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Integration Of Analysis And Design In The Structural Engineering Curriculum

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.623.1 - 6.623.8

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Andrew Scanlon

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Andrea Schokker

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

Session 1395

Integration of Analysis and Design in the Structural Engineering Curriculum

Andrea J. Schokker, Andrew Scanlon The Pennsylvania State University


In the Civil Engineering curriculum, coursework tends to be compartmentalized with the result that students often find it difficult to understand the relationships among concepts covered in different courses. Even within individual courses, students sometimes have difficulty tying together material from different parts of the course. In an attempt to overcome these shortcomings a project is underway at Penn State University to integrate coursework in the areas of structural analysis, structural design, geotechnical engineering, and engineering materials. The general approach is to develop a theme project for which different aspects are covered in several related courses. This paper describes the activities underway to integrate material in our structural analysis and structural design courses, as well as a plan to assess the impact of the approach.

I. Introduction

Undergraduate civil engineering curricula typically cover structural analysis and structural design in different courses. Analysis is often covered first with design being covered in later courses. As a result students often do not see clearly the relationship between analysis and design. Students usually see analysis as being theoretical while design is seen as dealing with practical issues, whereas in fact analysis and design are closely intertwined.

At Penn State we are attempting to integrate various parts of the curriculum by developing project design examples that cover analysis and design of structural components within the context of a complete structural system. This approach has already been implemented in our course on design of concrete structures and we are currently developing the modules for our structural analysis course.

As part of the assessment process, a baseline test has been developed to assess the student's understanding of structural engineering concepts at various stages of their development.

II. Structural Design

Design in civil engineering usually means developing a scheme from the conceptual phase through the detailing phase to produce a set of drawings and specifications that can be used by a general contractor to actualize the final product in the construction phase. In addition to the

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Scanlon, A., & Schokker, A. (2001, June), Integration Of Analysis And Design In The Structural Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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