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Assessing and Inspiring Lifelong Learning in an Undergraduate Environmental Engineering Seminar

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

MVCC Technical Session

Tagged Division

Military and Veterans Constituent Committee

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Paper Authors


Richard Francis Rogers III United States Military Academy

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MAJ Rogers is a Logistics officer with operational experience in movement control units. He is a member of the faculty of the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering at the United States Military Academy, West Point. His most recent experience includes sustainment training in support of US Forces – Korea. His research interests include water quality and public health. MAJ Rogers teaches EV400 (Environmental Engineering Seminar), EV401 (Physical and Chemical Treatment Processes), and EV450 (Environmental Engineering for Community Development).

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Michael A. Butkus P.E. U.S. Military Academy

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Michael A. Butkus is a professor of environmental engineering at the U.S. Military Academy. His work has been focused on engineering education and advancements in the field of environmental engineering. His current research interests are in physicochemical treatment processes with recent applications in drinking water disinfection, lead remediation, sustainable environmental engineering systems, and contaminant transport. Butkus is a Board Certified Environmental Engineer and he is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Connecticut.

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Russell Barrett Thomas Sr United States Army

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MAJ Thomas is an Infantry officer with operational Army experience to include multiple combat deployments and training exercises from the platoon to brigade level. MAJ Thomas served as an instructor for Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering at the United States Military Academy at West Point from 2013 to 2015 and taught Environmental Engineering Technologies (EV350), Environmental Engineering for Community Development (EV450), and was Course Director and Instructor of Introduction to Environmental Engineering (EV385) and Environmental Engineering Seminar (EV400). MAJ Thomas is a registered professional engineer in the state of Delaware.

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Jeffrey A. Starke U.S. Military Academy

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LTC Jeff Starke is a Military Intelligence officer with command and staff experiences at the battalion, brigade, and joint task force levels. His most recent experiences include operational intelligence assignments in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan. Academically, LTC Starke specializes in environmental engineering with research and teaching interests in drinking water, public health, and microbial-mediated renewable energy resources. LTC Starke teaches senior-level design courses in Physical and Chemical Processes, Biological Treatment Processes, Solid and Hazardous Waste Technologies, and Environmental Engineering Seminar. LTC Starke has published over 10 peer reviewed research articles and has presented his research at national and international meetings (most recently Portugal). Most recently, he led a service learning project with 5 students to build a latrine-based biogas system in western Uganda for an elementary school of 1400 students. LTC Starke is a registered Professional Engineer (Delaware), member of several professional associations, and is a member of the National Council of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors (NCEES).

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As educators, we hope to inspire students to be curious and instill in them a desire to continue learning beyond the classroom walls. Lifelong learning is a required academic and developmental goal of many universities and for all ABET engineering programs (ABET Student Outcome i: a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning). The attributes of a lifelong learner to meet academic and ABET outcomes are the same ones that we espouse in the development of active duty Army Officers. However, of all of the outcomes of an academic curriculum, lifelong learning is one of the most difficult to assess and a metric for doing so is in high demand. The lifelong learning model in an Environmental Engineering Seminar will be presented. Although meaningful assessment of lifelong learning is not borne out until students have graduated, the faculty and instructors at our university have developed a technique to both assess and inspire components of lifelong learning that will serve as the foundation for future personal and professional growth.

Rogers, R. F., & Butkus, M. A., & Thomas, R. B., & Starke, J. A. (2016, June), Assessing and Inspiring Lifelong Learning in an Undergraduate Environmental Engineering Seminar Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26292

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