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Fostering Disciplines' Understanding among Design and Construction Students through a Design-Build Senior Project

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Merging Disciplines: Practice and Benefits

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

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Paper Authors


Ghada M. Gad California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

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Dr. Ghada Gad is an Assistant Professor in Construction Engineering at Cal Poly Pomona. She received her PhD in Civil Engineering (Construction emphasis), from Iowa State University. Her main areas of research is in construction management focusing on contracts, procurement, project delivery methods, estimating, and risk management, in addition to the cultural aspects of construction projects. She is also an ExCEED fellow; her teaching pedagogy focuses on adopting active learning techniques in her classes, to increase student attainment and motivation beyond the classroom.

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Jinsung Cho California State Polytechnic University Pomona

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My name is Jinsung Cho, an assistant professor of Civil Engineering Department in California State Polytechnic University Pomona. I have had more than 18 years in both academia and Civil and Construction Industry. My specialty is the behavior of underground infrastructure, Trenchless and Tunneling Technology, as well as 3D Virtual Construction Design & Management. I am a reviewer or member of several professional organizations, such as ASCE, NASTT, and ASC.

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Giuseppe Lomiento Cal Poly Pomona

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Giuseppe Lomiento is Assistant Professor in the Civil Engineering Department at Cal Poly Pomona. He holds a Master Degree and PhD in Structural Engineering from the Sapienza University of Rome. Prior to joining Cal Poly, he was Project Scientist in the Structural Engineering Department at UC San Diego. His research focuses on earthquake engineering, structural monitoring, and multi-physics analysis. As a Professional Engineer, he has been involved in the analysis, design, and testing of a number of civil engineering structures, including bridges, hospital facilities,recreational facilities, and shipping piers. He is member of the American Concrete Institue (ACI), the Structural Engineers Association of Southern California (SEAOSC), and the International Society for Structural Health Monitoring of Intelligent Infrastructure (ISHMII).

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With many disciplines involved on a construction project, conflicts and disputes become inevitable. Each discipline, whether designers or contractors, view the project and prioritize the goals from their own perspectives. They also tend to carry misperceptions about each other’s roles, which yield to misunderstandings and disagreements, and ultimately delays and cost overruns. Though this is well-rooted, very minor steps have been taken, if any, to address these misperceptions and misunderstandings in our engineering educational institutions or courses. This study, thus, aims at fostering the understanding between design and construction students working on a Design-Build senior project in a civil engineering department. The study uses partnering concepts by creating a senior project environment that fosters collaboration and problem solving. The study entails a 4-step methodology: (1) forming an interdisciplinary senior project team (both civil and construction engineering students), (2) benchmarking perceptions of each other’s disciplines through a survey, (3) starting work on the project through activities that intend to foster open communication, trust, and a willingness to solve problems, and (4) retaking the survey to investigate if students perceptions have changed. Results of the study show that, through the interdisciplinary senior project and the structured activities planned, students’ perceptions of each other’s disciplines, roles, and stereotypes changed, and they were able to gain a better understanding and appreciation of each other’s disciplines, and work collaboratively towards the project goals. The study, thus, shows the potential that incorporating such educational activities and experiences in students’ learning environment could positively affect their careers making them ready for the increasing trend of integration of designer and builder roles in the larger workforce.

Gad, G. M., & Cho, J., & Lomiento, G. (2017, June), Fostering Disciplines' Understanding among Design and Construction Students through a Design-Build Senior Project Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28381

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