June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies
12.524.1 - 12.524.13
Development of an Innovative Structural Testing Laboratory to Enhance Experiential Learning Abstract
At the advent of the third millennium, more demand has been placed on the civil engineering profession to tackle the complex activities of renovating aging infrastructures. The structural design of such facilities has to be multidisciplinary and robust so that integration with advanced technological developments can occur. To prepare the next generation of engineers so that they can meet these challenges, the School of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of the Pacific has committed to build an innovative structural testing lab to support the civil and mechanical engineering programs.
This paper addresses the development of a new lab that is to be used collaboratively by students, faculty, and industry. This lab is planned to support experiential learning and traditional classroom pedagogy including lab instruction. Currently, the civil engineering curriculum covers four areas: construction, environmental, hydraulics, and structures. Three of which are supported by hands-on labs except for the structural engineering area. The new lab will support structural engineering and integrate teaching and research in structural and construction engineering.
This paper also summarizes the lessons learned and the innovative aspects of the planning and design phases of this laboratory. This lab facility will be providing valuable information about the economics and technical challenges to support its mixed use of teaching and research. Students will benefit from this facility by having education in an applied structural and materials testing environment.
The lab features a unique layout and spacing arrangement of anchors to fully take advantage of the limited floor area. We are currently in the process of procuring the structural testing equipment, which will include innovative systems to integrate teaching and research. Upon its completion, this lab will become a benchmark for integration of teaching and research in the United States.
The lab is also needed to support two tiers of courses; one tier includes the engineering science courses statics and strength of materials; and the other tier includes engineering analysis and design courses, such as structural analysis, steel and concrete design, earthquake engineering, materials for construction, heavy construction, and the capstone/synthesis course. This lab will boost instruction in structural engineering, construction, materials science, and mechanical engineering; and will cultivate research and collaboration with industry partners for technology transfer and to bring solutions from lab to practice. Undergraduate and graduate students and researchers will be able to invent, plan, assemble, build, test, study, analyze, learn, and discover innovative solutions to some of the most pressing problems facing our aging infrastructure. This will significantly enhance integration of the pedagogy and scholarship in the civil and mechanical engineering programs.
Key words: Anchors, strong floor, pedagogy, construction engineering, structural engineering, technology transfer, and integration.
Shami, M., & Pejack, E., & Jain, R. (2007, June), Development Of An Innovative Structural Testing Laboratory To Enhance Experiential Learning Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2745
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