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Development Of Hands On Experimentation Experience For Civil Engineering Design Courses At San Francisco State University

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.476.1 - 11.476.9



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Paper Authors


Wenshen Pong

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Wenshen Pong received his Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo. In addition to his Ph.D. in structural engineering, he also earned a Mastes degree in construction management.
Wenshen Pong joined the School of Engineering and Computer Science, San Francisco State University in 1998. He teaches courses in Civil/Structural engineering. He is currently the graduate coordinator for the Master of Science in Engineering.
Wenshen Pong is a registered Professional Engineer in California. He is a member of American Society of Civil Engineers and the Structural Engineers Association of California. He has published over thirty technical papers in the area of structural control and earthquake engineering.

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Tim Le San Francisco State University

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Mr. Tim Le earned his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from University of Minnesota. He was admitted in the Fall 0f 2005 to the Master of Science in Engineering Program at San Francisco State University. In the Fall 2005, the School of Engineering hired Mr. Le as Graduate Teaching Associate. In that position, he is a Surveying Lab Instructor. He currently works at Caltran as an intern.

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

Development of Hands-on Experimentation Experience For Civil Engineering Design Courses At San Francisco State University


This project will describe the revision of structural design courses, such as Reinforced Concrete Structures and Steel Structures, at San Francisco State University’s School of Engineering, a major undergraduate degree granting institution. Development of hands-on experience for design courses originated with and was supported by funding from the National Science Foundation to set up an integrated undergraduate structural engineering laboratory. It aims to help students maximizing learning through hands-on experimentation, which will allow them to experimentally verify the theoretical and conceptual content of design courses. The goal is to motivate students to develop an understanding of why design specifications are written to avoid detrimental structural behaviors, through witnessing and verifying possible failure modes of structures. Implementation of a testing frame will significantly improve our undergraduate civil engineering curriculum, encourage student interaction, induce more commitment to learning, foster student curiosity, cultivate student creativity and bridge student connectivity between theoretical concepts and hands-on experience.

School of Engineering at San Francisco State University

Located in one of the most diverse, creative and globally connected regions of our nation, San Francisco State University has grown over the past 40 years to become a nationally and internationally renowned, comprehensive public institution. Of SFSU’s total enrollment of around 29,200 students in 2004, about 60% are female and 40% are male. As is typical of comprehensive urban institutions, a large percentage of SFSU students work full or part time while pursuing their education. Many are re-entry students, returning to college after an extended absence, either to complete their original degree program or to obtain education and training in another field.

Reflecting the ethnically diverse composition of the urban area in which it is located, SFSU serves a significant number of minority students. Of those who declared their ethnicity in 2002- 03, students of color comprise 63% of the undergraduate student body. By ethnicity, the student body is 37% White; 24% Asian; 14% Latino; 12% Filipino and Pacific Islander; 7% African American; 6% other and 0.8% Native American. Consequently, SFSU has been designated as a minority-serving institution by the US Department of Education.

The civil engineering program at SFSU offers four emphases: Structural Engineering, Geo- technical Engineering, Construction Management, and Environmental Engineering. The rigorous curriculum of the core program consists of 19 required engineering and 10 required science courses. Additionally, students must complete 6 engineering elective courses from one of the four emphasis areas.

Pong, W., & Le, T. (2006, June), Development Of Hands On Experimentation Experience For Civil Engineering Design Courses At San Francisco State University Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--108

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