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Optimizing An Introduction To Environmental Engineering Class For Abet 2000

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.407.1 - 4.407.5

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Paper Authors

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Darrell C. Schroder

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Charles D. Turner

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

3251 TS/3

Optimizing an Introduction to Environmental Engineering Class for ABET 2000

Charles D. Turner Darrell C. Schroder College of Engineering University of Texas at El Paso El Paso, Texas 79968

Abstract The core of the ABET 2000 criteria includes an outcomes driven curriculum and an assessment component with feedback mechanisms for continuous improvement. For the analysis presented in this paper the ABET A-K criteria are grouped into four more general classifications that allow the criteria to be used for individual course analysis and comparison with other courses in the curriculum. The classifications are (1) engineering analysis, (2) engineering design, (3) social responsibility, and (4) communication skills. These classifications are used to analyze the performance of an Introduction to Environmental Engineering (IEE) course with and without a laboratory for meeting ABET 2000 criteria. The use of four classifications allows the use of graphical techniques such as radar analysis to compare performance using various course options.

I. Background

The University of Texas at El Paso College of Engineering’s ABET 2000 Committee is preparing for their scheduled 2001 visit. The authors are members of this committee. Different methods for evaluating courses under the ABET 2000 criteria have been discussed. The methodology outlined in this article is designed to provide a quantitative method for comparison of options for changes within a course as well as a comparative basis for different courses. The IEE course is used as an example of how this methodology works.

Discipline specific introductory courses such as an Introduction to Environmental Engineering play an important role in meeting the new criteria because they offer the flexibility of content and the ability to experiment that core courses do not. Specifically, the ABET 2000 criteria specifies that graduates be able to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context and to have a knowledge of contemporary issues. The Introduction to Environmental Engineering (IEE) course allows the coupling of fundamental science with engineering design to address local and global problems. Engineers have always found solutions to problems that were appropriate in the context of the times. Some of these solutions are viewed by society as problematic today. Classic examples include dams and urban transit systems. Finding engineering solutions for today’s problems that make possible a better future for coming generations is a contemporary “sustainability” theme that fits well into an IEE course.

Schroder, D. C., & Turner, C. D. (1999, June), Optimizing An Introduction To Environmental Engineering Class For Abet 2000 Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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