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Board # 33 : Positioning Students to Understand Urban Sustainability Strategies through Vertical Integration: Years One through Four

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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

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

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Paper Authors


Mohamed Elzomor P.E. Arizona State University

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Mohamed ElZomor has earned a B.Sc and M.Eng in Construction from the American University in Cairo, in addition to M.Sc. in Architecture with an emphasis on Design and Energy Conservation from University of Arizona. He is currently a Construction Management Ph.D. Candidate in the School of Sustainability and the Built Environment at Arizona State University. Before embarking on his academic career, he gained valuable local and international construction experience while working in the construction industry for different capacities, both in the office and the field. Mr. ElZomor worked as a Project Manager for several years and delivered complex projects, one of which was an iconic $150 million office park.

Not only is Mohamed a specialist in the construction field, but also with extensive research within the advanced educational pedagogies, energy, and environmental disciplines. Mr. ElZomor developed an index to define small infrastructure projects’ scope and associated risk. The overall goal of ElZomor’s work is to leverage the integration of energy efficiency measures into construction, building design and operation processes for societal good.

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Kristen Parrish Arizona State University

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Kristen Parrish is an Assistant Professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment at Arizona State University (ASU). Kristen’s work focuses on integrating energy efficiency measures into building design, construction, and operations processes. Specifically, she is interested in novel design processes that financially and technically facilitate energy-efficient buildings. Her work also explores how principles of lean manufacturing facilitate energy-efficiency in the commercial building industry. Another research interest of Kristen’s is engineering education, where she explores how project- and experience-based learning foster better understanding of engineering and management principles. Prior to joining ASU, Kristen was at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) as a Postdoctoral Fellow (2009-11) and then a Scientific Engineering Associate (2011-2012) in the Building Technologies and Urban Systems Department. She worked in the Commercial Buildings group, developing energy efficiency programs and researching technical and non-technical barriers to energy efficiency in the buildings industry. She has a background in collaborative design and integrated project delivery. She holds a BS and MS in Civil Engineering from the University of Michigan and a PhD in Civil Engineering Systems from University of California Berkeley.

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Commonly-adopted engineering pedagogy tends to be lecture-based, and places students in a passive and predominantly secondary role. Research in the field of engineering education also highlights the ineffectiveness of such strategies and advocates that faculty instead adopt education strategies that actively engage learners. Various pedagogical techniques promote student engagement, two of these are problem-based learning (PBL) and vertical integration. PBL methods propose real world critical thinking problems to students, which exposes engineering students to more realistic concepts. Vertical integration connects two groups at different educational levels to encourage knowledge transfer between the two groups while supporting engagement in both groups. Student engagement is critical to student retention within a program, and to the overall success of the program; similarly, vertical integration shows promise for engaging lower-level students and improving retention in that group. This paper describes a vertically integrated problem-based learning (PBL) framework that has been developed and implemented at Arizona State University between a lower-division construction management course, Construction Materials, Methods and Equipment (CON252) and an upper-division civil engineering course, Urban Infrastructure Anatomy and Sustainable Development (CEE 486/598). We present results and analysis from the first four years of this program, highlighting the changes in approach and evaluation of the vertically-integrated PBL framework. This research summarizes the progress and accomplishments during years one through four of this research project. We review the development of course project assignments, course lectures, and evaluation instruments that promote and facilitate vertical integration and experiential learning. We present the vertical integration framework we developed throughout the course of this research, along with recommendations for transferring this framework to other institutions and courses.

Elzomor, M., & Parrish, K. (2017, June), Board # 33 : Positioning Students to Understand Urban Sustainability Strategies through Vertical Integration: Years One through Four Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27832

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