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Two Introductory Civil, Architectural & Environmental Engineering Courses

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Civil Engineering Teaching Part One

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.1300.1 - 13.1300.13



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Paper Authors

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J. Richard Weggel Drexel University

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James Mitchell Drexel University

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Charles N. Haas Drexel University

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

Two Introductory Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering Courses Background

In 2006 and 2007 Drexel’s College of Engineering restructured their freshman and sophomore curricula. As part of that restructuring two introductory sophomore-level courses were to be delivered in each engineering curriculum. Three curricula are delivered by the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering at Drexel. Recognizing the importance of communication and cooperation among the three disciplines of civil, architectural and environmental engineering, the department’s curriculum committee opted to introduce two courses common to all three majors in the department. The two courses, CAEE201 Introduction to Infrastructure Engineering and CAEE210 Engineering Measurements I, are offered during the first and second quarters of the sophomore year, respectively. Both courses are offered twice a year because Drexel’s co-op program splits students into two parallel cohorts during their sophomore, pre-junior and junior years1. A third course, CAEE211 Engineering Measurements II, provides instruction in surveying and geology during the first quarter of the pre-junior year.2

Introduction to Infrastructure Engineering (CAEE201)

CAEE201 is a team-taught 3 credit course with 2 hours lecture and 2 hours of computation laboratory. The course presents two or more engineering case studies of the design, construction, operation and maintenance of infrastructure projects. Key engineering elements of the projects illustrate the various disciplines within civil, architectural and environmental engineering including foundation engineering, structural engineering, site engineering, drainage, security, building systems, environmental issues and construction management. The concept of an “infrastructure system” that solves a problem within physical, economical, environmental, social and political constraints is presented along with the interrelationships among the various infrastructure engineering disciplines to produce a successful final project. Specific case studies change from year to year as various local infrastructure projects move from design toward construction and completion. One or two field trips to visit project sites are part of the team taught course. A course “project manager” oversees and organizes the course, lectures, and recruits practicing engineers and appropriate faculty to present the various elements of the course.

Not every case study includes elements of all three disciplines but each term with two (or more recently three) case studies does. Near-campus projects currently under construction are sought although one 10-year-old nearby completed bridge project has been used. Generally, each case study is introduced in class by a guest speaker, usually a design engineer or architect closely

1 One cohort attends school for 6 months while the other is employed as an engineering intern at an engineering or construction firm or at a government agency. After 6 months the role of each cohort is reversed. Students return to school for three consecutive quarters during their senior year. 2 Because Drexel’s engineering programs are cooperative education programs requiring 5 years

to complete, the middle year is designated the pre-junior year

Weggel, J. R., & Mitchell, J., & Haas, C. N. (2008, June), Two Introductory Civil, Architectural & Environmental Engineering Courses Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3149

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