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Findings From Workshops On Failure Case Studies In The Civil Engineering And Engineering Mechanics Curriculum

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Conference

2007 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Implementing the Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge into Courses and Curricula

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count

12

Page Numbers

12.745.1 - 12.745.12

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/1912

Download Count

174

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Paper Authors

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Norb Delatte Cleveland State University

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Paul Bosela Cleveland State University

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Kevin Rens University of Colorado-Denver

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Kenneth Carper Washington State University

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Kevin Sutterer Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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

Findings from Workshops on Failure Case Studies in the Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics Curriculum Abstract

The study of engineering failures can offer students valuable insights into associated technical, ethical, and professional issues. Lessons learned from failures have substantially affected civil engineering practice. For the student, study of these cases can help place design and analysis procedures into historical context and reinforce the necessity of life-long learning. Three approaches for bringing forensics and failure case studies into the civil engineering curriculum are possible. These are stand-alone forensic engineering or failure case study courses, capstone design projects, and integration of case studies into the curriculum. The ASCE TCFE Education Committee held four annual one-day workshops in Birmingham, Alabama and in Cleveland, Ohio for a total of approximately 75 engineering educators. The participants estimated that over 135 courses and nearly 4,000 students would be affected by the project per year. The participant workbook had case studies in engineering mechanics, structural engineering, other civil engineering courses, ethics/professional issues/capstone design courses, and forensic engineering/failure analysis courses. Presentations for classroom use were provided on a CD. The materials have also been disseminated on a web site. This paper also reviews how the use of case studies can help programs meet ABET accreditation requirements.

Introduction

The study of engineering failures can offer students valuable insights into associated technical, ethical, and professional issues. Lessons learned from failures have substantially affected civil engineering practice. For the student, study of these cases can help place design and analysis procedures into historical context and reinforce the necessity of life-long learning.

Engineering education is about teaching students to design. The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) defines engineering design as “the process of devising a system, component, or process to meet desired needs. It is a decision-making process (often iterative), in which the basic sciences, mathematics, and the engineering sciences are applied to convert resources optimally to meet these stated needs.”1

A simplified definition of engineering design might be: • Anticipate everything that can possibly go wrong (identify all possible failure modes) • Devise a system, component, or process that will have satisfactory performance, measured against these failure modes. This definition must be tempered by the awareness of the need to balance safety and economy. In order to design safely, therefore, it is necessary to know all of the applicable failure modes. This, in turn, demands knowledge of how structures and systems fail.

This paper discusses work to integrate forensics and failure case studies into the civil engineering and engineering mechanics curriculum in order to teach design and address ABET

Delatte, N., & Bosela, P., & Rens, K., & Carper, K., & Sutterer, K. (2007, June), Findings From Workshops On Failure Case Studies In The Civil Engineering And Engineering Mechanics Curriculum Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/1912

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