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F6 H=Cee

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Professional Issues in Civil Engineering Education

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.617.1 - 14.617.14



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Paper Authors

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Steven Hart United States Military Academy

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Joseph Hanus United States Military Academy

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Adam Chalmers United States Military Academy

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

F6H=CEE Fake Firms & Funny Funds For Four-H=Civil Engineering Enlightenment


Senioritis. Believe it or not, it is actually in the dictionary. Well, anyway, where it is defined as “decreased motivation toward studies displayed by students who are nearing the end of their [college] careers.” Its causes are attributed to a variety of factors which revolve around the student’s desire to be done with school and get out into the ‘real world’ and have a ‘real job.’ For civil engineers the trouble with this attitude is that it is not consistent with the pre-licensure philosophy and requirements outlined by ASCE Policy Statement 465. PS465 proposes that aspiring engineers attain the pre-licensure Body of Knowledge (BOK) through a combination of a baccalaureate civil engineering degree, a masters degree (or the equivalent of 30 coordinated graduate level semester credits) and appropriate experience1. We can show, brief, teach, and inculcate this philosophy, but our students are still going to want to end their baccalaureate education and start their ‘real’ experience. In response, the authors restructured their program’s capstone design course to generate sufficient intellectual excitement to overcome senioritis and be the bridge between baccalaureate education and the ‘real world’. In the authors’ opinion the capstone course is not the culmination of the undergraduate experience; it is the first pre-licensure experience. Through this process the authors hope that the students will reach the sublime state of Civil Engineering Enlightenment-- that ‘Ah-hah’ moment when an individual stops thinking and acting like a student and starts thinking and acting like a practicing engineer.


The ‘perfect capstone project’ is the Holy Grail for many engineering programs. Educators continually seek it and seldom find it, but, when we do, it provides a phenomenal experience for both students and faculty and we feel compelled to share the experience. The archives of the ASEE Conference Proceedings contain at least 352 papers related to capstones. The authors of these papers explore new and innovative structures and pedagogies within the classroom to enhance student learning and implement new ABET and ASCE criteria. Howe and Wilbarger2 followed up the work of Todd et al.3 and conducted a nationwide engineer capstone course survey examining course content, organization, and administration. Collier, et al. 4,5 explored the use of a simulated engineering corporation to solve a multi-disciplinary design problem. Kumar and Hsiao6 advocate the teaching of leadership, communication and other ‘soft skills’ through problem based and service based learning. Viswanathan and Evans7 provide guidelines for implementing capstone or masters projects using corporate sponsors. O’Bannon and Kimes8 describe partnering with a local municipality to provide a public works design-build experience in a two-semester capstone course. Dennis and Hall9 used a design-build service learning project for a capstone design experience in which students designed and built a timber bridge for a non-profit nature preserve. Cornachione, et al.10 organized faculty and students into an engineering firm with faculty acting as the ‘senior engineers’ and students acting as ‘junior engineers’ in each of the civil engineering disciplines to complete a project. Project documentation, communication, and professional practice were stressed. Within these papers are

Hart, S., & Hanus, J., & Chalmers, A. (2009, June), F6 H=Cee Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--4585

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: © 2009 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