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Is It Time For a Third Edition of the Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge (BOK)?

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Educational & Professional Issues of Strategic Importance to the Civil Engineering Profession – and ASCE

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

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Paper Authors


Kenneth J. Fridley University of Alabama

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Kenneth J. Fridley is the Senior Associate Dean for the College of Engineering at The University of Alabama. Prior to his current appointment, Fridley served as Professor and Head of the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering at the University of Alabama. Dr. Fridley has been recognized as a dedicated educator throughout his career and has received several awards for his teaching efforts, including the ExCEEd (Excellence in Civil Engineering Education) Leadership Award in 2010. At the University of Alabama, Fridley has led efforts to establish several new programs including new undergraduate degree programs in construction engineering, architectural engineering and environmental engineering, a departmental Scholars program allowing highly qualified students an accelerated program to earn their MSCE in addition to their BS degree, the interdisciplinary "Cube" promoting innovation in engineering, and the cross-disciplinary MSCE/MBA and MSCE/JD dual-degree programs.

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Decker B. Hains Western Michigan University


Leslie Nolen American Society of Civil Engineers

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Leslie Nolen, CAE, serves as director, educational activities for the American Society of Civil Engineers. She works with ASCE's Committee on Education on issues of importance to the undergraduate and graduate level education of civil engineers.

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Brock E. Barry PE U.S. Military Academy

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Dr. Brock E. Barry, P.E. is an Associate Professor and Mechanics Group Director in the Department of Civil & Mechanical Engineering at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York. Dr. Barry holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Rochester Institute of Technology, a Master of Science degree from University of Colorado at Boulder, and a PhD from Purdue University. Prior to pursuing a career in academics, Dr. Barry spent 10-years as a senior geotechnical engineer and project manager on projects throughout the United States. He is a licensed professional engineer in multiple states. Dr. Barry’s areas of research include assessment of professional ethics, teaching and learning in engineering education, nonverbal communication in the classroom, and learning through historical engineering accomplishments. He has authored and co-authored a significant number of journal articles and book chapters on these topics.

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Beth Lin Hartmann P.E. Iowa State University

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Beth Lin Hartmann is a senior lecturer in construction engineering at Iowa State University. Hartmann served 20 years in the U.S. Navy Civil Engineer Corps before joining the faculty at Iowa State in 2009. She currently teaches the civil and construction engineering design-build capstone course and the construction engineering learning community. Hartmann received a BA in Architecture, MS in Civil Engineering (Construction Engineering & Management), and PhD in Civil Engineering (Construction Engineering & Management) from Iowa State University in 1989, 1996, and 2016, respectively.

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It has been eight years since the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) published the second edition of the Body of Knowledge (BOK2) report, and in October 2016 ASCE launched the Body of Knowledge 3 Task Committee (BOK3TC). The BOK3TC was given the charge of critically reviewing published literature regarding the future of engineering, other disciplines and civil engineering practice; proactively soliciting constituent input; evaluating the ASCE BOK2; determining if a 3rd edition of the Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge report is warranted at this time; and if warranted, developing the BOK3 report. This paper will update the civil engineering community on the progress of the BOK3TC with the specific goal of answering the question of whether or not a third edition of the BOK is needed at this point in time.

To answer this question, a critical review of published papers, reports and other documents was completed, answering the following specific questions for each source: (1) Does the source affirm aspects of the ASCE BOK2? If so what and how? (2) Does this source suggest things that may need to be revised or clarified in the BOK? If so, what, why and how? (3) Does this source suggest things that are missing and should be considered for addition? If so, what, why, and how? And (4) Does this source suggest things that should be removed from the BOK? If so, what and why? This paper will provide a summary of the reviews and, based on the results of the reviews, provide a well-justified answer to the question “Is it time for a Third Edition of the Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge (BOK)?”

COORDINATING NOTE:  This abstract is submitted at the specific invitation and request of Tom Lenox, the coordinator of the ASCE Liaison Committee’s session(s) for the CE Division of ASEE in 2017.  It should be considered for inclusion in the session “Educational & Professional Issues of Strategic Importance to the Civil Engineering Profession – and ASCE.” that Tom Lenox is organizing.

Fridley, K. J., & Hains, D. B., & Nolen, L., & Barry, B. E., & Hartmann, B. L. (2017, June), Is It Time For a Third Edition of the Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge (BOK)? Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28591

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