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Introducing Civil Engineering Measurements Through Bridges

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.372.1 - 3.372.7



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Paper Authors

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John S. Schmalzel

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Ralph A. Dusseau

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Kauser Jahan

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

Session 3615

Introducing Civil Engineering Measurements through Bridges Kauser Jahan, Ralph A. Dusseau and John S. Schmalzel Rowan University


Freshman engineering students at Rowan University are introduced to engineering measurements through a series of hands-on laboratories emphasizing teamwork, computer utilization, oral and written communication skills and professional ethics. The major focus of the freshman clinic class for a full semester is engineering measurements and design. Problems are drawn from the four disciplines to introduce students to laboratory and field measurements. The civil engineering program introduces students to basic civil engineering measurements and terminology through a three week module using a simple truss bridge example. A model aluminum truss bridge was constructed to expose the students to the concepts of stress and strain. Omega bonded resistance strain gauges were mounted on certain members of the truss bridge to illustrate tension and compression in various members. This hands on experience was further complimented by a three hour module on surveying involving principles of triangulation and soil analysis. These two modules expose students to angle, distance and particle size measurements and their significance in structural engineering. The class ends with a team bridge building competition through the use of a bridge builder software developed by the United States Military Academy (USMA). This final section introduces students to innovation and creativity in engineering design while emphasizing the significance of the use of computers in structural analysis and design.


Founded in 1923 as Glassboro State Teachers College, Rowan University has evolved into a comprehensive regional state university with six colleges including the new College of Engineering. The College of Engineering was initiated as a result of a major donation in 1992 from the Rowan Foundation [1]. The engineering faculty is taking a leadership role by using innovative methods of teaching and learning, as envisioned by ASEE (1994) [2], to better

Schmalzel, J. S., & Dusseau, R. A., & Jahan, K. (1998, June), Introducing Civil Engineering Measurements Through Bridges Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/1-2--7239

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