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A Real-World Design Project in a One Semester Civil Engineering Capstone Design Course

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Design in Engineering Education Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.96.1 - 24.96.10



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Paper Authors


Jeffrey T. Huffman P.E. P.E. Marshall University

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Jeffrey T. Huffman is an Assistant Professor of Engineering in the Weisberg Division of Engineering at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. He has four years of teaching experience as well as 22 years of experience in engineering consulting and management. Jeff received his BSCE and MSCE degrees from Virginia Tech and is a registered Professional Engineer in five states. He conducts research and teaches courses in geotechnical engineering, civil engineering materials, and directs the senior capstone design course effort.

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A Real World Design Project in a One Semester Civil Engineering Senior Capstone Design CourseAll engineering programs have a senior capstone project requirement with the intent that thestudents demonstrate that they are prepared to work as a staff design engineer upon graduation.Hundreds of papers have been published on engineering capstone projects, dozens specificallyon civil engineering capstone projects, and very few on real world civil engineering capstonedesign projects.The lack of papers on real world civil engineering design projects could be attributed todifficulties with finding a real world project that works well in a capstone course environment,i.e., a project that begins at the start of a semester or can wait until then, is a size that could becompleted in one semester, is guaranteed to move at a pace that can be completed by the end ofthe semester, contains multiple civil discipline design tasks, has a consulting engineer willing toinvest non-billable or personal time in the course, has an engineer/engineering firm willing toseal the final design, and has a project owners willing to allow the use of their project. Omit oneaspect then the project will not meet the capstone course’s needs. Without a doubt these issuesmake finding a real world civil engineering capstone project for a successful course experiencedifficult to achieve.This paper presents three successful utilized civil engineering capstone course projects anddiscusses capstone project sources that provide a real world design experience that meets thepreviously listed constraints. This pedagogy also provides the unique opportunity for thestudents to compare their design against a practicing professional engineer’s design.

Huffman, J. T. (2014, June), A Real-World Design Project in a One Semester Civil Engineering Capstone Design Course Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--19988

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