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Case Study Of A Water Distribution System

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.116.1 - 4.116.10

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Paper Authors

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Chris Cox

author page

R. Bruce Robinson

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

Session 3551


Dr. R. Bruce Robinson, Dr. Chris D. Cox The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

A Paper for the 1999 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition

I. Introduction

The objective of this paper is to describe a realistic design case study which is used in a course required for Civil Engineering students at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The class is a senior-level design-oriented class on water distribution and wastewater collection systems. The case study focuses on a hydraulically independent area of the Knoxville Utilities Board’s water distribution system. The students analyze the hydraulics of the system including diurnal flow variations, fire flows, pumps and storage tanks in order to identify deficiencies and weaknesses of the system. They then propose and evaluate system improvements and submit an engineering report. The paper will discuss the case study’s organization, show the tools and data that the students use, and give examples of their results.

II. Rationale for case study

The primary motivation for the development of this case study was to bring students face-to- face with a real problem in engineering analysis, in this instance, design of a water distribution system. Students chose engineering partly because they enjoy solving problems and designing solutions. Understandably, they generally want to work on real design problems in their degree programs. Based on student feedback, engineering students respond more positively to courses that involve real systems and problems, and consequently, probably learn better. Using realistic case studies is a logical response to these learning issues. In fact, most MBA programs recognize the value of case studies and use them extensively.

Our case study design also helps our Civil Engineering degree program meet several ABET 2000 goals and criteria. This design project case study helps us achieve these ABET 2000 outcomes:

1) an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering 2) an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs 3) an ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams 4) an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems 5) an ability to communicate effectively 6) an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice

Cox, C., & Robinson, R. B. (1999, June), Case Study Of A Water Distribution System Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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