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Pedagogical Skill Development Through the Horizontal Integration of a Second-Year Engineering Curriculum

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Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Horizontal and Vertical Integration

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count

16

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/28734

Download Count

81

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Paper Authors

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Kyle Daniel Balkos University of Waterloo

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Kyle obtained his B.A.Sc. in Civil Engineering with a Certificate in Structural Engineering at the University of Waterloo in 2015. He is now furthering his knowledge in the discipline of structural engineering by pursuing a research based master’s (M.A.Sc.) degree co-supervised by Dr. West and Dr. Walbridge.
Kyle's research focuses on understanding the fatigue behaviour of slip-critical shear connectors used in composite bridges between steel girders and precast concrete slabs. The proposed research will involve both experimental and numerical components. Scaled test specimens will be fabricated and loaded cyclically to assess the fatigue life and performance of the shear connectors and a finite element model of the specimens will be generated to evaluate the performance numerically. This research is expected substantiate the reliability of using fewer required shear connectors, rendering a more efficient design.

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Benjamin Dow University of Waterloo

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Benjamin has a Masters of Applied Science degree from the University of Waterloo. While completing his Masters, he was a teaching assistant for several undergraduate courses, focusing primarily on structural analysis and building science.

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Shoeleh Shams University of Waterloo

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Shoeleh Shams is a PhD candidate at the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, University of Waterloo. Her PhD work focuses on water quality and treatment. She has been working as a Sessional Lecturer at the University of Waterloo and taught several courses including Probability and Statistics for Engineers.

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Rania Al-Hammoud P.Eng. University of Waterloo

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Dr. Al-Hammoud is a Faculty lecturer (Graduate Attributes) in the department of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Waterloo. Dr. Al-Hammoud has a passion for teaching where she continuously seeks new technologies to involve students in their learning process. She is actively involved in the Ideas Clinic, a major experiential learning initiative at the University of Waterloo. She is also responsible for developing a process and assessing graduate attributes at the department to target areas for improvement in the curriculum. This resulted in several publications in this educational research areas.
Dr. Al-Hammoud won the “Ameet and Meena Chakma award for exceptional teaching by a student” in 2014 and the "Engineering Society Teaching Award" in 2016 from University of Waterloo. Her students regard her as an innovative teacher who continuously introduces new ideas to the classroom that increases their engagement.

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Monica B. Emelko University of Waterloo

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Dr. Monica Emelko is an Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Director of the Water Science, Technology, and Policy group at the University of Waterloo. Her research is focused on drinking water supply and treatment, particularly as related to sustainable technology design and optimization, risk analysis, integrated resource management, climate change impacts on water, and the protection of public health. Her ongoing work has involved active participation from over a dozen utilities and conservation authorities across Canada and the United States. Dr. Emelko’s team was the first cited by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for identifying climate change threats to drinking water treatment—they were awarded the 2014 Council of the Federation Award for Water Stewardship for this work. This year, she received a citation and medallion from Premier Rachel Notley for service to the province of Alberta as a first responder during the Horse River wildfire in Fort McMurray. Dr. Emelko holds B.S. degrees in both chemical engineering and environmental engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an M.S. in civil engineering from UCLA, and a Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of Waterloo.

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Scott Walbridge University of Waterloo

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Scott Walbridge has been a structural engineering professor in the University of Waterloo's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering since 2006. Prior to that, he completed his doctoral studies at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), and his bachelor's and master's degrees at the University of Alberta. Between his master's and doctoral studies, he worked as a structural engineering consultant for 2.5 years in Edmonton, Canada.

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Chris Bachmann University of Waterloo

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Chris Bachmann is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Canada. He holds a BASc, MASc, and PhD, from the University of Toronto, in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Bachmann is primarily interested in studying the interaction between transportation systems and economies. He is a member of the TRB’s Standing Committee on International Trade and Transportation (AT020). His research group works with various agencies including Transport Canada, the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO), Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) Canada, and the National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Dr. Bachmann teaches “Economics and Life Cycle Analysis” and “Transportation Engineering Applications” at the University of Waterloo.

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Abstract

This paper explores the use of a comprehensive design, management and construction project as a pedagogical teaching instrument for second year engineering students, simulating the challenges and responsibilities they will face in the professional engineering consulting discipline. The primary objective was to educate students in an interactive manner spanning diverse fundamental skillsets by having them analyse a problem, evaluate various design solutions and apply their knowledge in a collaborative group effort.

Students were randomly arranged into groups of four with the task of designing, constructing, and testing a bridge out of wood and plastic stir sticks subject to material, dimensional and cost limitations. Students were required to exercise and integrate their knowledge of four compulsory second year courses to arrive at an optimal design solution. First proposed by the University of Cincinnati, this amalgamation of courses specializing in various disciplines, taught concurrently within a specified time duration is termed horizontal integration. This differs from vertical integration where knowledge in a specific discipline is accumulated through various stages of increasing difficulty over the course of several time intervals.

The four courses pertinent to this project include: Solid Mechanics, Probability and Statistics, Structure and Properties of Materials and new to this year; Transportation Principles and Applications. The Civil Engineering department at the X X developed a new curriculum whereby the Transportation Principles and Applications course replaced Economics and Life Cycle Analysis, which is now taught during a later academic semester. In response to this curriculum change, the project was modified from last year by decreasing the emphasis on the economic and lifecycle analysis of the project, more heavily focusing on transportation design aspects. This was achieved by changing the proposed bridge location from a crossing with horizontal approaches and a well defined clear span distance to a flood plain scenario with sloping approaches on either side. Students are challenged with the task of arriving at an optimal design solution considering the balance between a variable bridge clear span distance and the consequent volume of excavated material required for their selected clear span while respecting roadway design regulations.

The project was designed such that students were allowed to express their creativity, making their own design decisions with limited restrictions as well as gain experience with commercial structural analysis software. Moreover, the project had the intent of demonstrating the value of teamwork, subjecting students to an environment where they were required to work with others. Feedback was assimilated from previous year's students to further improve the effectiveness of this pedagogical teaching instrument. Students from the previous year indicated difficulties working with peers with conflicting personalities. To mitigate this issue, a teamwork building workshop was established this year, teaching students how to recognize and respect differences in personality traits and how to capitalize on the inherit benefits of each. Further, a preliminary design report submission was incorporated this year to allow for intermittent feedback, allowing for support to students where the instructor felt necessary.

Balkos, K. D., & Dow, B., & Shams, S., & Al-Hammoud, R., & Emelko, M. B., & Walbridge, S., & Bachmann, C. (2017, June), Pedagogical Skill Development Through the Horizontal Integration of a Second-Year Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/28734

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