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Creativity and Innovation as Part of the Civil Engineering BOK

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Civil Engineering Division Technical Session 3

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.421.1 - 26.421.28



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Paper Authors


Stuart G. Walesh P.E. S. G. Walesh Consulting

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Stuart G. Walesh, Ph.D., P.E., Dist.M.ASCE, D.WRE, and F.NSPE (, is an author; teacher; and an independent consultant providing leadership, management, and engineering services. Prior to beginning his consultancy, he worked in the public, private, and academic sectors serving as a project engineer and manager, department head, discipline manager, marketer, legal expert, professor, and dean of an engineering college. Walesh’s technical specialty is water resources engineering.

He authored or co-authored six books and many engineering and education publications and presentations. His most recent book is Engineering Your Future: The Professional Practice of Engineering and his book Creativity and Innovation for Engineers will be published in early 2016.

Walesh facilitated and/or made presentations at several hundred workshops, seminars, classes, webinars, and meetings throughout the U.S. and internationally. For over a decade he has been active in the effort to reform the education and early experience of engineers.

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference; Seattle, Washington, June 14-17, 2015 Creativity and Innovation as part of the Civil Engineering BOKThis paper contends that the imminent review of the Civil Engineering Body ofKnowledge should include consideration of adding explicit treatment of creativity andinnovation knowledge, skills, and attitudes. Some reasons offered for this change aremaintaining U.S. global leadership, enhancing national security, stimulatingorganizational vitality, enjoying the satisfaction of doing what has not been done, andpracticing effective stewardship with the superior abilities of engineering students toenable them to achieve even more professional success and significance.The challenging “how” aspect of incorporating creativity and innovation into the BOK hasthree dimensions. The first is how might creativity-innovation be included in the BOKand, more specifically, the BOK Outcome Rubric and the Explanation of outcomes.Examples of options explored are a new outcome, embedding creativity-innovation insome outcomes, and an across-the-curriculum themeThe second dimension of “how” is how would creativity-innovation be taught? Asexplained in the paper, students could be introduced to neuroscience basics so that theyunderstand important processes of the human brain that enable creative-innovativethinking. These brain basics could then be applied by learning about and selectivelyapplying tools that facilitate creative and innovative thought, for individuals and teams,by engaging both cranial hemispheres.The third dimension of “how” is how can creativity-innovation be added to an already fullcivil engineering formal education and pre-licensure experience? Examples of the manyideas offered are on-campus competition, sharing creativity-innovation stories,interaction with artists, studying the development of commonly-used products andservices, and conducting controlled experiments.This paper will focus on these three “how” dimensions of creativity-innovation with thepossible goal of influencing the next edition of the CE BOK.COORDINATING NOTE:This abstract is submitted at the specific invitation and request of Tom Lenox, thecoordinator of the ASCE Liaison Committee’s program for the CE Division ofASEE in 2015. It should be considered for inclusion in the session that TomLenox is organizing and moderating.

Walesh, S. G. (2015, June), Creativity and Innovation as Part of the Civil Engineering BOK Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23760

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