senghani, City University, prakash@rtechengineering. co. uk