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Public Works Engineering And Management Practices For Undergraduate Students

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.469.1 - 3.469.12



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Paper Authors

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Sal Arnaldo

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Fazil Najafi

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

Session # 1260

Public Works Engineering and Management Practices for Undergraduate Students

Fazil T. Najafi, Sal Arnaldo Department of Civil Engineering, University of Florida / City of Tallahassee, Florida


Public works is one of the largest and most diverse fields of public service. It involves the nation's infrastructure which includes the planning, analysis, design, construction, operation, maintenance and management of physical systems essential to economic and social development of communities, cities, counties, regions and nations. Public works facilities, which are referred to as the urban infrastructure and include transportation, communication, energy, water treatment and distribution, waste-and-storm water collection and disposal systems, determine the quality of life in the urban environment. In major metropolitan areas, many components of the infrastructure have deteriorated badly, while others have become severely overloaded. The existing infrastructure is inadequate to accommodate current and future growth. Stringent environmental and safety standards have placed additional pressures on existing facilities.

Decision-making about public works in the American Federal System is a complex and fragmented process, involving the participation of federal, state, and local governments. This process is also similar in other countries with a democratic government.

A three-credit hour, undergraduate course in public works engineering and management practices is proposed in this paper to introduce civil engineering students and coastal and environmental engineering students to basic principles of organization, including organization policies and the engineering code of ethics, along with other topics including personnel management; planning, finance, risk management and legal review; communications; records; emergency management; safety; municipal engineering; engineering design; the bid process; construction; right-of-way permits; utility coordination; buildings, equipment, and grounds; solid waste management, collection, processing, and disposal; streets; and, snow removal and ice control.

This paper details the first attempt to develop such a course in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Florida. This subject matter could be very useful to the national and international audience.


Most public works professionals are still civil engineers. In spite of having excellent technical training, these professionals often are unable or unwilling to advocate technical policy. Therefore, we are witnessing the emergence of the “generalist administrator”. The generalist may not have the technical expertise of the engineer, but he or she advocates policy and applies relevant methodology1.

Arnaldo, S., & Najafi, F. (1998, June), Public Works Engineering And Management Practices For Undergraduate Students Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/1-2--7374

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