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Civil And Infrastructure Engineering For Sustainability

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.306.1 - 9.306.10



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

Session Number: 1608

Civil and Infrastructure Engineering for Sustainability

Assoc. Prof. Roger Hadgraft, Prof. Mike Xie, Mr Nomer Angeles

School of Civil and Chemical Engineering, RMIT University Melbourne, Australia


In 2002, the School of Civil and Chemical Engineering at RMIT University began a project to renew its Civil Engineering program, ready for the new 2004 academic year. This program had high acceptance in the marketplace (high graduate employability) but average student satisfaction scores (as measured by the national CEQ data).

As part of this renewal process, it was decided to shift the focus from traditional civil engineering to “infrastructure engineering”, the intention being to prepare students for the whole life cycle of an infrastructure facility, rather than just the detailed design phase.

The renewal process itself was sponsored by the university as part of its Teaching and Learning Strategy [1] – basing all new programs on graduate capabilities. This matches the approach taken by ABET [2], ASCE [3], as well as Engineers Australia (formally IEAust) [4]. Details of the approach were reported at the ASEE 2003 annual conference [5].

The Capability Approach

Curriculum renewal has been based on capability theory [6] and socio-ecological systems theory [7] as described by Hadgraft & Muir [8].

A series of industry meetings was held with a range of engineering employers and graduates to seek their input into the new program. The key questions asked at this forum were: 1. What are the emerging trends in the environment that are impacting your organization? 2. What attributes will your organization require if it is to survive and thrive in this environment? 3. How are you, and your organisation, dealing/coping with the pressures to survive and thrive? 4. What capabilities will employees, specifically, graduate engineers, require if they are to effectively contribute to their work organisations and communities into the 21st Century? 5. What can or should be done to ensure that these young engineers are better prepared to meet the demands in their lives as professionals and citizens?

The details of the stakeholder feedback are provided in the Appendix.

In parallel with the civil engineering meetings, similar meetings were held with stakeholders for the Chemical Engineering, Environmental Engineering and Geological Engineering

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering

Hadgraft, R., & Xie, M. (2004, June), Civil And Infrastructure Engineering For Sustainability Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13111

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