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Strengthening Sustainable Design Principles in the Civil Engineering Curriculum

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Integrating Sustainability and Social Responsibility into the Curriculum

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

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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 Marincel Payne is interested in developing opportunities for undergraduate students to learn through research utilizing engineered treatment wetlands and biomimetic membranes technologies. She is also interested in developing active and place-based teaching methods for environmental engineering courses.

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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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Sustainable design principles are starting to become part of professional engineering designs. To prepare students to be competitive in the workplace, it is prudent that undergraduate programs incorporate sustainable design principles throughout curricula. It was the vision of the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CE) Department at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology to weave sustainable design principles throughout our civil engineering undergraduate curriculum, with the expectation that the civil engineering students incorporate sustainable design principles in a more thoughtful and logical manner in their civil engineering projects.

The CE Department has previously reported the incorporation of sustainable design principles from freshman to senior years and its impact on our students’ understanding of sustainability. However, we found that many students still struggled to incorporate social sustainability in their capstone project designs. In response, we created and implemented a community engagement engineering module for our Codes and Regulations course. The module consisted of analyzing case studies and finally applying sustainable design principles, with particular emphasis on social sustainability, to capstone projects.

We used pre- and post-course surveys to assess if the community engagement engineering module impacted students’ learning. Additionally, we assessed preliminary senior design project reports from a social sustainability perspective, comparing reports from the intervention cohort with the three previous cohorts.

Marincel Payne, M., & Aidoo, J. (2017, June), Strengthening Sustainable Design Principles in the Civil Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28854

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