Asee peer logo

The Civil Engineering Faculty Of The Future

Download Paper |


2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Where are We Going? The Future of Civil Engineering Education

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.1260.1 - 11.1260.12



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Allen Estes U.S. Military Academy

visit author page

Colonel Allen C. Estes is a Professor and Civil Engineering Program Director at the United States Military Academy (USMA), West Point, NY. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Virginia. COL Estes received a B.S. degree from USMA in 1978, M.S. degrees in Structural Engineering and in Construction Management from Stanford University in 1987 and a Ph.D. degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1997.

visit author page


Ronald Welch U.S. Military Academy

visit author page

Colonel Ronald W. Welch is an Associate Professor at the United States Military Academy (USMA). He is a registered Professional Engineer in Virginia. COL Welch received a BS degree in Engineering Mechanics from USMA in 1982 and MS and Ph.D. degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1990 and 1999, respectively.

visit author page

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

The Civil Engineering Faculty of the Future


The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has published the Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge (BOK) for the 21st Century that attempts to define the knowledge, skills and attitudes required of a civil engineer. A section of that document addresses who should teach this body of knowledge. It concludes that civil engineering faculty must be scholars, effective teachers, practitioners, and role models. While true, there are a number of complex issues that arise such as whether it is possible for one person to possess all of these attributes, whether such a model best serves the projected trends in civil engineering education, and whether these needs are applicable to and can be enforced for non-traditional, non-university civil engineering programs. As a new committee (BOK-2) has formed to write the second edition of this document, the ASCE Committee on Faculty Development is revising the “who should teach” chapter for this effort. This paper discusses some key issues that are relevant to the civil engineering faculty of the future.

I. Introduction

Through the formal development of Policy 465, the American Society of Civil Engineers has defined the Body of Knowledge (BOK) that describes the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to become a licensed professional engineer1,2. The BOK is presented in the form of 15 outcomes that prescribe the necessary breadth and depth of knowledge required for a practicing civil engineer. The levels of competence for these outcomes were initially defined as recognition, understanding, and ability, but have recently been revised to be defined using the six levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy3. The attainment of the BOK is expected to occur through a broad undergraduate education, specialized education at the masters level, and practical experience during the pre-licensure and post-licensure periods.

One of the next crucial issues associated with this initiative to raise the bar in civil engineering education is, “Who should teach the BOK?” Currently, the model is that all tenured faculty must have a Ph.D. and if they are teaching a design course, they need a professional license or equivalent education and experience. It is extremely difficult to find a faculty member who is an outstanding researcher, has extensive academic credentials, and possesses experience in professional practice. What is the ideal combination? Must the person teaching design have more than just the minimum number of years of practical experience necessary to sit for the PE? Or should these faculty have additional years of design experience and continue to work as consultants in their chosen sub-disciplines so they can bring those day to day experiences into the classroom? Some schools have moved to this model, but will only provide lecturer or Adjunct status to these faculty. What message is being sent, especially if tenure is only offered to those with a Ph.D.? Which faculty are more valuable -- those that can teach the required design in each program and can bring in dollars through consulting or those bringing in research dollars? Tenure is already under attack at many schools and more schools are bringing in Adjunct faculty to provide the necessary skills they currently lack in their faculty. As industry asks for engineers who can communicate, should there be a technical writer as a member of the

Estes, A., & Welch, R. (2006, June), The Civil Engineering Faculty Of The Future Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--645

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2006 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015