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Infrastructure Education Using the Impacts of Extreme Storms as Case Studies

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

NSF Grantees’ Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.965.1 - 26.965.9



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Paper Authors


Joseph A Daraio Rowan University

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Dr. Daraio is Assistant Professor of Water Resources Engineering in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering. His research is focused on using and developing models to assess the potential impacts of climate and land-use change on water resources. He is particularly interested in the potential impacts due to increased frequency and magnitudes of extreme precipitation events. Prior to coming to Rowan he was a postdoctoral research scholar at North Carolina State University (2010-2012), and a postdoctoral research associate at Tennessee Technological University (2009-2010). Education: Ph.D, Civil and Environmental Engineering-Hydraulics, University of Iowa, 2009; MS, Environmental Engineering, University of Connecticut, 2002; MS, Philosophy, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1998; MS, Biology, New Mexico State University, 1994; BS, Environmental and Forest Biology, SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry, 1991

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Ralph Alan Dusseau P.E. Rowan University

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Dr. Ralph Dusseau is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey. Dr. Dusseau is also serving as the Associate Chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and is Coordinator of the Engineering Management Programs at Rowan University. Dr. Dusseau was an Assistant and Associate Professor at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan from 1985 to 1995. Dr. Dusseau was the Founding Chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rowan University from 1995 to 2008.

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Infrastructure Education using the Impacts of Extreme Storms as Case Studies Our university will begin offering a freshman level course titled “Introduction toInfrastructure” in Spring 2015. A common complaint from students over the years has been thatthey do not have a good understanding of what civil and environmental engineering is, and whatcivil engineers do. One of the goals of this course is to provide students with an early exposureto the practice of civil engineering and its importance to society. Our hope is that this willprovide freshman with a solid context within which to continue their studies and motivate themto continue in the program. To this end, the primary goal of the course is to introduce freshmencivil and environmental engineers to civil infrastructure. Additionally, given the current state ofinfrastructure in the United States, the development of this course is of particular importance tothe education and development of future engineers Our course will be a 2-credit lecture course consisting of two 75-minute periods per week ofabout 40 students per section. It will include sections on structural systems, foundations,transportation systems, water and environmental systems, as well as a general overview of thestate of infrastructure in the US, along with other topics discussed in this report. Throughout thecourse, we will emphasize how the quality of infrastructure directly affects the economy andsecurity of the US, and that the next generation of civil and environmental engineers needs to bemore skilled and more able to design and create sustainable infrastructure. A significantemphasis will be placed on the impacts of extreme storms on water infrastructure and theimpacts of storm surge and flooding on other infrastructure. We believe the emphasis on the impacts of extreme events on civil infrastructure, and water’simpacts on civil infrastructure in general, will provide a strong point of interest with students. Itis likely this interest will be even greater at our university because a majority of our studentswere either directly or indirectly affected by a recent extreme storm event. Additionally, as theimpacts of climate change have become measurable and as climate change projections suggestincreased frequency and intensity of extreme events, the need to account for climate change indesign for infrastructure is becoming more clearly recognized. A fact that is vital to increasereliability and decrease the nation’s risk and vulnerability to the failure of infrastructure in thefuture. Finally, we are hoping that the emphasis on extreme storms will help us highlight theconnection of all civil infrastructure by providing students with a unifying context.

Daraio, J. A., & Dusseau, R. A. (2015, June), Infrastructure Education Using the Impacts of Extreme Storms as Case Studies Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24302

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