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Engaging Students In Civil Infrastructure Management

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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

Engaging Upper Level Classes

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.532.1 - 10.532.11

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Paper Authors

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Sue McNeil

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Adjo Amekudzi

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Kristen Sanford Bernhardt Orcid 16x16

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

Engaging Students in Civil Infrastructure Management

Adjo Amekudzi, Sue McNeil, Kristen L. Sanford Bernhardt

Georgia Institute of Technology / University of Illinois at Chicago / Lafayette College


Most civil engineering courses focus on design of new facilities rather than on management of existing facilities. However, existing facilities need the attention of civil engineers who are trained with lifecycle concepts and techniques for managing infrastructure, as evidenced in part by the D+ grade awarded to U.S. infrastructure by the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2003 Report Card on America’s Infrastructure1. Interest in infrastructure management research and education has been growing among faculty, although the number of courses offered on the topic remains relatively low. Each of the authors teaches an infrastructure management course – one is an upper-level undergraduate elective, one is a graduate-level course, and one course is open to both upper-level undergraduate and graduate students. The authors have worked together to develop and share course materials, as well as to integrate our research into the courses.

This paper builds on two papers previously presented at ASEE Conferences, the 2000 paper “Teaching Students to Manage Civil Infrastructure Systems”2 and the 2004 paper “Enhancing Infrastructure Management Education through Collaboration.”3 The focus of this paper, however, is on the learning activities we use in our courses. Specifically, we discuss the types of homework and project activities undertaken by our students, the feedback we have received, and our assessment of their value to student learning and in increasing student interest in infrastructure management. It is evident from student responses that those activities that connect theory to practice increase students’ interest in the topic and contribute to their understanding of the concepts.


The maintenance and improvement of a community’s economic health and standard of living depends on adequate and functioning civil infrastructure systems. These systems include transportation (highways, rail networks, airports, ports, etc.); water, stormwater, and wastewater collection, distribution, and treatment; waste management; energy distribution; parks; and buildings. Design of these systems is clearly specialized, and professionals build on their undergraduate education in structural, geotechnical, environmental, and hydrologic design to develop the systems.

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

McNeil, S., & Amekudzi, A., & Sanford Bernhardt, K. (2005, June), Engaging Students In Civil Infrastructure Management Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon.

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: © 2005 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