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Structural Elective Course for Special Building Systems

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Instructional Innovations and Global Issues in Architectural Engineering Education

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

23.1092.1 - 23.1092.8



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Paper Authors


James P. Mwangi P.E. California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

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Dr. James Mwangi received his Bachelor's of Science degree from the University of Nairobi at Kenya, a Master's of Science degree from the University of Lagos at Nigeria and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of California, Davis, all in in Civil Engineering (structures).
Dr. Mwangi is currently an associate professor in the Architectural Engineering Department at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in concrete, steel, timber and masonry. He is a registered civil engineer and a registered structural engineer in the state of California.
Dr. Mwangi is a member of the Structural Engineers Association of Central California, Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, American Society of Civil Engineers, the Structural Engineers Institute and active member of the Masonry Society (TMS), serving as a voting member on the Masonry Standards Joint Committee and on the TMS’s Technical Activities Committee.
Dr. Mwangi is a certified Disaster Service Worker (Safety Assessment Program) for the state of California Emergency Management Agency. His other interests are in post-disaster structural mitigation and consulting structural engineering.

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Structural Elective Course for Special Building SystemsAbstractThe training of structural engineers in most parts of the world starts by students going through acivil, structural or architectural engineering program. Undergraduate programs are heavilyimpacted and the high cost of educating the students is resulting in fewer courses being offeredthat are geared towards practice of structural engineering professionals. In order for futureengineers to meet the challenges of the twenty first century, the American Society of CivilEngineers (ASCE) has proposed that future licensed engineers attain a recognized body ofknowledge (BOK). This may be fulfilled by an accredited undergraduate degree in civil (orrelated) engineering, a master’s degree or approximately thirty credits of graduate or upper levelcourse work and appropriate pre-licensure experience.The Architectural Engineering Department at ___University, works closely with industrypartners (future student employers) and the advisory board to tailor the program so that thegraduates are able to contribute to the profession on the first day of their employment upongraduation. The program has a number of upper level elective courses that are aimed atcontributing to the BOK.As the society grows in population and strides into the new century, new technological advancescall for more and bigger “big-box” type building structures. In the United States, these structurescommonly house retailers like Wal-Mart, Costco, etc. and are typically one story buildings withfloor areas ranging between 73,000 to 261,000 square feet. The design typically calls for highfloor to roof height (20 to 25 feet) and the exterior perimeter is usually concrete masonry wallsor concrete tilt-up panels. The need to have large open column-free space results in theconstruction materials typically used in these structures to include but not limited to: reinforcedconcrete (tilt-up, cast-in-place), steel (rolled, tubes, trusses), timber (sawn, engineered, glue-laminated, trusses), concrete masonry units (reinforced, grouted, ungrouted), wood sheathing(plywood, oriented strand board), light gauge metal deck, etc.This paper reports on how this elective upper level design course is taught in a laboratory format.The course incorporates all the above (concrete, masonry, timber, steel) materials. The studentsprepare complete construction documents including all construction details and specifications.

Mwangi, J. P. (2013, June), Structural Elective Course for Special Building Systems Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22477

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