Asee peer logo

Developing and Assessing Student’s Principled Leadership Skills to Achieve the Vision for Civil Engineers in 2025

Download Paper |


2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Activities and Assessment for “Awkward ABET Outcomes”

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.393.1 - 23.393.17



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


William J. Davis P.E. The Citadel Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Dr. William J. Davis is a professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at The Citadel in Charleston, SC. He received his Ph.D. in civil engineering from Georgia Tech and is a registered professional engineer. His research interests focus on transportation infrastructure planning and design, highway safety, and active living by design. Courses he teaches include transportation engineering, highway design, concrete and asphalt design, and professional sustainability. He has served on numerous technical committees for ASCE, TRB, ITE and ASEE.

visit author page


Kevin C Bower P.E. The Citadel

visit author page

Dr. Kevin Bower is an associate professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at The Citadel, in Charleston, South Carolina. He recently received the ASEE Environmental Engineering Meritorious Service Award and he was the 2011 Harry C. Saxe teaching award recipient awarded for outstanding undergraduate engineering teaching at The Citadel. Dr. Bower’s teaching research interests are in improving active learning environments, recruiting and retaining underrepresented populations to civil engineering, and the development of classroom pedagogy to improve moral and ethical development in engineering students.

visit author page


Ronald W. Welch The Citadel

visit author page

Dr. Ron Welch, P.E., received his B.S. in Engineering Mechanics from the United States Military Academy in 1982. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana in 1990 and 1999, respectively. He became the dean of Engineering at The Citadel in July 2011. Prior to his current position, he was the department head of Civil Engineering at The University of Texas at Tyler from Jan. 2007 to June 2011. Dr. Welch served in the Corps of Engineers for over 24 years, eleven of which he spent as faculty at the United States Military Academy.

visit author page


Douglas H. Fehrmann The Krause Center for Leadership and Ethics, The Citadel

visit author page

Colonel Douglas H. Fehrmann, USAF (Retired), is a visiting professor for Leadership and Ethics and the deputy director of the Krause Center for Leadership and Ethics at The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina. Col. Fehrmann graduated from the Citadel in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a commission in the U.S. Air Force. He is a command pilot with over 4,600 flying hours in five different aircraft. Col. Fehrmann led operational flying units at squadron and group levels and served as the vice commander of an Air Expeditionary Wing supporting operations throughout Southwest Asia. He is an AFROTC distinguished graduate and a graduate of The Naval War College and The Air War College. His staff experience includes tours on The Air Staff and The Operations Directorate of The United States Transportation Command.
Colonel Fehrmann returned to his alma mater in 2007 as a professor of Aerospace Studies and commander, Air Force ROTC Detachment 765, where he served until retirement from active duty after nearly 28 years of service. He assumed his current duties at The Citadel on August 1, 2011.
Col. Fehrmann earned his bachelor of science degree in business administration from The Citadel in Charleston, S.C. in 1983.
In 1990, he graduated from the Squadron Officers School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. He earned his master of arts degree in Aeronautical Science/Management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University at Daytona Beach, Fla. in 1994. In 1997 he received his master of arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from Naval War College in Newport, R.I. He attended Air War College by correspondence in 2002 and in 2005 he earned a master of arts degree in Strategic Studies from the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
Col. Fehrmann has taken numerous air force assignments. In October 1983 he started specialized undergraduate navigator training at Mather Air Force Base, Calif. Then in November 1984 Col. Fehrmann became a KC-135 evaluator/instructor navigator with the 22nd Air Refueling Squadron at March Air Force Base, Calif. From August 1988 to September 1989, he underwent specialized undergraduate pilot training at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas and from September 1989 to July 1994, Col. Fehrmann was a KC-10 evaluator/instructor pilot, flight commander, and combat crew training Instructor pilot, 32nd Air Refueling Squadron, 458 Operations Group, Barksdale Air Force Base, La. From July 1994 to July 1996, he was deputy chief of the Mobility Forces Programming Branch and Mobility Force programmer with HQ USAF/XOFM at the Pentagon near Washington, D.C. From July 1996 to June 1997 he was a student at Naval Command and Staff College at Newport, R.I. and from June 1997 to May 1999, chief of the KC-10 Combat Crew Training School's 305th Operations Group. Col. Fehrmann was also assistant director of Operations for the 2nd Air Refueling Squadron at McGuire Air Force Base, N.J.
He began as operations officer with the 458th Airlift Squadron, Scott Air Force Base, Ill. in May 1999 and then in July 2000 he became commander. In August 2002 he became chief of the Air Operations Branch with the U.S. Transportation Command there. Col. Fehrmann spent a year starting in June 2003 working as a J3 executive officer with the U.S. Transportation Command there. In June 2004 he started as a student at the Air War College in Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. and ended in June 2005. From July 2005 to May 2006, Col. Fehrmann became deputy commander of the 22nd Operations Group at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan. He spent a year beginning in June 2006 as vice commander of the 380 Air Expeditionary Wing at Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates.
Then from August 2007 to May 2011, Col. Fehrmann worked as professor of Aerospace Studies and Commander with the Air Force ROTC Detachment 765 at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina.
Col. Fehrmann has a Command Pilot rating and has more than 4,600 flight hours. He has flown the KC-10, KC-135A/R, C-21, T-37, T-38.
He is the recipient of many awards and decorations: the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Air Medal, Aerial Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Air Force Commendation Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with “V” device and four oak leaf clusters, Air Force Organizational Excellence Award with one oak leaf cluster, Combat Readiness Medal with one oak leaf cluster, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the Kuwait Liberation Medal from the Government of Kuwait.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Developing and Assessing Student’s Principled Leadership Skills to Achieve the Vision for Civil Engineers in 2025Achieving the Vision for Civil Engineers in 2025 outlines five major areas where civilengineers will lead society in establishing a sustainable world and raise the global qualityof life. Civil engineers are envisioned to be master builders, stewards of theenvironment, innovators, managers of risk, and leaders of public policy. The ASCEBody of Knowledge II provides a significant foundation for how engineering programscould prepare future civil engineering students to meet these aspirations. However, inmany instances, professional outcomes identified in BOK II suggest target levels ofcognitive development that are possibly lower than needed to adequately preparestudents. In addition, preparing students to rise as professionals to the call of the Vision2025 requires a synthesizing of these professional outcomes across overarching conceptssuch as principled leadership so students are ready to serve as stewards of theenvironment, managers of risk and leaders of public policy, as well as innovators andmaster builders. Colleges and universities, however, are facing a challenge teaching andassessing not only the core curriculum needed for technical competence, but alsoadjusting the curriculum to include the critical elements of the BOK II professionaloutcomes to continue to move toward the vision for civil engineering in 2025. Oftencollege and universities are also facing the varied expectations of multiple accreditingagencies and arduous university politics surrounding accreditation. In an effort toaddress these challenges and streamline the process, a holistic process has been adoptedfor investigating and analyzing the linkage of both individual course goals and a student’sextracurricular activities focused on principled leadership.Sequential course outcome maps, or “threads”, aligning elements of the curriculum alongprofessional program outcomes have been established with the intention of linking coursegoals and supportive extracurricular activities with a strategy for improving studentdevelopment. An essential component of establishing this plan was the adoption ofembedded indicators that were organized along program outcomes and mapped across allfour years of the undergraduate experience. As a part of the department’s assessmentprocess, 28 course-specific embedded indicators are aligned with the program outcomesclosely oriented toward leadership (10 out of 22). Each embedded indicator is mapped toappropriate Bloom’s Taxonomy levels and organized sequentially to provide aprogression of student development under these important civil engineering programoutcomes for professional practice and leadership. Additionally, numerous extracurricularactivities support student development in leadership including participation inprofessional societies, student competitions, service to the profession, communityservice, and service learning.This paper presents and discusses the process used to develop outcomes-based threads,specific elements of the principled leadership thread, methods used to documentextracurricular leadership activities for all civil engineering students, and anticipatedchanges initiated as a result of principled leadership thread analysis, which will help theinstitution create an evidence-based means to raise student cognitive performance levelsaligned with professional development outcomes.

Davis, W. J., & Bower, K. C., & Welch, R. W., & Fehrmann, D. H. (2013, June), Developing and Assessing Student’s Principled Leadership Skills to Achieve the Vision for Civil Engineers in 2025 Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19407

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2013 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015