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Developing A Workable Senior Capstone Project

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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

10.431.1 - 10.431.6



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Paper Authors

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Philip Dunn

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

Developing a Workable Senior Construction Management Capstone Project

Philip A. Dunn, Jr. PE

Assistant Professor of Construction Management Technology, School of Engineering Technology, University of Maine at Orono


A senior capstone course should challenge students to use the skills that they have developed in their college experience. Because construction management curricula is so diversified, senior capstone projects have to be practical exercises that incorporate both business principles and professional construction management practice. In the spring 2004 semester at the University of Maine, a construction management capstone class was developed that utilized major components needed in modern construction practice. Student teams were assigned to develop capstone projects based on actual plans and specifications that were either actively being bid or constructed in the public sector. Plans represented various project types and included a municipal wastewater treatment plant, an interstate bridge, and a highway embankment

Students formed groups who took the identity of various active contractors. The capstone consisted of these individual teams choosing a set of plans and specifications from the varied set of available plans and preparing for four project phases: a business plan, project bid, construction schedule, and after construction litigation. Because of the size of these projects and the time limitations of the semester, selected areas of the plans were bid and scheduled. Bidding required each team to create a bid book that documented all assumptions and presented the costs as per required in the contract. The bid was awarded and the teams then prepared a resource loaded construction schedule. Scenarios were created for litigation and the teams outlined how they would defend against the litigation. Guest speakers came to class sessions to discuss business plans, business research, construction project management, and QC/QA control. Students were graded as teams and were judged on the separate four phases.


The Construction Management Technology (CMT) Program at the University of Maine offers students a combination of Civil Engineering and Business Management courses that ultimately lead to a BS degree in Construction Management Technology with a minor in Business Administration. Upon graduation, CMT students are prepared to take active roles in managing and supervising construction projects. The CMT program at UMaine is ABET accredited and is actively mentored by an industrial advisory committee formed by leaders in the greater construction community. Throughout their four years in the program, CMT students are exposed to a variety of courses, summer job experiences, and professional interaction with the construction industry. To bring all of these diverse experiences together, the UMaine CMT program requires all graduating seniors to participate in a senior capstone course that highlights

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

Dunn, P. (2005, June), Developing A Workable Senior Capstone Project Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14410

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