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Enhancing Construction Engineering Education Using Internet Based Tools

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.239.1 - 4.239.9

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Paper Authors

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Prawit Rotsawatsuk

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Anil Sawhney

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Andre Mund

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

Session 1315

Enhancing Construction Engineering Education Using Internet based Tools

Anil Sawhney, Prawit Rotsawatsuk, and André Mund Western Michigan University


This paper describes the work being performed as part of a three-year project that has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Western Michigan University (WMU). The goal of the project is to enhance the undergraduate construction engineering education. Enhancements will be accomplished by developing: 1) an Internet-based Interactive Construction Management Learning System (ICMLS) and 2) an advising and mentorship program that will enhance practitioner-involvement. The primary undertaking of this project is to incorporate practical content in the construction engineering curricula thus bridging the gap between the classroom and the construction site. The proposed system provides a simple tool for students to gain practical knowledge of construction processes and construction equipment. The paper provides an overview of ICMLS and related developments. Discussion of the Internet based tools adopted in this project is also provided.

I. Introduction and Background

Construction is a very large and diverse business and is a significant employer, cash generator, and contributor to the local economy. Growth and the replacement of people leaving the labor force will add more than 68,000 new positions for civil engineers by the year 2005, according to a recent forecast of employment trends 1. Attracting talented high school graduates and imparting the best possible civil and construction engineering education is critical to the future of the U.S. construction industry.

In the early 1980’ the construction industry faced increased national and international s competition, stringent governmental regulations, and an environmentally conscious populace. The industry also encountered issues such as organized labor, challenges of new technologies and new materials, and construction of complex projects. These forces emphasized the value of strong engineering and management skills required for delivering high quality constructed facilities. That, in turn, added a new dimension to the profession and led to the evolution of a group of professionals among civil engineers who practice construction management.

As a direct response to the needs of the construction industry, universities around the nation started undergraduate and graduate curriculums in civil and construction engineering that provide more emphasis on construction engineering and management 2,3. The initial response consisted of 1) incorporation of course modules related to tools and techniques required for managing construction projects into the civil engineering

Rotsawatsuk, P., & Sawhney, A., & Mund, A. (1999, June), Enhancing Construction Engineering Education Using Internet Based Tools Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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