April 20, 2017
April 20, 2017
April 22, 2017
Pacific Southwest Section
Over the past ten years, the Civil Engineering Department of Cal Poly Pomona (CPP) and District 8 of California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) have been partnering on real-life, learn-by-doing senior projects where a group of CPP senior students have designed and analyzed a variety of freeway interchange alternatives for an actual interchange project location in either San Bernardino or Riverside Counties in California.
Supervised by both CPP faculty and Caltrans Engineers, each team has conducted various studies including Planning Study, Traffic Analysis, Geometric Design, Construction Staging, Environmental Impact Study, and Cost Benefit Analysis. These studies have covered a wide range of the core courses related to transportation emphasis of Civil Engineering. More importantly, each senior project has followed the Caltrans project development process and addressed contemporary transportation issues, including technical aspects of interchange improvements, the formulation of the project purpose and need, project scheduling, team building strategies, and public speaking techniques.
Additionally, project teams have made multiple presentations of their results to several groups including a panel of District 8 Deputy District Directors, District 8 Design staff, local chapters of Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) and the Caltrans Design Management Board, and the engineering professionals at these meetings have been very impressed. Also, as one of the final products of the senior project, each team has been asked to create a website to highlight the objectives, scope, team, and various documents of the project.
So far more than 150 students have been successfully trained with this senior project model. These students, currently working in various transportation agencies and consulting firms in California, have been major contributors to providing a safe, sustainable, integrated and efficient transportation system to enhance California’s economy and livability.
In May 2016, the Civil Engineering department of CPP celebrated the great success of the CPP-Caltrans partnership at a reunion reception. All CPP faculty, Caltrans District 8 management team and engineers, and the students who has been involved in this program were invited. The reception further promoted this senior project model which has empowered the students and young engineers and has helped them develop their careers in civil engineering across California and the rest of the country.
Zhang, Y., & Jia, X., & Bumps, J., & Lu, D. (2017, April), Learn by Doing: Lessons Learned from the Ten-Year Senior Projects through University-Agency Partnership Paper presented at 2017 Pacific Southwest Section Meeting, Tempe, Arizona. https://peer.asee.org/29221
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