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Effective Use Of Technology Teaching Structural Analysis And Design

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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

Civil ET Curriculum

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.519.1 - 11.519.12



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Paper Authors


Jorge Tito-Izquierdo University of Houston-Downtown

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Jorge Tito-Izquierdo is Visiting Associate Professor of Engineering Technology. Dr. Tito-Izquierdo received his Ph.D. and M.Sc. Degrees from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, in Civil Engineering with a major in Structures. He received the Civil Engineer Degree from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru. Dr. Tito has experience in teaching structural design, and construction management, and is a Registered Professional Engineer.

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Alberto Gomez-Rivas University of Houston-Downtown

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Alberto Gomez-Rivas is Professor of Structural Analysis and Chair of Engineering Technology. Dr. Gomez-Rivas received Ph.D. degrees from the University of Texas, Austin, Texas, in Civil Engineering and from Rice University,Houston, Texas, in Economics. He received the Ingeniero Civil degree, with Honors, from the Universidad
Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia. He also served as Chief of Colombia’s Department of Transportation Highway Bridge Division.

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George Pincus University of Houston-Downtown

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George Pincus is Dean of the College of Sciences and Technology, and Professor at the University of Houston-Downtown (1986-date). Prior service includes Dean of the Newark College of Engineering and Professor, New Jersey Institute of Technology (1986-1994). Dean Pincus received the Ph.D. degree from Cornell University and the
M.B.A degree from the University of Houston. Dr. Pincus has published over 40 journal articles, 2 books and is a Registered Professional Engineer.

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

POSSIBLE SESSIONS: 10. Innovative Curriculum in Engineering Technology

1. Curriculum Development in Civil Engineering Tech.

20. The Future/Direction of Engineering Technology

Effective use of Technology Teaching Structural Analysis and Design


This paper describes the history of successful implementation of technology over the past 10 years in which enrollment in a Structural Analysis and Design Engineering Technology program has increased several-fold. The program has received high marks by external evaluators and at presentations at conferences on engineering technology education. It should be noted that most of the existing testing equipment used in the laboratories was built by students in the program.

The technology described in the paper can be divided into the following groups: Computers used for analysis and data acquisition in structural testing; transducers such as load cells, accelerometers and strain gages used in structural testing; loading apparatus built for structural testing; structural elements including reinforced and prestressed concrete beams and frames; and steel beams and frames. The paper also describes the steps leading to modernization of the program, including transformation of the curriculum, implementation of computer methods, and the addition of realistic laboratory experimentation and report writing.

Success of the program is evidenced by accomplishments of its former students. Graduates of the program are successfully employed in federal and state government agencies, consulting engineering firms, construction companies, utility services, and a few have established their own engineering companies. Many have been successful in passing the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam, the first step toward professional engineering registration in the State of Texas.


The Structural Analysis and Design program suffered from low enrollment in the early 1990’s due to instructional use of manual methods of structural analysis and lack of hands-on experience in structural testing. In order to increase enrollments, a new program coordinator was asked to join the program. The professor had many years of industrial experience related to the application of modern technology in structural engineering in two distinct aspects: Finite element analysis and structural testing.

As a first step in changing the program, he applied for a Laboratory Improvement Grant from the National Science Foundation and was awarded a grant upon first application. The NSF grant was funded and focused on effective application of modern technology using computers and testing equipment to teach structural analysis and design. Two additional faculty members with

Tito-Izquierdo, J., & Gomez-Rivas, A., & Pincus, G. (2006, June), Effective Use Of Technology Teaching Structural Analysis And Design Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--7

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