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Interdisciplinary, real-world, client-based term projects in an introductory environmental engineering and science course

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Conference

2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Problem- and project-based learning in environmental engineering

Tagged Division

Environmental Engineering

Page Count

17

Page Numbers

23.804.1 - 23.804.17

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/19818

Download Count

15

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Paper Authors

biography

Andrew Ross Pfluger, P.E. United States Military Academy

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Major Andrew Pfluger is an officer in the United States Army and an Assistant Professor at the United States Military Academy (USMA) in the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering. He holds two graduate degrees from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University and is a Professional Engineer in the State of Delaware. He current teaches Environmental Science, Environmental Engineering Technologies, and Air Pollution Engineering.

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biography

Matthew P. Baideme United States Military Academy

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Major Matthew Baideme is an officer in the United States Army and an Instructor at the United States Military Academy (USMA) in the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering. He currently teaches Environmental Science and Environmental Engineering Technologies at USMA.

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Katie E Matthew United States Army

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Major Katie Matthew was commissioned as a Logistics Officer upon graduation from the United States Military Academy in 2000. She has served and commanded in a variety of units, to include maintenance, supply, and headquarters for combat brigades both stateside and deployed. She received an MBA from Kansas State University in 2009 and has taught courses in military leadership and marketing at West Point for the past three years.

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Stephen A. Lewandowski United States Military Academy

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MAJ Lewandowski serves as an Environmental Science and Engineering Officer in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps. He is an instructor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering at USMA, West Point, NY.

B.S. United States Military Academy, Environmental Science (2002)
M.S. Harvard School of Public Health, Environmental Health (2011)

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biography

Jeffrey A. Starke P.E. United States Military Academy

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LTC Jeff Starke is a Military Intelligence officer with command and staff experiences at the battalion, brigade, and joint task force levels. His most recent experiences include operational intelligence assignments in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan. Academically, LTC Starke specializes in environmental engineering with research and teaching interests in drinking water, public health, and microbial-mediated renewable energy resources. LTC Starke teaches senior-level design courses in Physical and Chemical Processes, Biological Treatment Processes, Solid and Hazardous Waste Technologies, and Environmental Engineering Seminar. LTC Starke has published over 10 peer reviewed research articles and has presented his research at national and international meetings (most recently Portugal). Most recently, he led a service learning project with 5 students to build a latrine-based biogas system in western Uganda for an elementary school of 1400 students. LTC Starke is a registered Professional Engineer (Delaware), member of several professional associations, and is a member of the National Council of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors (NCEES).

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Michael A. Butkus P.E. U.S. Military Academy

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Abstract

Interdisciplinary, real-world, client-based term projects in an introductory environmental engineering and science courseMany universities have real environmental problems in areas such as energy efficiency, waterefficiency, and solid waste management, but do not always have the time or resources toexamine the problems in depth. Our university employs an introductory environmentalengineering and science course required for environmental engineering and environmentalscience majors, which is also available to non-STEM majors. Within the context of the course,we maintain a semester-long term project that examines real environmental problems, which ourstudents teams (3-4 students of varying academic majors) observe or clients (such as theDepartment of Public Works or our student government) identify. Preparation for the projectrequires student teams to develop a hypothesis and a basic sampling and evaluation protocol.Students then use the protocol to conduct sampling in the local community and analyze results inlight of their hypothesis. Students are required to submit a final written report. This term projectmodel also encourages interdisciplinary collaboration with other engineering disciplines andnon-STEM disciplines, such as the Marketing course in our university’s Department ofBehavioral Sciences and Leadership. This cross-cutting educational method can create moreholistic solutions to the identified problems, enhance student learning, and assist in meetingABET accreditation. To date, assessment of students who participated in the real-world, client-based project versus the previous project indicated an improvement in several important areas:valuation of results, motivation and understanding, confidence in problem solving skills, and thebelief that other students and community members cared about project results. This workpresents the methods our program developed to incorporate the scientific method, hypothesisdevelopment, and sampling methodologies to help solve these relevant real-world problems. Themethods required to implement this educational experience in environmental engineeringprograms to meet ABET accreditation requirements are also presented.

Pfluger, P.E., A. R., & Baideme, M. P., & Matthew, K. E., & Lewandowski, S. A., & Starke, J. A., & Butkus, M. A. (2013, June), Interdisciplinary, real-world, client-based term projects in an introductory environmental engineering and science course Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/19818

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