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A Survey of Undergraduate Students Utilizing an Interdisciplinary Laboratory Building

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

October 19, 2019

Conference Session

ConstDiv Technical Session 4 - Pedagogy & Accreditation I

Tagged Division

Construction Engineering

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Paper Authors


Darby Lantz Holtzhower Oklahoma State University

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Lantz Holtzhower is currently an Assistant Professor serving the Construction Engineering Technology department within the College of Engineering, Architecture, and Technology at the Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma. He completed his Ph.D. in Construction Management at the M.E. Rinker, Sr. School of Building Construction in Gainesville, Florida at the University of Florida. His research interests include water conservation, rainwater harvesting, stormwater recycling, and overall sustainable water use within buildings. The current focus of his research is the implementation effects of low impact developments, net-zero schools and residences, and constructed wetlands into the built environment. He holds a Master’s degree in Building Construction and a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture, both from the University of Florida. Dr. Holtzhower has 9 years of professional construction experience including commercial construction management, electrical contracting and management with a fire protection contractor. The wide variety of projects includes a flagship institutional project, several municipal projects, K12 projects, office buildings, residential amenities and agricultural storage warehouses. He is a licensed Certified Building Contractor in the State of Florida and a member of the USGBC of Oklahoma.

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Rachel Mosier P.E. Oklahoma State University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Rachel Mosier is an Assistant Professor at Oklahoma State University. Her research interest is the cost of sustainable construction and sustainable infrastructure. Other research interests include technology in the classroom.

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Universities with graduate programs typically focus on graduate research assistants seeking master’s and doctoral degrees. However, this focus can overlook students early in their college careers. As an introduction to research, the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology devoted particular resources to undergraduate research and education. By creating an interdisciplinary laboratory environment where students can experience research first hand in their first few years in college, undergraduates can develop interests for research, regardless of their chosen engineering field.

Although the interdisciplinary concept was promoted at the Dean level, the coursework is implemented at the faculty level. Faculty was encouraged to provide training videos on all of the equipment, so students can train on their own time, rather than being constrained by a traditional lab and lecture framework. This allows students to start learning about research before taking courses on the subjects, freeing up their time to focus on multi-disciplinary problems.

The Sustainability Lab was designed to test solar panels, a wind turbine and battery rack. This is a multi-disciplinary lab where students from Business, Engineering, Construction, and Electrical backgrounds can learn about state-of-the-art technology. The solar panel installation is underway with student workers helping as part of the process. Students will have access to meters and software to determine the amount of electricity being produced.

This paper describes student participation in the lab and faculty use of the lab. Further the opportunities for interdisciplinary learning have been identified. As the laboratories available continue to come online in this new building, the usefulness and applicability of the interdisciplinary building will be revealed. A survey was conducted of current students to better determine the direction of the multi-function facility.

Holtzhower, D. L., & Mosier, R. (2019, June), A Survey of Undergraduate Students Utilizing an Interdisciplinary Laboratory Building Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32004

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