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Board 99 : Collaboratively Developing an Introductory Infrastructure Systems Curriculum: The One Water Module

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Environmental Engineering Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Environmental Engineering

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Philip J. Parker P.E. University of Wisconsin, Platteville

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Philip Parker, Ph.D., P.E., is Program Coordinator for the Environmental Engineering program at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. He is co-author of the textbook "Introduction to Infrastructure" published in 2012 by Wiley. He has helped lead the recent efforts by the UW-Platteville Civil and Environmental Engineering department to revitalize their curriculum by adding a sophomore-level infrastructure course and integrating infrastructure content into upper level courses.

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Michael R. Penn P.E. University of Wisconsin, Platteville

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Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Lead author of the textbook, Introduction to Infrastructure: An Introduction to Civil and Environmental Engineering.

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Defne S. Apul University of Toledo

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Margaret E. Garcia Arizona State University

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Jagadish Torlapati

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The 21st century water challenges posed by decaying infrastructure, climate-change, and urbanization cannot be solved by technology and engineering alone. In this context, successful engineering decisions are informed by an understanding of environmental, social, and political impacts and constraints. The future engineers tasked with tackling these 21st century challenges are ill-served by a 20th (or even 19th) century education that presents technical systems in isolation and does not address the design and operation of infrastructure as a system. Our future engineers are better served by an education that emphasizes the important interplay between technical, economic, environmental, political, and social aspects, as they enter careers that depend on functioning and sustainability of infrastructure systems. To address this gap in infrastructure education, The Center for Infrastructure Transformation and Education (CIT-E) was formed. CIT-E is a community of practice comprised of faculty members from around the US who share a passion for infrastructure education. CIT-E intends to transform the way that civil and environmental engineering topics are taught. One major initiative for this community of practice is to create a “model” introductory infrastructure course to be delivered to first- and second-year civil and environmental engineering students. The intent of the model introductory course is to provide instructors with the tools needed to help change the way students view and approach infrastructure topics. The CIT-E model course contains complete lesson materials for an entire semester course. The course introduces first or second year civil and environmental engineering students to infrastructure and helps students see infrastructure as the system that it truly is. Consequently, it provides students with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to effectively design, build, manage, and maintain our public works by considering social, economic, environmental, and political impacts in addition to the technical considerations. The course developers (that is, the members of the CIT-E community of practice) recognize that many first or second year students have very little knowledge of infrastructure and have designed the course with this in mind. Complex mathematics is not needed in the course as the focus is to provide students with a holistic view of infrastructure. In addition, real-world examples are integrated into the lessons that emphasize the concepts of interconnectivity of different systems. The course learning outcomes were developed collaboratively by members of the CIT-E community of practice in 2015. A course outline, specifying 43 lessons that will support the outcomes, was also developed collaboratively by the community of practice. Each lesson contains all the materials necessary to deliver the lesson: background readings for the instructor; pre-class materials for the student, including original screen casts; complete set of instructor notes including supporting PowerPoints and detailed active learning exercises; homework assignments, and solutions. The active-learning strategies used in the lessons encourages teamwork, which is essential in practice. Of special note is the One Water module. The intent of this module is to introduce students to the “One Water” concept, wherein groundwater, surface water, stormwater, and wastewater are collectively considered to be water resources. The eight lessons that comprise this module & their primary learning objective are shown in the Table below: Table 1: Lessons included in “One Water” module and their primary learning objective Topic Learning Objective 1. Introduction to One Water Explain how stormwater and wastewater will increasingly be viewed as a water resource, especially in view of the size of North American water footprint. 2. Drinking water supply & treatment Describe the infrastructure that supports water supply and treatment 3. Wastewater sources & treatment Describe the infrastructure that supports wastewater collection and treatment 4. Stormwater infrastructure and basic calculations Describe the stormwater conveyance system and apply the Rational Method 5. Green Infrastructure Explain the need for “green infrastructure,” and use the National Stormwater Calculator to real sites. 6. Water Security List the threats to drinking water supply, treatment and distribution systemsa 7. Water re-use & conservation Describe the need for and barriers to water re-use 8. Global water topics Explain the water/food nexus and describe how water will drive future global conflict

Once this base course is completed, the potential exists to translate it for use by other audiences, including junior faculty, non-engineering students, elected officials, and k-12 students. The objectives of the paper are to: • Describe the CIT-E model course • Explain the rationale for developing such a course, and relate it to challenges facing water and urbanization in the 21st century • Describe the collaborative development process to creating the One Water modaule • Inspire readers to access and adopt lessons in the One Water module This work is supported by the National Science Foundation under grant 1323279, “Collaborative Research: Training Next Generation Faculty and Students to Address the Infrastructure Crisis.”

Parker, P. J., & Penn, M. R., & Apul, D. S., & Garcia, M. E., & Torlapati, J. (2018, June), Board 99 : Collaboratively Developing an Introductory Infrastructure Systems Curriculum: The One Water Module Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30151

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