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A Survey Of Faculty Development Activities In Civil Engineering

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Training Faculty to Teach CE

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.138.1 - 12.138.14



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Paper Authors


Wilfrid Nixon University of Iowa

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Wilfrid Nixon is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Iowa and a research engineer at IIHR - Hydroscience and Engineering. Dr. Nixon, a Professional Engineer in the State of Iowa, received a B. A. in Engineering from Cambridge University, England in 1981, and a Ph. D. in Engineering from Cambridge University in 1985.

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

A Survey of Faculty Development Activities in Civil Engineering


Recent documents such as the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) “Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge for the 21st Century,”1 and “Engineering the Future of Civil Engineering,”2 together with the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) reports “The Engineer of 2020,”3 and “Educating the Engineer of 2020”4 make it clear that the faculty of 2020 will not be cut from the same cloth as the faculty of today. In order to get from here to there, a variety of faculty development programs will be required. This paper reports on a survey of civil engineering department heads, designed to determine the current status of faculty development activities in civil engineering programs in the United States. This survey will serve as the first step in an ongoing process to determine faculty development needs in civil engineering, and ultimately to design programs to meet those needs. The survey was conducted by means of an e-mail sent to the ASCE Department Heads list-serve. Results have been compiled from the responses to this survey, and grouped according to type of development program and perceived unmet faculty development needs.


Over the past few years, there have been a number of publications that suggest that the practice of engineering will change significantly in the coming decades. For example, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) published their report “The Engineer of 2020”3 which described in part how the skill set of the future engineer will be different from the engineer of today and yesterday. Additionally, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has published a number of reports on the Body of Knowledge that will be required (in the immediate future) to practice civil engineering1, 2. One key conclusion of the work by ASCE (relating to the ASCE policy 465) is that the engineer of the future will need formal education beyond the Bachelor’s degree. NCEES in essence agreed with this position when they incorporated this requirement into their model law for licensure, which will go into effect in 20155.

A related document by NAE discusses the challenge of teaching the engineer of 20204. Other reports have raised concerns about science and technology education in the United States in general. Given this discussion in the engineering community, it seems appropriate that questions should be asked about the level of preparedness of faculty to teach the engineering curriculum of 2020. In particular, an important question is what is being done to prepare faculty to teach the future engineering curriculum? In other words, what is being done to develop faculty skills to address the changing nature of engineering practice?

This issue was raised in the ASCE Committee on Faculty Development, during the fall of 2006. The committee decided that a first step toward answering this key question would be to determine what faculty development is currently available and being used. This

Nixon, W. (2007, June), A Survey Of Faculty Development Activities In Civil Engineering Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2531

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