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The Role Of Structural Engineering In Multi Disciplinary Freshman Projects

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Multidisciplinary First Year Programs

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.1253.1 - 15.1253.16



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Paper Authors

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David Dinehart Villanova University

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Joseph Yost Villanova University

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Shawn Gross Villanova University

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Aleksandra Radlinska Villanova University

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

The Role of Structural Engineering in Multi-Disciplinary Freshman Projects


Channeling the excitement of young engineers in a first year introductory course offers many challenges for instructors. A common first year experience for freshmen engineers is now the norm, with many universities having a second common year. During the introductory courses it is essential to provide the students a broad view of engineering while engaging them to the fullest, such that their excitement is allowed to flourish in an active learning environment.

This paper presents an overview of half-semester multidisciplinary projects introduced into Villanova University’s 2009 – 2010 engineering freshmen curriculum and details two successful projects that incorporate structural engineering as a means for providing a hands-on, active learning experience. Both projects combine the disciplines of civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering. One project uses a structural engineering system as the main thrust area, with modeling techniques from mechanical engineering and data acquisition applications from electrical engineering highlighted. The second project involves acoustic technologies. In this project, electrical and mechanical engineering applications are investigated and elements of non- destructive examination and concrete material behavior are included. Students non-destructively or destructively evaluate the behavior of structural elements, construct/apply data acquisition systems, collect data, and synthesize the data to compare experimental results to theoretical predictions. Finally, students report their findings in written, graphical, and oral form.

The projects highlighted provide civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering faculty members the necessary building blocks that can be applied to development of substantial educational experiences that fully engage young engineers. Data on the course outcomes and student evaluations for all projects will be presented.


Villanova University is an independent coeducational institution of higher learning founded by the Augustinian Order of the Roman Catholic Church. A medium-sized Catholic institution and comprehensive university, Villanova emphasizes undergraduate instruction and is committed to a strong liberal arts component in each of its undergraduate programs, including engineering.

The College of Engineering at Villanova University (CoEVU) is comprised of four departments, Civil and Environmental (CEE), Chemical (ChemE), Electrical and Computer (ECE), and Mechanical (ME) and three Centers, the Center for Advanced Communications (CAC), the Center for Nonlinear Dynamics and Control (CENDAC), and the Villanova Center for the Advancement of Sustainability in Engineering (VCASE). There are a total of 68 full-time faculty members that teach in the CoEVU, 58 of which are tenured or tenure-track. The CoEVU is committed to an educational program that emphasizes technical excellence and a liberal education within the framework of the University's Augustinian and Catholic traditions.

Dinehart, D., & Yost, J., & Gross, S., & Radlinska, A. (2010, June), The Role Of Structural Engineering In Multi Disciplinary Freshman Projects Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16411

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