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Shared Capstone Project Mentoring for Improved Learning

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Conference

2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016

ISBN

978-0-692-68565-5

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Capstone and Collaborations in Civil Engineering

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

10

DOI

10.18260/p.26178

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/26178

Download Count

124

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Paper Authors

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Kevin G. Sutterer Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Kevin Sutterer is Professor and Department Head of Civil Engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Indiana. He received BS and MS degrees in Civil Engineering at University of Missouri-Rolla, a second MS in Civil Engineering at Purdue University, and a Ph.D. from Georgia Institute of Technology. Although his specialization is geotechnical engineering, he has consulted in environmental and structural engineering as well and currently teaches courses in geotechnical and structural engineering. Kevin was a geotechnical consultant with Soil Consultants, Inc. of St. Peters, Missouri from 1984-1988. He also served as Director of Engineering Services for SCI Environmental of Chesterfield, Missouri from 1988-89 before leaving practice to pursue his Ph.D. Kevin was an Assistant Professor at University of Kentucky from 1993-1998, and has been a faculty at Rose-Hulman since then. Kevin has served the Civil Engineering Division of ASEE for over 10 years and was Division Chair in 2010-11. He has also served on numerous ASCE committees. In addition to receiving numerous teaching awards over the years, he was selected by Kentucky Society of Professional Engineering and National Society of Professional Engineers as their 1996 Young Engineer of the Year.

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John Aidoo Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Dr. Aidoo is currently an Associate Professor of Civil Engineering Department at Rose-Hulman Institute Technology. Prior to this appointment, he worked as the Bridge Design Engineer at South Carolina Department of Transportation. He received a B.Sc. from the University of Science & Technology in Ghana in 1997 and a M.Sc. and Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina. His research activities include repair and strengthening of buildings and bridges using Advanced Composite Materials, laboratory and field testing of structures and the fatigue behavior of concrete bridges.

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Jeremy R. Chapman Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Dr. Chapman has a PhD in transportation systems engineering with a focus on traffic safety and human factors from the University of Wisconsin - Madison, where he also earned his JD. Dr. Chapman earned his bachelors degree in civil engineering from Marquette University and his master of science in civil engineering degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He then worked in industry as a transportation engineer and intelligent transportation systems analyst for several years before returning to school for his joint doctoral studies.

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James H. Hanson P.E. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Dr. James Hanson is a Professor of Civil Engineering at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and the Roland E. Hutchins Endowed Chair. His teaching emphasis is structural analysis and design. Over the last twelve years he has conducted research on teaching students how to evaluate the reasonableness of their results. He is the recipient of several best paper awards and teaching awards including the American Concrete Institute’s Young Member Award for Professional Achievement in 2006 and the Walter P. Moore Jr. Faculty Award in 2007. He also received the Ferdinand P. Beer & E. Russell Johnston, Jr., Outstanding New Mechanics Educator Award from the Mechanics Division of ASEE in 2006.

Professor Hanson brings four years of military and industry experience to the classroom. Upon completing his Ph.D. in structural engineering at Cornell University, he taught for two years at Bucknell University. He is a registered Professional Engineer.

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Kyle Kershaw P.E. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Dr. Kyle Kershaw is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Kyle's primary teaching duties include courses in geotechnical engineering and construction materials. His research interests include behavior and monitoring of in-place foundations and retaining structures. In addition to his teaching and research duties, Kyle is involved in geotechnical consulting and Engineers Without Borders.

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Matthew D. Lovell Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Dr. Matthew Lovell obtained his Masters and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Purdue University. During his time at Purdue, Matt worked at Bowen Lab gaining experience in large scale experimentation and field instrumentation of structures. He also has experience working as a consultant for a bridge design firm and as the Site Operations Engineer for the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES). Since 2011, Matt has served as an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering at Rose-Hulman. Dr. Lovell engages his students in undergraduate research experiences and focuses on infusing creative design and structured problem solving in undergraduate engineering courses. He is also an active member of the American Society for Engineering Educators, American Concrete Institute, and American Society of Civil Engineers.

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Michelle Marincel Payne Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Michelle Marincel Payne is an assistant professor in the Civil Engineering Department at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. She will earn her Ph.D. this year in environmental engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She completed her M.S. in environmental engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology, and her B.S. in nuclear engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla. Michelle is interested in developing opportunities for undergraduate students to learn through research, and in developing active and place-based teaching methods for environmental engineering courses.

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Jennifer Mueller PE P.E. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Michael Robinson P.E. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Michael Robinson is an Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

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Abstract

The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (RHIT) Department of Civil Engineering has featured year-long capstone projects for outside clients since 1988. The program had remained essentially the same over that time until 2011. A course instructor was responsible for all of the groups’ work and each team was assigned a faculty member as coach. The projects have always been real projects for clients with real needs.

Early in capstone projects, the groups’ work often required the expertise of a faculty member to mentor field and lab work even though that faculty member was not the team coach or course instructor. The field and lab work can be of lesser quality because the teams failed to adequately use the faculty expert to plan their work. Later, during project design, the sub-discipline design required on each project was not always mentored by a faculty expert, especially if the faculty expert was not the instructor or team coach. Because group members were not directly accountable in grading to the faculty expert, student design submissions were sometimes of lower quality, submitted late, and/or required substantial revision at the end of the year. These circumstances demanded last-minute effort from both students and faculty experts that resulted in a delayed or incomplete submission of the final project.

In industry, civil engineering consultants form design teams comprised of engineer experts from multiple sub-disciplines. Each expert works in an administrative structure that allows them to work with other experts in their own sub-discipline and with a senior mentor throughout the project. To emulate this, the civil engineering program at RHIT reorganized its capstone design for the 2012-13 academic year to ensure shared learning and collaboration within technical sub-disciplines under a faculty expert. This model is now in its fourth year with the 2015-16 academic year. Assessment of the new model by faculty members indicates significantly improved student learning, earlier completion of design work, and better emphasis on the balance between expectations of each sub-discipline expert and their role in meeting the needs of the project. The new senior design process, which consists of department-wide responsibility for student learning and course facilitation, is a great improvement over existing traditional approaches.

Sutterer, K. G., & Aidoo, J., & Chapman, J. R., & Hanson, J. H., & Kershaw, K., & Lovell, M. D., & Marincel Payne, M., & Mueller, J., & Robinson, M. (2016, June), Shared Capstone Project Mentoring for Improved Learning Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26178

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