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Practitioner Involvement In Building A Land Development Design Emphasis In Civil Engineering: A Case Study

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Who Should Teach the BOK

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.1167.1 - 12.1167.12



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Paper Authors

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Randel Dymond Virginia Tech


Howell Simmons Paciulli, Simmons & Associates

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Howell Simmons is president of Paciulli, Simmons & Associates, a 70 person consulting engineering firm with offices in Fairfax and Leesburg, Virginia. Howell received a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech and a Master of Engineering Administration from George Washington University. He is a licensed professional engineer and surveyor in numerous states. He is a retired Colonel, Civil Engineering Officer from the USAF Reserves. Howell has been President of Paciulli, Simmons & Associates since 1980.

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Derrick Cave Kimley-Horn Assoc.

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Derrick Cave is a senior vice president and senior project manager with Kimley-Horn. He has more than 19 years of experience in a wide variety of commercial, residential, and industrial land development projects, including highway design and public improvement projects. Derrick serves as a project manager in the firm’s land development program for Wal-Mart, and he has been involved in more than 75 Wal-Mart Supercenter sites. He is responsible for all civil engineering services including preparation of site plans; paving, grading, drainage, and utility plans; stormwater management design; sanitary sewer lift station design; and off-site improvements. In addition, Derrick is one of Kimley-Horn’s regional practice coordinators within the firm’s Wal-Mart development program. Derrick has a BS in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech.

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Robert Jansen KB Home

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

Practitioner Involvement in Building a Land Development Design Emphasis in Civil Engineering: A Case Study


A large team of practitioners has rallied around a call for strong participation in the development of a new emphasis in land development design within a Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) at a major land-grant institution. Land development design is the process of planning, design, and construction of infrastructure and facilities for residential, commercial, industrial, institutional, recreational, and governmental projects. Professionals must have strong knowledge about comprehensive plans, zoning, conceptual design, as well as the engineering background in water resources, transportation, environmental, surveying and projects/construction management. While as many as one-half of graduating civil engineers go to work in the land development industry (university placement statistics, 2001-2005), few civil engineering programs in the country have any course or emphasis in land development within their curriculum. This paper presents a case study of an effort to establish a land development design program and describes lessons learned and recommendations for other universities that may wish to initiate a similar program.

Historically, the CEE department has had one course in Land Development Design available for more than 10 years, taught by various adjunct instructors, who were always fulltime practicing professional engineers. Constant turnover in the position was difficult to handle and an adjunct could not expand the course into a program. Recently, a tenured faculty member began to teach the class and initiated a major collaborative effort with practitioners in the state in order to 1) develop a program in land development within the department, and 2) increase student interest in land development as a possible career. The Land Development Design Initiative (LDDI) involves more than 40 engineering and land development firms and directly involves practitioner volunteers in teaching, mentoring, and promoting land development to undergraduate students.

A related issue is the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Policy Statement 465 "Academic Prerequisites for Licensure & Professional Practice"1 and its implementation through the Body of Knowledge (BOK) Committee’s report, “Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge for the 21st Century”2. The BOK report specifically discusses three themes: 1) What should be taught and learned, 2) How knowledge should be taught and learned, and 3) Who should teach and learn the knowledge. The principal effort of the report was to address the “What” while the second two themes will be further developed by ASCE Committees. In its own way, all three of these themes are being developed by the LDDI with regards to the land development area of civil engineering.

The BOK Committee has developed 15 outcomes to define the “what” dimension of the civil engineering BOK (see Appendix A). Eleven of these are taken directly from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) and four other outcomes were developed by the committee. In a similar vein, the LDDI group collectively established a list of desired knowledge for civil engineering graduates that would like to enter the land development field (Appendix B). These topics were generalized into seven categories (Planning, Design, Surveying, Environmental requirements, Construction process, Communication, and Application Software). The intent of this list is to focus curricular discussions on providing these prioritized topics to the students.

Dymond, R., & Simmons, H., & Cave, D., & Jansen, R. (2007, June), Practitioner Involvement In Building A Land Development Design Emphasis In Civil Engineering: A Case Study Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1812

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