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An Innovative Infrastructure Curriculum For 21 St Century Civil Engineering

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Conference

2007 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Implementing the Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge into Courses and Curricula

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count

12

Page Numbers

12.213.1 - 12.213.12

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/2087

Download Count

72

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Paper Authors

biography

Matthew Roberts University of Wisconsin-Platteville

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MATTHEW ROBERTS is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Dr. Roberts earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering from Brigham Young University in 1993 then spent four years in the U.S. Air Force as a civil engineering officer. He received his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University in 2002 and has been teaching structural engineering topics at the University of Wisconsin–Platteville since then.

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biography

Christina Curras University of Wisconsin-Platteville

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CHRISTINA CURRAS is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Dr. Curras earned her B.S. in Civil Engineering
from the University of California at Davis in 1995, her M.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of California at Davis in 1998, and her
Ph.D. from the University of California at Davis in 2000. She has been teaching geotechnical engineering and general engineering topics at the
University of Wisconsin-Platteville since then.

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biography

Philip Parker University of Wisconsin-Platteville

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PHILIP PARKER, Ph.D., P.E. is an Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UW-Platteville. He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Clarkson University. His primary teaching responsibilities are in the environmental engineering area, but he also enjoys teaching freshman engineering courses and the Computer Applications course. His research interests include solid and hazardous waste management, drinking water purification, and assessing best teaching strategies.

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Michael Penn University of Wisconsin-Platteville

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MICHAEL PENN is an Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UW-Platteville. He received his B.S. in Industrial Engineering and M.S. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Michigan, and his Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Michigan Technological University. He has taught environmental engineering courses at Clarkson University, Wilkes University and UW-Platteville. He is a contributing author to Fundamentals of Environmental Engineering and Introduction to Environmental Engineering, both published by Wiley. Primary teaching interests include introduction to environmental engineering, drinking water and wastewater treatment, and watershed management. His primary research interest is involving undergraduates in investigating the fate and transport of contaminants.

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Max Anderson University of Wisconsin-Platteville

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MAX ANDERSON is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Dr. Anderson earned his B.S. and M.A.T. in Geology at Michigan State University in 1969 and 1971 and his M.S and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1975 and 1980 respectively. His teaching responsibilities are in the environmental engineering area. He has conducted research on solid waste, surface water quality, teaching methodology, and curriculum development. He serves as a consultant on potable water system design, stormwater management, and on-site wastewater treatment.

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

An Innovative Infrastructure Curriculum for 21st Century Civil Engineering

Abstract A new curriculum has been developed by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engi- neering at The University of Wisconsin—Platteville (UWP). The revised curriculum creates a focus on infrastructure topics and the built environment. Classes on infrastructure will be added to the curriculum and infrastructure topics will be added to required engineering courses. Students will develop a local infrastructure report card as a service learning activity to increase awareness of the infrastructure. The local infrastructure report card will also serve as an ABET assessment tool. Details on how an infrastructure theme will be infused through- out the curriculum are presented.

Introduction The importance of the infrastructure to the economic development of the country is well un- derstood by engineers and many political leaders in the U.S. As highlighted by the 2005 American Society for Civil Engineers (ASCE) Infrastructure Report Card1, the United States’ infrastructure is in very poor condition, and was given an overall grade of D. Because of these infrastructure needs, civil engineers of the future will need to be skilled at maintaining and upgrading in-place infrastructure in addition to the current emphasis on creating new in- frastructure. Unfortunately, the influence of civil engineers in infrastructure management and planning has been waning in recent years.2

To better prepare our students to participate in the planning and management of public works, we (the faculty of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at UWP) are revamp- ing our curriculum with the goal of educating “citizen engineers.”3 Citizen engineers will be more in tune with the needs of their communities and of the nation, and will be able to effec- tively address the technical and non-technical issues related to the infrastructure. To meet this end, we are infusing an infrastructure theme throughout the curriculum. The revised curricu- lum will include at least one new course (i.e. “Introduction to Infrastructure I”), which will specifically address infrastructure needs and the non-technical issues (such as financing, po- litical process, etc.) that are often crucial to successful engineering projects. However, unlike many implementations of curriculum reform4, our proposed changes will go well beyond the creation of a class or classes. Infrastructure concepts will be interwoven throughout the re- mainder of the curriculum to provide students with a better understanding of the challenges to be faced in improving, securing, and maintaining the national infrastructure.

In addition to learning about infrastructure in classes, students will evaluate infrastructure components in local communities using direct observation, producing a “local” infrastructure report card. This service learning activity will provide students with a direct connection to a local community and its needs. Our ultimate goal is to produce citizen engineers that have a better understanding of infrastructure, better familiarity with new technologies5 that are in- creasingly used in infrastructure management, and a more holistic understanding of the built environment as compared to the engineers currently graduating from our program.

Roberts, M., & Curras, C., & Parker, P., & Penn, M., & Anderson, M. (2007, June), An Innovative Infrastructure Curriculum For 21 St Century Civil Engineering Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2087

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2007 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015