June 16, 2002
June 16, 2002
June 19, 2002
7.638.1 - 7.638.10
Main Menu Session 2625
Implementing a Historically Constrained Student Design-Build Project in an Austere Environment
LTC Ronald W. Welch 1LT Kevin Grant United States Military Academy
This paper describes a one-semester design-build capstone project in which three senior civil engineering (CE) students designed and built two timber pedestrian bridges at an extremely challenging, remote site. Design and construction was completed as part of a course within the ABET-accredited CE program at the U.S. Military Academy (USMA). The client was the custodian for the historic site under the oversight of the Director of Housing and Public Works (DHPW) at West Point, New York. The team addressed public accessibility to an American Revolutionary War outpost through construction of timber bridges to carry a trail across an intermittent stream and a particularly steep, rocky slope. The site is located on the island directly across from West Point.
A detailed description of the bridge project sets the stage for presentation of the key educational benefits gained by the students who completed it. Student assessment data demonstrates that such projects contribute much, not only to students’ learning, but to student’s motivation and self-awareness as well. A design-build project in an austere environment forces the students to develop resourcefulness, perseverance, adaptability, and creativity. This project was within the capabilities of senior civil engineering students and represented a unique opportunity for a culminating design experience incorporating real-world considerations of health and safety, constructability, usability/sustainability, historical and environmental sensitivity, economics, political, social, ethical, and aesthetics.
As long ago as the Revolutionary War, West Point, New York (Figure 1) has been critical to our nation’s defense. In the late Eighteenth Century, the high ground flanking the Hudson River
Figure 1: Constitution Island (left) and West Point (right)
Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2002, American Society for Engineering Education
Grant, K., & Welch, R. (2002, June), Implementing Historically Constrained Student Design Build Project In An Austere Environment Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10192
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: © 2002 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