Why do buildings collapse?

This is a Civil engineering Subject Spotlight with Dr Juan Sagaseta from the University of Surrey. An interactive, cinematic course taster experience to allow students to gain insights into what it's like to study Civil engineering.

Take this Subject Spotlight to...

Join Dr Juan Sagaseta as he contemplates the captivating question: why do buildings collapse? The series of episodes look at how Civil Engineers deal with the problem of buildings collapsing, consider very famous case studies of building collapses (such as The World Trade Centre on 9/11), and explore what it takes to be a Civil Engineer today. Juan also poses a case study for you to go and research - the tragedy of the Morandi bridge collapse.

About University of Surrey

The University of Surrey is a global community of more than 16,000 students from 140 countries. Based on a lovely, leafy campus in buzzy Guildford, The University of Surrey boasts gorgeous countryside to the south and west, and London half an hour to the east. It’s the perfect setting for a challenging and rewarding university experience that creates incredible memories and helps you achieve your ambitions. With a focus on practice-based learning, supported by outstanding teaching, laboratory and simulation facilities in every faculty, Surrey is ranked first in the UK for work placements and graduate employability.

Meet the academics

Dr Juan Sagaseta

Dr Juan Sagaseta joined the University of Surrey as a Lecturer in September 2010. He obtained the degree of Civil Engineering at the School of Civil Engineering in Santander, University of Cantabria (Spain), in 2003, where he specialised in the area of structures. After graduation, he worked as a Structural Engineer in a consultancy office in Madrid (Proes) carrying out structural design of buildings and bridges. In 2005, Juan moved to London to start his PhD at Imperial College London on Shear Design of Reinforced Concrete Structures. During his PhD he was a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Imperial College London in the following courses: Constructionarium project, Creative Design, Reinforced Concrete Design, Structural Mechanics and Autocad Drawing. From 2008 to 2010, Dr Juan Sagaseta was a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, where he carried out research on punching shear of flat slabs and slab bridges. In 2011 he was awarded the fib Achievement Award (research category) based on his Doctoral Thesis for the scientific and technical contributions in the area of structural concrete, and in 2012 he received the Magazine of Concrete Research Award (ICE publishing) for best paper of the year. He is currently involved in research on structural robustness and the development of innovative forms of construction using steel-concrete solutions.

In every Subject Spotlight you'll find

On-demand interactive video content

Sign up, log in, and access a wide range of potentially life-changing Subject Spotlight experiences that will help you make informed decisions about your university future.

Remarkable & relatable academics

Learn from some of the UK's finest and most decorated academics as they give you a genuine, insightful, and engaging experience of studying their courses at their universities.

Interactive quizzes and activities

Have a go at fascinating interactive quizzes and activities, then get meaningful and intuitive feedback from the academics to see how you've done.

Content to enhance students university applications

Hear direct from the academics what's expected of you in your university application, and the things you can do to improve your chances of getting on the course you most desire!

Certificate of completion

You'll receive a certificate of completion to evidence your learning - why not add this to your CV and university applications to show your dedication to your future pathway!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Subject Spotlight?

Subject Spotlights fuse education and entertainment to bring you the new way of researching your university options.

Entirely free and available on-demand, you can choose to engage with the content in the way that best suits you - whether that's in bite-sized chunks or in binge-sessions!

Why should I check out Subject Spotlights?

Get a real, representative impression of what pursuing a subject at university is actually like, so that you can make the right decision for you.

Stand out from the competition by completing a Subject Spotlight to gain the most relevant references and evidence for your personal statement.

Who is this Spotlight for?

This subject spotlight is made for students aged 16 and above, that are considering applying to University, particularly to study the subject in the title, or similar areas.

How should I talk about completing a Subject Spotlight on my UCAS application?

Completing a Subject Spotlight shows the university you're applying to that you've taken time outside of school to engage with relevant content.

The easiest way to include it would be to briefly mention one or two things you learned from it and how/why those learnings have furthered your desire to study the subject. We don't want to prescribe an answer because it's your personal statement but this is a good starting point!