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Faculty and Student Involvement in a Graduate Level Civil Engineering Seminar

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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

Professional Graduate Education and Industry

Tagged Divisions

College Industry Partnerships and Graduate Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.707.1 - 22.707.6



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Paper Authors


Richard A. Coffman University of Arkansas

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Richard A. Coffman is an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering (geotechnical emphasis) at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Rick received his bachelors degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Wyoming in 2002, his masters degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 2003, and his doctoral degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2009. Rick is a licensed professional engineer and licensed professional land surveyor in the state of Missouri, and is a member of ASCE, the Missouri Society of Professional Engineers, and the United States Society on Dams. Rick’s research focuses on laboratory and field testing of soils and remote sensing applications within geotechnical engineering.

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Micah Hale University of Arkansas

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Faculty and student involvement in a graduate level civil engineering seminarIn an effort to establish a "community of learning" within the Civil Engineering Department, anew graduate seminar series was created. Undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty,private consultants, and public servants are provided with the opportunity to learn from eachother during this weekly one-hour seminar. During the course of the semester, presentationscover each of the four sub-disciplines within the Civil Engineering Department: geotechnical,structural, environmental, and transportation. Each week the seminar is presented by either:speakers from industry (private consulting, federal, state, or municipal government), a facultymember, two graduate students, or two undergraduate students. The speakers from industry andfaculty present a 45 minute presentation followed by 15 minutes of questions, while each studentwill present a 20 minute presentation followed by 5 minutes of questions.Students may register for the seminar series as a zero credit hour, pass-fail class. This class isrequired for all civil engineering graduate students to fulfill requirements for graduation, andmust be taken at least once during a student's graduate studies. To successfully complete theclass, the student must attend 15 of 16 seminars during the course of the semester. The student'sgraduate committee ensures the student has successfully completed the class.Outside of benefiting graduate students, the seminar series provides a way to transfer knowledgebetween those in engineering practice and members of academia. The series also serves as a wayfor professional engineers to earn free PDH credits, and provides an opportunity for members ofengineering practice and members of academia to network.Involvement of faculty, students, and members of industry was evaluated (using ratios of numberof people notified to number of people attending). An evaluation of the cost-benefit of providingthe seminar series is presented.

Coffman, R. A., & Hale, M. (2011, June), Faculty and Student Involvement in a Graduate Level Civil Engineering Seminar Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17988

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