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Incorporating Very Powerful Structural Analysis And Design Software Packages Into Civil Engineering Courses

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Conference

2010 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Enhancing CE Learning Through Use of Technology

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count

13

Page Numbers

15.717.1 - 15.717.13

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/16967

Download Count

849

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Paper Authors

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Mohammad Alhassan Indiana University Purdue University, Fort Wayne

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James Welch Indiana-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW)

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

Incorporating Very Powerful Structural Analysis and Design Software Packages into Civil Engineering Courses

Abstract

Extensively used in the continuous series of undergraduate structural analysis and design courses, SAP2000 and ETABS have helped the civil engineering students gain real world experience with some of the most powerful software packages available to professionals. Allowing students to learn the software step by step (modeling, analysis, and design) in a sequential approach through successive interrelated core and elective courses (Structural Analysis, Reinforced Concrete Design, and Steel Design), supplies the students with the fundamentals needed to tackle large projects on their own. This paper illuminates the various learning projects that were given to the students in the courses mentioned above. The paper continues with a demonstration to a practical application as civil engineering students used SAP2000 to design a pedestrian bridge for the required capstone senior design course. The project allowed the students to further explore the various design capabilities of SAP2000 while moving past the seemingly simple static load conditions, and proceeding to more complex dynamic and nonlinear analysis of the proposed pedestrian bridge. Using the background from earlier courses and the online help menu provided by the software, the group was able to successfully model, analyze, and design the pedestrian bridge in accordance with the AASHTO- LRFD requirements.

Introduction

The major conundrum of engineering educators is, with every passing year, the level of technology and practice of engineering increases in its complexity. Accordingly, there will never be enough time to cover all of the required topics in depth1. However, it is important for educators to remain current with ongoing trends in their field in order to present a general overview of technologies that are used in the workplace. Numerous studies have been conducted to develop new technologies and methods that can be introduced to students in order to allow them to become successful engineers upon exiting universities. A study performed by Romero and Museros postulated that, “…computer-based analysis programs and computer software for design could play an important role in structural engineering education” in a variety of ways, one of which is using commercial design programs2. Allowing students to gain hands-on experience with software packages prior to graduation was the second major theme found in another study that was conducted on practitioners in the field of civil engineering. The first major theme was that those in the field, “…wanted students to be taught the theory, that they be well grounded in fundamentals, and that they be able to do the work by hand without the use of the computer.”3

With many recognizing that the effective use of computing is, “…the key to increased individual, corporate, and national productivity”3, it was decided to incorporate two very powerful structural analysis and design software packages, SAP2000 and ETABS, into a continuous series of undergraduate civil engineering courses (structures area) so that the students can gain real world experience inside the class room. Allowing students to learn the software step by step (modeling, analysis, and design) in a sequential approach through successive interrelated core and elective

Alhassan, M., & Welch, J. (2010, June), Incorporating Very Powerful Structural Analysis And Design Software Packages Into Civil Engineering Courses Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/16967

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