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[Group 12] The Thai Canal


The Group Design Projects are an educational exercise and the projects undertaken and designs developed during them should not be reported as representative of projects undertaken by or designs developed by the Supporters.

Week 4

posted 17 Jun 2012, 09:38 by Group Design Projects Imperial

The fourth week of the project has been the final push to the finish line. We wanted to make used we used this week to go as deep into the canal design as possible to make sure that we had really answered the questions addressed in the brief. The whole group worked incredibly hard, but special mention has to go to Tom Hughes and Yili. The work they did on the canal and lock design was a fantastic application of their engineering knowledge and they had to use skills from all areas including structural analysis, rainfall analysis and even used poisson distribution to simulate queuing times. Their work was impressive from an engineering perspective.

The rest of the group also did good work, including Socrates and Chen, who pushed themselves to the very limit, physically and mentally…


The group presented our last critical session on Friday and received positive comments from our supervisors, receiving a mark of 80%, our highest mark yet. We were really happy with our performance and celebrated by watching England smash Sweden in the euros, coming back from a one goal deficit to win 3-2. Come on Enland! Hopefully we can replicate the success of the England football team in our final presentation next Friday.

Week 3

posted 11 Jun 2012, 08:22 by Group Design Projects Imperial

The third week has been a struggle for our group. After working so hard in week 2 we were all tired out and coming back from an enjoyable jubilee weekend was tough for certain members of the group (Tom E). The group seemed to lack direction at the start of the week, but with some great motivation from Socrates, we pulled it together and prepared for the third critical session.

Tom H, Yili and Chen presented some fantastic work on the canal design including a finalized route plan including artificial lakes, lock designs and section designs. Matthew and Socrates presented their methodology on deciding the port locations and their layouts. Jackie, Efe and Solomon presented their findings of the economic and environmental appraisals, and Tom E made a fool of himself as usual while presenting his work on port security (and some of Solomon’s work on dredging.)

The group was so thrilled with our performance that we went to eastside and celebrated with a pitcher of Pimms and an easy afternoon planning for next week. We still have a lot of work to do and writing up will be a tough task. It looks to be a busy one…

Week 2

posted 2 Jun 2012, 08:28 by Group Design Projects Imperial

The week started well as we prepared for the development presentations. We spent a lot of time on Monday finalising our slides and deciding on what we should say. The final decisions weren’t made until fifteen minutes before the deadline and some might say that’s cutting it fine, but we were confident in our project manager Socrates, who made sure we made the best decisions with enough time to spare.

We gave the presentation on Tuesday. We were the last group to present and were therefore quite nervous up until the end. We were comforted by the high standard of the other groups as we learnt how to adapt our presentation based on their performance. The delivery of the presentation was excellent from all group members and, thanks to some quick thinking from Solomon and Matthew we were able to deal with the questions of the judging panel. On the whole, the group was very pleased with our performance, which gave us a boost going into the second half of the week. 

We then turned our attention to the second critical session. After a sub-standard session last week, we knew we had a lot of work to do, so the air in the office was fairly high-pressured. We split into two groups, one with the tricky task of predicting the future of the shipping industry and the other with developing the concepts of our designs. The two groups came together on Thursday afternoon to compile our power point for the session. 

The hard work paid off as the second critical session went much better than the first. We got to meet our industry contact, Dimitris Pachakis a charming professional with a speciality in port design. We look forward to seeing him again in the fourth critical session and presenting him with some detailed port designs.

This week we also did a study on the Thai people and found them to be extremely relaxed!

Week 1

posted 30 May 2012, 08:36 by Group Design Projects Imperial

The first week has been very exciting for International Transport Consultants. We were given our project brief on Monday and set about trying to understand our project straight away. We have been charged with trying to find a solution to shipping conditions in the Malacca Straits, currently the second most used shipping lanes in the world. Due to the strengthening of economies in the east, there has been a sharp increase in shipping traffic in the area, causing congestion and logistical issues. By providing an alternative route we aim to relieve this congestion and allow larger ships to pass through, and providing many benefits to Thailand in the process. A project of this size comes with many economical, social and political issues that we will have consider throughout the project.


The first week has mostly been focused on gaining knowledge on the background of Thailand and the current state of the shipping industry. It’s been very broad research with lots of different areas of study that we have divided based on the interests of different group members, but some of us have found it hard to take information that we can relate back to the construction of the canal. We have also researched case studies of similar projects such as the Panama Canal and the Suez Canal to see how we can learn from the past to make our design the most efficient it can be.

We also started thinking about ways in which we can solve our problem and have presented three options to our client at our first critical session on Friday. We came away from the presentation with allot of things to think about and we will have allot of work to do this week to improve on these areas. 

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