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Engineering Economics for Freshmen Engineers

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Engineering Economy Division Technical Session 3

Tagged Division

Engineering Economy

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Paper Authors


Gilbert C Brunnhoeffer III P.E. Roger Williams University Orcid 16x16

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Practiced Civil Engineering and Engineering Management in the U S Army for 20 years. Engaged in software engineering for three years and ran factories producing engineered materials for the aerospace and electronics industries for seventeen years. Teaching career includes engineering mechanics, civil engineering, and construction management for seventeen years.

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Freshmen are usually considered to be lacking in mathematical skills and sophistication required to perform an economic analysis of an engineering proposal. However, operating under the theory that everyone is an economist of sorts, making shrewd economic choices daily in their personal lives, the teacher can pose a problem of sufficient complexity to introduce the students to the basic economic analysis thought processes that will be used throughout their careers as engineers.

The key to introducing the concepts of engineering economic analysis is to lay out the evaluation steps and lead the students through each step, in sequence, and develop the mathematical tools to complete each step. Although engineering economic analysis for public and private projects employ complicated analytical techniques to buttress the decision to proceed or to discard them, the underlying principles are easily understood and absorbed by freshmen.

I am now embarking on introducing my first semester freshmen to the art of engineering economic analysis of replacing high pressure sodium vapor street lights with LED street lights in a small town adjacent to our university. My paper will track the progress of the experiment and identify what worked and what did not.

Brunnhoeffer, G. C. (2017, June), Engineering Economics for Freshmen Engineers Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28249

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