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Engineering Sustainable Civil Engineers

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Introducing Sustainability into Engineering Education

Tagged Division

Environmental Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.604.1 - 22.604.17



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Paper Authors


Melanie L. Sattler University of Texas, Arlington

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Dr. Melanie Sattler is an Associate Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington. In her seven years at UT, Arlington, she has served as Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator for 21 projects involving emissions measurement, air quality modeling, or air pollution control technologies. She teaches five graduate courses in air pollution, and is a registered professional engineer in the State of Texas.

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Yvette Pearson Weatherton University of Texas, Arlington Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Yvette Pearson Weatherton received her Ph.D. in Engineering and Applied Science (Environmental Engineering) from the University of New Orleans in 2000. She is currently a Senior Lecturer in Civil Engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington. Dr. Pearson Weatherton’s expertise is in the areas of air quality – including monitoring and modeling – and engineering education. She is currently PI or Co-PI on a number of NSF-funded engineering education projects including “Engineering Sustainable Engineers”, which is the subject of this paper. She is a registered Professional Engineer in Louisiana.

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Victoria Chen University of Texas, Arlington

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Dr. Victoria C. P. Chen is Professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering at The University of Texas at Arlington. She holds a B.S. in Mathematical Sciences from The Johns Hopkins University, and M.S. and Ph.D. in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering from Cornell University. Dr. Chen is actively involved with the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science (INFORMS), serving as cluster chair, session organizer/chair, and officers for the Informs Section on Data Mining and for the Forum for Women in OR/MS. Dr. Chen's primary research interests utilize statistical methodologies to create new methods for operations research problems appearing in engineering and science. She has studied applications in inventory forecasting, airline optimization, water resources, wastewater treatment, air quality, nurse planning, and pain management.

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Stephen P. Mattingly University of Texas, Arlington Orcid 16x16

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K.J. Rogers, P.E. University of Texas, Arlington

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Paper Presentation Engineering Sustainable Civil EngineersEngineering Sustainable Engineers (ESE) was designed to infuse curricula in the Departments ofCivil (CE), Industrial and Mechanical Engineering at _____ with sustainability. The overarchingaim is to improve student knowledge of and competency in addressing sustainability issues inengineering design and problem solving. Three key program elements are (1) sustainabilitylearning modules, (2) multidisciplinary senior design project and (3) quality sustainableengineering internship. This paper describes the implementation and assessment of the CivilEngineering (CE) components of the project. The targeted courses are required for all CEstudents and span from freshman through senior year. The courses are common to many civilengineering curricula nationwide.Sustainability course modules were implemented in Spring 2010 with pre-tests and post-testsadministered for each. Additionally, students completed a self-assessment of their learning ineach course. With one exception, self-assessment results indicated that a majority of students (>50%) were “strongly confident” or “confident” of their ability to address each of the learningobjectives in each module. Pre-test and post-test data are being compared to the students’ selfassessments. The modules have been revised to further improve this outcome and are beingimplemented and evaluated again in Fall 2010. The final modules will be faculty-ready “grab-and-go” curricular units that include objectives, lecture and reading materials, active learningactivities, homework problems and assessment tools.In Spring 2010, civil and industrial engineering seniors collaborated on a project to design aportable biodiesel production refinery for the campus. The refinery will use waste vegetable oilfrom campus dining facilities as feedstock to be transformed into biodiesel for use by theuniversity’s shuttle busses and generators. While the students pointed out challenges faced incompleting the project (e.g. coordinating schedules among multiple groups with differentdeadlines), they were generally positive in their overall responses regarding the experience. Allof the CE students involved agreed that participation in the project made them more likely toconsider sustainable design options as practicing engineers, and all indicated that they wouldrecommend the experience for other students.Surveys were administered to several companies in Spring 2010 to determine their interest inhosting an intern, their commitment to sustainability and the potential quality of an internshipexperience for prospective interns. Four companies hosted quality sustainability internshipsduring Summer 2010, three of which were held by CE students. The internship experiences wereevaluated by faculty, company representatives and students through student presentations andsurveys. With the exception of one response for one objective, all students indicated that theinternship experience improved their knowledge of and competency in addressing sustainabilityissues in engineering design. While company responses were mixed regarding the quantity andquality of internship candidates, survey results indicate 100% satisfaction with the internshipprogram, and all company representatives are interested in participating in the future.Project evaluation is on-going. Assessment results are being used to modify content andimplementation strategies as needed. The paper will provide details of assessmentmethodologies and analyses of results.

Sattler, M. L., & Weatherton, Y. P., & Chen, V., & Mattingly, S. P., & P.E., K. R. (2011, June), Engineering Sustainable Civil Engineers Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17885

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