June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
23.735.1 - 23.735.15
Incorporating Sustainability into the Civil Engineering curriculum via cross course collaborationsAs concerns of global climate change and energy independence increases, concepts ofsustainability are critical components to civil engineers’ education. Civil engineers will play asignificant role in designing, constructing, and maintaining systems. Professors at the Universityof Pittsburgh (UPitt) and Arizona State University (ASU) are collaborating to integratesustainability into the Civil Curriculum in two manners; first, via target sustainability unitsand/or labs that are integrated into traditional Civil courses and second, via the creation of newcourses whose foci are on sustainability.This paper presents and discusses the development and effectiveness of two unique sustainabilitylabs and their implementation into three collaborative course activities that have been designedto enhance experiential learning of sustainability concepts. The three Civil and EnvironmentalEngineering (CEE) courses are: Introduction to Nondestructive Evaluation and Structural HealthMonitoring (NDE), Design for the Environment (DfE), and Green Buildings: Design andConstruction (GB). Two active learning labs are discussed in this paper, including an energy labutilizing an infrared thermography (IRT) camera and a sustainable materials lab exploringelements of environmentally contentious designs. An example of the improvement withintraditional civil engineering course NDE is illustrated by the IRT energy audit activity (Figure1). Students utilize the IRT camera to conduct an energy audit of buildings by calculating thebuilding’s energy envelope, identifying solutions for major sources of energy losses, andproposing methods of achieving energy and cost savings and improving the sustainable buildingelements. They communicate results of the audit through an industry report format which enablesthe students obtain real world experiences they overwhelmingly request pre-graduation.New courses, DfE and GB, are taught almost entirely through experiential learning activities,where ex-cathedra (i.e. authoritative, lecture-style) teaching is minimized. The concurrentteaching of these classes at UPitt and ASU enhances student collaboration. Tacit knowledge isgained through experiential learning and prepares these engineering professionals of the future to solve complex and multidisciplinary problems in a sustainable and global context. Pre-and post-assessment surveys are administered to assess changes in student perceptions ofsustainability concepts and applications over a 4-year period for the traditional civil course,NDE, and the new civil courses, DfE and GB. This paper will present drastic changes inperceptions of sustainability concepts and applications over time and present a statistical analysisof changes in student learning outcomes over time as a result of the service- and active learningexperiences, reinforcing the potential for future cross-course, multi-university experientiallearning collaborations.Figure 1. IRT Cross-course Module. Example of house survey by means of an infrared camera;taken from NDE 2011 and NDE/DfE 2012 student reports. Left to right: Exterior kitchen wall;Wall section where students calculated energy loss from the vent in 2012. The temperature ontop left of each figure is the temperature associated with the center of the IR’s view-finder.
Antaya, C. L., & Bilec, M. M., & Rizzo, P., & Landis, A. E. (2013, June), Incorporating Sustainability into the Civil Engineering curriculum via cross course collaborations Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/19749
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