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Construction Engineering: An Integrative Branch Of Engineering

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Trends in Construction Engineering II

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.347.1 - 10.347.5



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Paper Authors

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James Goedert

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E. Terence Foster

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

Construction Engineering: an Integrative Branch of Engineering E. Terence Foster, Ph.D., P.E., C.P.C., James D. Goedert, Ph.D., P.E. University of Nebraska, Department of Construction Systems


Construction engineering is a separate and distinct branch of engineering recognized by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (EAC-ABET). The specific case of the developing construction engineering program at the University of Nebraska provides examples supporting the general conclusions of this discussion.

Construction engineering is an integrative branch of engineering that draws upon the basic branches, such as civil, mechanical, and electrical. The relationship construction engineering has to civil engineering is similar to that of industrial engineering to mechanical engineering. In construction engineering, the structural and geotechnical portions of civil engineering integrate with portions of mechanical and electrical engineering that relate to the built environment. Additionally, construction engineering integrates into its curriculum the skills of estimating and scheduling from industrial engineering along with accounting, organizational behavior, psychology, business methods, and business law from disciplines external to engineering. Thus it is shown that construction engineering is one of the 14 integrated programs accredited by EAC-ABET and not one of the 10 specialty programs, such as forestry engineering, recognized by EAC-ABET.

This discussion presents the activities of the University of Nebraska’s work in joining the world’s eight construction engineering programs accredited by EAC-ABET. The Nebraska construction engineering program is designed to offer undergraduate and graduate degrees including the doctorate. Evidence of employer and society needs is balanced against student demand for construction engineering to show that existing programs are producing graduates capable of obtaining a P.E. license in any U.S. or international jurisdiction. These types of graduates are sought by constructors, designers, regulators, and owners involved with the increasingly complex built environment where construction encompasses about 11 percent of the global GDP.

Overview and Background of Construction Engineering

The earliest EAC-ABET accredited bachelors degree program in construction engineering (ConE) was North Carolina State, which received its accreditation in 1958. Since that time, seven other ConE programs have appeared 1. The eight exiting programs are listed as follows, with approximate enrollments and graduates in 2003-2004 2:

- Iowa State University, 325 students, 65 graduates

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Goedert, J., & Foster, E. T. (2005, June), Construction Engineering: An Integrative Branch Of Engineering Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14381

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