June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
24.1109.1 - 24.1109.17
Structural Engineering Practicum: The First Course in a Master’s ProgramThe Civil Engineering Department at [School Name] recently created a course-based master’sdegree program in structural engineering. A distinguishing feature of that program is theStructural Engineering Practicum. Each incoming student must complete the practicum coursebefore beginning the other coursework. The practicum has two requirements: an internshipexperience with a structural engineering firm and essays on their experience.The practicum requires each student to write ten essays based on either first-hand experienceduring their internship or interviews with engineers who have the specific experience. Eachessay must address a list of questions that the instructors developed to guide the experience. Theessay topics expose the students to aspects of business such as obtaining work for the firm,planning and running client meetings, and project management. Other essays introduce thestudents to technical aspects such as decision making in the schematic design phase, designingfor constructability, integrating gravity and lateral load systems, coordinating non-structuralelements, creating construction documents, responding to requests for information from the field,and the quality assurance process.The practicum requirements encourage the students to meet multiple engineers within the firm inorder to see their future career from the perspective of several different people. This papersummarizes feedback from the students and employers about the outcomes of the practicum,what worked well in the experience and what could be improved. It also contains the lessonslearned by the faculty. The feedback from the students and employers has been encouraging. Arequested enhancement is creating a forum for the students to share their experiences with eachother.
Hanson, J. H., & Aidoo, J., & Kershaw, K., & Lovell, M. D., & Hagen-Atwell, H., & Ross, M. J. (2014, June), Structural Engineering Practicum: The First Course in a Master’s Program Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/23042
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