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Innovative Techniques To Teach Civil Engineering Materials Laboratory

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.742.1 - 9.742.8



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Paper Authors

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Yusuf Mehta

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

Session: 1793

Innovative Techniques To Teach Civil Engineering Materials Laboratory

Yusuf A. Mehta, Ph.D., P.E. Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 201 Mullica Hill Road, 329 Rowan Hall, Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ 08028. E-,mail: Phone: (856) 256-5327. Fax: (856) 256-5242.

ABSTRACT At Rowan University, civil engineering (CE) materials laboratory is taught in the junior year as a required course for all CE students. This is a two-credit course with a seventy-five minute class and two-hour forty-minute laboratory every week. The typical enrollment is around 20 to 25 students and no teaching assistants are permitted. The limited laboratory space and equipment does not provide sufficient hands-on experience for all the students. Several universities have a situation similar to that of Rowan University, and this makes teaching core courses like civil engineering materials very challenging. The author re-designed the course to ensure that every student actively participates in the laboratory and understands the material behavior. The number of topics covered in this class was divided into four major areas, timber, aggregates, asphalt concrete and cement concrete. The course was modified to address the concepts required to conduct laboratory experiments and its practical applications. The objectives of the laboratory experiments were well defined, however, the students determined the process. This was done based upon the information taught in statics, structural analysis, solid mechanics and this class. Each of the four groups had to get the process approved from the instructor before conducting the laboratory. The methodology was very effective and the information was organized and flowed better. The information covered was extensive because the rational behind developing standardized laboratory procedure had broad ranging applications on the civil engineering industry as a whole. This technique could be used in primarily teaching institutions that have limited space and equipment resources and do not allow multiple sections of laboratory. This paper, presents a detailed methodology and implementation strategy along with course outline, objectives of each of the four experiments and typical exam questions. Furthermore, the paper also includes the student feedback, and long-term evaluation and certain concerns that the instructor should be aware off when implementing this technique.

Introduction Civil engineering material course at Rowan University is a required 2- credit junior-level course that is offered in the fall semester. The course covers civil engineering materials, like wood, aggregates, cement concrete and asphalt concrete. The class of 20 to 25 students is divided into four groups. There are two time slots allocated for this course in a week, one hour-fifteen minute for lecture and two hour-forty minutes for the laboratory.

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Mehta, Y. (2004, June), Innovative Techniques To Teach Civil Engineering Materials Laboratory Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13678

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