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Intra-Disciplinary Integration in Civil Engineering Education: An Approach to Integrate the Various Civil Engineering Disciplines with the Use of a Design Studio Lab

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Civil Engineering Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1019.1 - 26.1019.16



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Paper Authors


Michael J. Davidson Wentworth Institute of Technology

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Michael J. Davidson, P.E. – Assistant Professor, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Department of Civil Engineering Technology,

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James Lambrechts P.E. Wentworth Institute of Technology

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James Lambrechts received a B.S. from the University of Maryland and an M.S. from Purdue University, both in civil engineering. He was a geotechnical engineer for 27 years with Haley & Aldrich, Inc. in Boston before taking a position at Wentworth in 2005.

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Leonard Anderson Wentworth Institute of Technology

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Leonard Anderson is an Associate Professor in Wentworth’s Department of Civil Engineering and Technology. He has a B.S. in civil engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in civil engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He is a certified professional constructor and licensed construction supervisor.

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Nakisa Alborz Wentworth Institute of Technology

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Nakisa Alborz, an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering and Technology at the Wentworth Institute of Technology, received her Ph.D. from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Mass. Her focus is on building sustainability and post-occupancy evaluations. She is a LEED-accredited professional with a specialty in building design and construction with over 10 years of industry experience on private and public projects and 2 years of teaching experience at the university level.

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ABSTRACT Intra-Disciplin^ryIntegrationin Civil EngineeringEducation:An Approach to Integratethe Various Civil EngineeringDisciptines with the Useof a Design StudioLab Typically, civil engineeringeducationsupplements individual cotnselecture serieswith an hands-onlaboratory exercises. Theselaboratoryexercises tend to deal solely with thematerial being addressed the lecturesfor the particular course. Consequently, only in not are theselaboratorieslimited to one civil engineeringdiscipline but also limited to thematerial being taught in the specific course. The Civil Engineering Department at ourInstitute developedand implementeda Design Sfudio Lab (DSL) for the 2014 summersemester.This experientialstudio linked severalof the civil engineeringdisciplines in aseriesof two-two hour studios/labs and one lectureper week for eachstudent(3 credits).Four civil engineeringdisciplinesparticipatedin this experientialstudio with the desiredgoals of; gaining additional knowledge in a specific civil engineeringdiscipline, performingexperiments and exercisesin a sequence that illustrate the multi-discipline interaction thattypically occur on civil engineeringprojects,developinga better understanding the role ofof eachdiscipline in the practiceof civil engineeringand emphasi zing the need forcommunication,collaborationand cooperation betweencivil engineeringdisciplines. Thispaper addresses desired studentobjectives and an assessment the achievementof the oftheseobjectives. The successes this courseare discussed well as the lessonslearned of asfrom the first semester. The experiential studio/laboratoriesare basedon a known site and building. At the start of thedesign studio lab, the studentsare presented with the project information such as drawings, soilborings, and digital files. The faculty has the license to add undergroundtanks, contaminatedsoil and other civil engineeringissuesto the project data. The set-upof the design studio laballows for significant changefrom semester semester.Severalof the intra-discipline toexperientiallaboratoriesare discussed the paper. As an example,the structuralgroup ininterface with the geotechnicalgroup in the developmentof building foundation loads, theperformance of laboratory tests on the site soil to estimatedifferential settlementof thefoundation and the input of this datainto structural analysis software to determine the effect onthe structural support moment frame. The results of the experiments/labsare captured in labreports, papers and presentations. This design studio/lab is a prelude for a secondmoreindependent experientialstudio leadingto the Comprehensive CapstoneDesign Course.Keywords: Intra-Disciplinary, Civil Engineedrg, Experiential Studios

Davidson, M. J., & Lambrechts, J., & Anderson, L., & Alborz, N. (2015, June), Intra-Disciplinary Integration in Civil Engineering Education: An Approach to Integrate the Various Civil Engineering Disciplines with the Use of a Design Studio Lab Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24356

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