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Active Learning Activities in Structural Model Updating

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Civil Engineering Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.135.1 - 23.135.8



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Paper Authors


Juan M Caicedo University of South Carolina

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Dr. Juan Caicedo is currently an associate professor at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of South Carolina. He obtained his doctorate degree from Washington University in St. Louis in 2003. Dr. Caicedo’s research interests include engineering education, numerical and experimental research in the areas of structural dynamics, model updating, structural health monitoring, earthquake engineering and structural control. Dr. Caicedo is member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the George E. Brown Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation, the Society of Experimental Mechanics and the American Society of Engineering Educators.

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Environments For Fostering Effective Critical Thinking (EFFECT): Structural Model UpdatingAbstractThis paper describes an Environment For Fostering Effective Critical Thinking (EFFECT) instructural model updating. Numerical models of structural systems (i.e. finite element models)are very effective in providing valuable information for the design of structural systems such asbridges and buildings. However, the literature shows that the same numerical techniques mightnot be successful at modeling the behavior of existing structures. For example, Zhang et al(2001) compared the natural frequencies of numerical models of the Kap Shui Mun Bridge andthose estimated experimentally and found differences of up to 17%. Model updating techniquesare used to improve numerical models of existing structures based on experimental data.Significant research has been performed in the area of research of model updating in the lastdecade. Unfortunately, these new techniques have not been widely incorporated into curricularactivities in graduate and undergraduate education.This paper discusses a course specifically designed in the area of model updating. The courseuses the EFFECTs pedagogical framework consisting of (Caicedo et al, 2009): i) a decisionworksheet asking students to estimate the solution to an engineering problem, ii) active learningactivities to introduce students to the material needed to correctly answer the driving question,iii) reflective exercises asking students to reflect on the material learned in class and revise theanswer to the driving question, and iv) a final report encouraging students to re-evaluate thesolution of the engineering problem. The decision worksheet is given to the students the firstday of the EFFECT. This decision worksheet asks students to indicate the factors consideredduring their estimation. The reflective exercises, such as journal entries, are used to encouragemetacognition. The driving question used for this class focuses on the estimation of thestructural parameters (i.e. mass, stiffness) to be used in a finite element model to describe astructural system. A bench-scaled grid model available at the Structural Dynamics andIntelligent Infrastructure laboratory at the University of South Carolina is used as experimentaltest. This grid structure was specifically designed to have dynamic characteristics similar tothose of common highway bridges.Assessment of the developed educational material is performed using three data sources: i)journal entries, ii) estimation of structural characteristics, and iii) questionnaire asking studentsabout how much they felt the learned.References:Zhang, Q. W., Chang, T. Y. P., Chang, C. C., “Finite Element Model Updating for the Kap ShuiMun Cable-Stayed Bridge”, Journal of Bridge Engineering, Vol 6. No. 4, 285-293, 2001Caicedo, J. M., Flora, J., Pierce, C., Nichols, A., Graf, W. and Timmerman, B., Ray, T."Assessment of environments for fostering effective critical thinking (EFFECTS) on a first-yearcivil engineering course", 2009 ASEE Annual conference, Austin, TX June 14-17, 2009.

Caicedo, J. M. (2013, June), Active Learning Activities in Structural Model Updating Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19149

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