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Integration of a Local Riverbank Failure Problem in Civil Engineering Undergraduate Curriculum

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Conference

2022 ASEE St. Lawrence Section Annual Conference

Location

Syracuse University, New York

Publication Date

March 25, 2022

Start Date

March 25, 2022

End Date

February 26, 2024

Page Count

12

DOI

10.18260/1-2--45415

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/45415

Download Count

58

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Paper Authors

biography

Suguang Xiao Clarkson University

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Suguang Xiao is an Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Clarkson University. Dr. Xiao received his PhD in Civil (Geotechnical) Engineering at Lehigh University, MS in Civil Engineering (Concentration: Tunnel and Underground Engineering) at Tongji University, and BS in Civil Engineering at Chang’an University. Prior to joining Clarkson University, Dr. Xiao worked as a Research Associate at University of Oklahoma. His research interests include dynamic behaviors of foundations for wind turbines, soil-structure interaction of geothermal energy piles, heat transfer simulation of bridge deicing using geothermal energy, energy storage, and foundation behaviors in degrading permafrost. Dr. Xiao has authored or coauthored over 20 peer-reviewed journal and conference papers. He also serves as a reviewer for several national and international journals such as Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, Journal of Cold Regions Engineering, Energy, and Geomechanics for Energy and the Environment. He is a professional engineer licensed by the state of California.

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Robert J Schneider Clarkson University

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Robert Schneider is an undergraduate student currently enrolled in his junior year. Schneider is experienced in geotechnical laboratory testing and volunteered in performing in-situ DCPT testing for the discussed river bank problem. He is a proven campus leader including roles as Concrete Canoe Captain, NYWEA Student Chapter President and ASCE Student Chapter Vice-President. His interests include geotechnical consulting and pre-construction services.

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biography

Erik Backus Clarkson University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-4348-8216

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Erik C. Backus, PE, is a Professor of Practice at Clarkson University currently pursuing a PhD in Engineering Science with a focus in facilities and infrastructure construction decision making. He is currently the Howard E. Lechler Director of the Construction Engineering Management (CEM) program, teaching and supporting undergraduate, graduate, and other students and trainees. He has a bevy of expertise, experience, and knowledge in instructing project based engineering courses. Erik has spearheaded the Clarkson Civil & Environmental Engineering (CEE) Capstone design experience since 2015, using project teams as direct consultants with internal and external clients across the State and region. He has presented on one such project at the ASEE St. Lawrence Section conference on one such CEE capstone effort in the past. He also teaches courses in a variety of areas connected to both building and infrastructure construction. Previous to his time at Clarkson, he was an Assistant Professor of Military Science at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA and an Instructor/Writer for the US Army Engineer School USAES) at the Maneuver Support Center (MANSCEN), Fort Leonard Wood, MO. He was responsible for rewiring significant portions of the USAES Engineer Captain’s Career Course curriculum related to construction contracting and is a past winner of the MANSCEN Technical Training Excellence award.

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Abstract

One of the primary goals of undergraduate educators is to provide engineering students with engaging problems to build skills needed for their careers. Project based coursework puts responsibility on the student to initiate self-directed learning and opportunity to apply fundamentals. Recently, with the solicitation of the local municipality, Dr. Xiao volunteered in assisting a homeowner to rectify a slope failure along the St. Regis River in Brasher Falls, NY through the development of a course project. Clarkson University students enrolled in CE 415 Foundations, Stability, and Retaining Structures (Fall 2019), and CE310 Geotech Engineering I: Soil Mechanics (Spring 2019), two fundamental geotechnical engineering courses, were tasked with the following engineering problem: two major riverbank failures occurred near the house in 2016 and 2019, respectively, which threatened the nearby resident’s home. Fluvial erosion undercuts bank toe and steepens the slope which is the main reason for bank failures. In the project, students were given the site layout and additionally performed in-situ dynamic cone penetration tests to determine the soil parameters such as soil strength and friction angle. Students classified the soil as silty sand through sieve analysis and Atterberg limit tests. Based on these results, students self-learned the slices and circle method to perform a slope stability analysis. After determining the possibility of another failure, the students of CE 415 provided reinforcement solutions. The importance of project-based coursework is essential to the department’s curriculum and the development of industry ready professionals. In addition, the project assisted the owner in performing a slope stability analysis and designing retaining structures for the bank slope. With the efforts of the local municipality and other parties, the threat to the house has been removed. Exposing students to local community engineering problems enhances their interest throughout the course and better prepare themselves for their future careers.

Xiao, S., & Schneider, R. J., & Backus, E. (2022, March), Integration of a Local Riverbank Failure Problem in Civil Engineering Undergraduate Curriculum Paper presented at 2022 ASEE St. Lawrence Section Annual Conference, Syracuse University, New York. 10.18260/1-2--45415

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