San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
25.806.1 - 25.806.10
Integrating Sensing Technology and Building Information Modeling into a Construction Engineering Curriculum AbstractAs the U.S. construction industry starts exploring and adopting various sensing technologies(3.g., 3D laser scanners) and Building Information Modeling (BIM) in recent years, a strategicplan of the Civil and Construction Engineering program at Western Michigan University is toequip students with relevant knowledge in response to this trend. As shown by multiple pilot stu-dies in the past decade, various sensors, such as RFID tags and laser scanners, have substantialpotential of collecting real-time observations of the job site to improve the situational awarenessof construction engineers. On the other hand, various BIM packages (e.g., Autodesk Revit) havebeen adopted in various construction projects to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of in-formation management and collaborative decision making in the design-construction process.Overall, effective construction management need both the real-time field observations from jobsites (Sensing) and various analysis supported by virtual models (BIM), especially for large andcomplex construction projects in urban areas. Construction engineers, therefore, need to havecomprehensive understanding about sensing technology and BIM for increasing number of large-scale urban constructions.Even with their potential known, effective integration of sensing technology and BIM into theconventional design-construction process is still challenging due to technical and organizationalbarriers. On the technical aspect, multiple types of sensors and BIM tools are available on themarket while new sensors are being developed, while the learning curves for most of these tech-nologies are steep. Tim and resources investments related to training engineers to effectively usethese technologies are not trivial. On the organizational aspect, most existing construction engi-neering programs provide students some hands-on experiences of selected sensors and BIMtools, while systematical introductions about how these technologies can transform the construc-tion practice are limited. As a result, students may master particular technologies, while lacking acomprehensive understanding on the relationships among construction practice, data collection(Sensing), and information management (BIM). On the other hand, such a systematical view isnecessary for educating engineers capable of adopting new tools according to a variety of do-main requirements.Aiming at addressing the barriers described above, we are initiating efforts on systematically in-tegrating sensing technology and BIM into the construction engineering curriculum at WesternMichigan University. In an engineering design course offered to freshmen, we introduce BIMtools and their implications for the design-construction integration. In a series of constructionengineering courses (planning and scheduling, construction cost estimating, project control,project management) offered in the junior and senior years, we expose students to various sens-ing and BIM tools in various application scenarios (e.g., construction productivity monitoring,time-cost trade-off analysis). This program concludes with a comprehensive course “Sensing andModeling for Construction Management” in the senior year to provide students a systematicalview of the roles of sensing technology and BIM for responsive management of complex con-struction projects, as well as senior design projects for students to apply the skills learned fromthese courses in real-world projects. This paper provides an overview of these efforts, and pro-vides examples of course implementations and senior design projects.
Tang, P., & Aktan, H. M., & Polasek, J. S. (2012, June), Integrating Sensing Technology and Building Information Modeling into a Construction Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21563
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: © 2012 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