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Assessing Sustainability in Design in an Infrastructure Course through Project-Based Learning

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Integrating Sustainability and Social Responsibility into the Curriculum

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

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Paper Authors


Jeremiah Matthew Stache P.E. U.S. Military Academy

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Captain Jeremiah Stache is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, NY. He received his B.S. from the U.S. Military Academy, West Point; M.S. from both the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla; and is currently a Ph.D. student at Mississippi State University, Starkville. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the states of Tennessee and New York. His research interests include finite element modeling of landing mat systems, plasticity in geomaterials, and engineering education.

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Joseph P Hanus P.E. U.S. Military Academy

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Colonel Joseph Hanus is the Civil Engineering Program Director at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, NY. He received his B.S. from the University of Wisconsin, Platteville; M.S. from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities; and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is an active member of ASEE and is a registered Professional Engineer in Wisconsin. His research interests include fiber reinforced polymer materials, accelerated bridge construction, and engineering education.

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Jennifer Gonser U.S. Military Academy

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The United States Military Academy (USMA) seeks to educate and inspire their civil engineering students through a rigorous and realistic academic program. One of the introductory courses in the civil engineering program is a broad-based infrastructure engineering course that incorporates multiple engineering disciplines. The course exposes students to foundational concepts like landfill operations, conventional water treatment methods, electrical transmission and distribution, and traffic flow theory, while being adaptable enough to field more contemporary issues as well. A recent contemporary issue addressed in the course is sustainability in design, one of the newest curriculum criteria established by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) for civil engineering programs. The purpose of this paper is to propose a way of integrating and assessing the new ABET civil engineering program curriculum criteria of sustainability in design, specifically through the assessment of a project-based learning experience in an infrastructure engineering course. The project consists of an investigation and assessment of a proposed site with existing infrastructure as a potential base of operations in the aftermath of a catastrophic event. This paper outlines the scope of the culminating project, which includes a summary of the students’ findings via an executive summary, briefing, and oral exam. A threefold assessment is presented with respect to the course objectives, department mission to educate and inspire, and the civil engineering program student outcomes.

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