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Integrating Writing To Provide Context For Teaching The Engineering Design Process

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Conference

2006 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education Poster Session

Page Count

10

Page Numbers

11.796.1 - 11.796.10

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/1245

Download Count

21

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Paper Authors

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Ricardo Jacquez New Mexico State University

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Regents Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM.

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Veera Gnaneswar Gude New Mexico State University

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Graduate Assistant, Department of Civil Engineering, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM.

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Michele Auzenne New Mexico State University

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Progrm manager, New Mexico Alliance for Minority Participation, College of Engineering, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM.

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Chris Burnham New Mexico State University

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Regents Professor, English Department, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM.

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Adrian Hanson

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Professor, Department of Civil Engieering, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM.

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Jeanne Garland New Mexico State University

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Special Projects Coordinator, New Mexico Alliance for Minority Participation, College of Engineering, New Mexico State Universtiy, Las Cruces, NM.

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

Integrating Writing to Provide Context for Teaching the Engineering Design Process

Introduction

“Fundamentals of Environmental Engineering” is a junior course taught in the Civil Engineering department at New Mexico State University. General course objectives are to learn and apply the engineering design process and develop and apply skills used by successful practicing professional engineers, including critical (reflective) thinking, communication, and documentation. This course teaches the fundamental civil-environmental engineering principles for design of conventional domestic water treatment and wastewater treatment systems. One of the primary learning objectives of the course is for students to be able to apply fundamental civil- environmental engineering principles and perform fundamental calculations for designing water treatment (physical-chemical treatment) and wastewater treatment (physical and biological treatment) systems. Design problems are used to demonstrate application of these principles and to create opportunities to comprehend and analyze conventional treatment alternatives. The depth to which the topics are covered is intended to develop comprehension of theories and concepts and analytical techniques required to successfully complete the design analysis and documentation for a facility preliminary engineering report as typically performed by a professional consulting engineering firm. The course builds on knowledge acquired in two pre- requisite courses, “Environmental Science” and “Introduction to Fluid Mechanics,” and develops new skills which are specifically applicable to the department’s capstone design classes. Through writing assignments, students develop written communication skills as well as a process for thinking through and solving civil-environmental engineering problems. Writing assignments are used to create a practical context that deepens their understanding and comprehension of the content area. The sequence of assignments progressively advances students from solving single solution problems to more complex open-ended problems that more closely resemble the engineering design process.

Developing Context for Engineering Practice

A program goal of the civil engineering department is to guide the student’s development as a future professional engineer (PE). Meeting this goal is best facilitated by providing a context in which the students perform their work. The context in the “Fundamentals of Environmental Engineering” is created through designing a drinking water system for a local community. The foundation of this context includes: 1) General background – engineering design process, code of ethics, and Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), 2) Client/audience awareness – characterization of the municipality’s future population and water demand, and 3) Technical analysis – water treatment unit operations theories and concepts, solving single solution problems, and identifying design parameters and criteria. The focal point which integrates these three components is a water treatment plant design project. The outcomes that are realized through this approach are accomplished by developing a preliminary engineering report (PER) which documents the results of the formal engineering design assignment. The outcomes that

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Jacquez, R., & Gude, V. G., & Auzenne, M., & Burnham, C., & Hanson, A., & Garland, J. (2006, June), Integrating Writing To Provide Context For Teaching The Engineering Design Process Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://peer.asee.org/1245

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: © 2006 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