June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
13.1124.1 - 13.1124.10
Survey of Engineering Mechanics in Civil Engineering Curricula
Newtonian mechanics provides most of the core concepts that enable civil engineering students to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems. The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Villanova University is investigating how to better present material in the core mechanics courses to better meet the educational needs of the students and improve learning. The core sequence in mechanics at Villanova University consists of five courses: Statics/Dynamics, Mechanics of Solids, Civil Engineering Materials, Fluid Mechanics and Fluid Mechanics Laboratory. To determine the current state of practice in mechanics education, the authors conducted a survey of civil engineering mechanics curricula at fifty universities. Civil engineering curricula present mechanics in a variety of courses and formats; the survey evaluated format (e.g. lecture, laboratory, recitation, or workshop), total credits in the curriculum, total credits devoted to mechanics courses, lecture hours, laboratory hours, whether the courses were required or elective, administrating department and the school’s classification and profile. Additionally innovative practices and combined courses were noted.
Survey information was acquired via the school’s respective web sites to develop a database on engineering mechanics. The survey results show that while the mechanics courses and sequencing are generally similar, there exists some variation among programs. This paper presents the detailed results of the survey and describes the major similarities and differences identified. Innovative and unique practices among the programs surveyed are identified, and recommendations are provided to initiate mechanics curricula change.
The civil engineering curriculum, as well as that of related disciplines such as mechanical engineering, is based on a few fundamental courses in mechanics. Herein, the mechanics courses are defined as Statics, Dynamics, Mechanics of Solids, Materials and Fluid Mechanics. These core courses have recently been subject to curricular changes to make concepts more accessible and integrated with later courses and the practice of civil engineering1,2,3. In line with current trends, the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Villanova University recognized that the mechanics courses could be a place where innovative teaching and learning strategies could be implemented. Before revising the curriculum, a survey of schools was completed to see what novel practices are being used to determine if there is some consensus over what mechanics topics are considered important and to identify the state of practice in civil engineering curricula.
A survey was conducted in summer 2007 to evaluate how other civil engineering programs present the mechanics topics (note: the term “topic areas” is used to denote the mechanics concepts that are covered in traditional mechanics courses, “course” is used to denote where the concepts are packaged together). The survey was conducted by the authors by searching each
Wadzuk, B., & Dinehart, D., & Glynn, E., & Gross, S., & Hampton, F. (2008, June), Survey Of Engineering Mechanics In Civil Engineering Curricula Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. https://peer.asee.org/3697
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