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A Model For Integrating Design Software Into A Highway Design Course

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Curriculum Development in Civil ET

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.71.1 - 8.71.15



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Paper Authors

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Maher Murad

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2649

A Model for Integrating Design Software into a Highway Design Course

Maher M. Murad

University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown


The use of design software in highway surveying and design is becoming popular in industry. Graduates with the ability to employ design software are sought after commodities. They are likely to have an employment advantage with consultants or State Departments of Transportation.

The design software “Land Development Desktop (LDD)” has been integrated into the Highway Design course at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown (UPJ). The use of the software allows for open-ended design requirements that enable each team to search for feasible solutions that meet design guidelines of the American Association of State Highways and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) or the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). Different teams may end up with different design solutions. The students understand through a semester - long project that they are the designers and not the software. They also learn that using the software is a process, which is likely to help them when using other highway design software. Senior students who have used the software in their senior design projects have produced high quality design reports and drawings.

This paper describes the process of integrating the LDD software in the Highway Surveying and Design course. The course objectives and the design project components are presented and discussed. The experience gained from redesigning the course to include computer applications at various stages of a semester-long design project provides useful guidance to those considering ways to integrate design software into existing courses.


Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) outlines Civil Engineering Technology Program Criteria for accreditation. (1) One of the requirements of the new criteria is that programs must demonstrate that graduates are capable of planning and preparing design and construction documents including engineering drawings. Other requirements call for graduates to be capable of applying basic technical concepts to the solutions of civil problems as well as performing standard analysis and design in at least three areas that may include transportation. Integrating the LDD software into the highway course is a step to help achieve the above mentioned ABET accreditation criteria as further discussed in the section on evaluation.

Highway Surveying and Design in Civil Engineering Technology (CET) at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown is a required course at the junior level. Only Civil Engineering Technology (CET) students take the Highway Design course and it is preceded by two- sophomore level courses in surveying.

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Murad, M. (2003, June), A Model For Integrating Design Software Into A Highway Design Course Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12077

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