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Foundational Outcomes Of The New Civil Engineering Body Of Knowledge

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

The New Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge (BOK2)

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.623.1 - 13.623.11



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Paper Authors

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Jeffrey Evans Bucknell University

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Daniel Lynch Dartmouth College

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

Foundational Outcomes of the New Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge


The new civil engineering Body of Knowledge (BOK2) identifies three categories of outcomes as follows: Foundational, Technical and Professional. The four Foundational outcomes are Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences. This paper explores background, philosophy, intent and goals of the four Foundational outcomes.

These four Foundational outcomes recognize that the careers of future civil engineers need to be underpinned by all -- not only Mathematics and Natural Sciences but Humanities and Social Sciences as well. Civil Engineering is a technical discipline and the strong technical education must continue, but it also must be recognized that the contributions of civil engineers are largely to and for human society. The Humanities includes subjects such as art, philosophy and literature while the Social Sciences include subjects such as political science, economics, sociology and psychology. BOK2 continues to recognize the need for education in Mathematics and Natural Sciences but now also explicitly recognizes the foundational importance of Humanities and Social Sciences.

The four outcomes in the Foundational category underpin the remaining technical and professional outcomes as well as form the basis for a well-educated civil engineer of the 21st century. They align with the four core areas of liberal learning (learning that frees the mind from constrained thinking): Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences. The education of civil engineers formerly emphasized Mathematics and Natural Sciences and the first edition of the Body of Knowledge (BOK1) has three outcomes for these two areas including one each for Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics. There are no specific outcomes for Humanities or Social Sciences in BOK1. The new Civil Engineering BOK2 recognizes the importance of the four foundational areas of knowledge and four outcomes have been adopted, one for each of the core foundational areas.


The National Academy of Engineering Report, The Engineer of 20201, identifies these three visions for the engineering profession: • By 2020, we aspire to a public that will understand and appreciate the profound impact of the influence of the engineering profession on socio-cultural systems, the full spectrum of career opportunities accessible through an engineering education, and the value of an engineering education to engineers working successfully in non-engineering jobs.

Evans, J., & Lynch, D. (2008, June), Foundational Outcomes Of The New Civil Engineering Body Of Knowledge Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3433

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