Asee peer logo

Undergraduate Opportunities for Construction Students' Multidisciplinary AEC Collaboration and Awareness

Download Paper |


2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Construction 4: Construction Education Curriculum and Assessment

Tagged Division


Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Luciana de Cresce El Debs Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Luciana Debs, is an Assistant Professor of Construction Management in the School Construction Management Technology at Purdue University. She received her PhD from Purdue University Main Campus. Her previous degrees include a MS from the Technical Research Institute of Sao Paulo (IPT-SP), and BArch from the University of São Paulo (USP), in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Prior to her current position she worked in design coordination in construction and real estate development companies in Brazil. Her research interests include team work and collaboration in construction, effective communication in spatial problem solving, and design - field team interaction.

visit author page


Mark Shaurette Purdue Polytechnic Institute

visit author page

Mark Shaurette has a MS in Civil Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a PhD in Technology from Purdue University. He is currently an associate professor at Purdue University, was a 2012 Fulbright Scholar in Ireland, and has work experience that includes 30+ years of senior construction management practice as well as work as a research engineer for the National Association of Home Builders Research Foundation. He is active in research, education, and community outreach in the areas of building retrofit for energy conservation, sustainable construction practices, management of the demolition process, material reuse and recycling, as well as instructional design in technology education.

visit author page


Denise McAllister Wilder NCIDQ Purdue Polytechnic Institute

visit author page

Denise McAllister Wilder, NCIDQ is a doctoral student at the Purdue Polytechnic Institute in the School of Construction Management Technology. She has taught and practiced in the architecture, engineering, and construction community for over twenty-five years and is a registered interior designer in Indiana. Her areas of research focus include aging in place, studio learning in a transdisciplinary technology environment, BIM and lighting simulations, smart home technology and aging in place, and retrofitting existing homes to create net zero homes for aging in place.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Undergraduate opportunities for construction students' multidisciplinary AEC collaboration and awareness

Construction is a fragmented industry, and as a result, it relies on the abilities of several different professionals for the successful completion of projects. This diversity of backgrounds requires that professionals within the Architectural, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry be skilled when collaborating and communicating across several disciplines. This need is recognized by all major AEC educational programs’ accrediting bodies: Accreditation Board for Engineering (ABET), American Council for Construction Education (ACCE), and the National Architecture Accrediting Board (NAAB), and the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA). Even though multidisciplinary collaboration is expected at the professional setting, most academic structures for AEC undergraduate education are siloed and thus have little student collaboration between them. This lack of exposure contributes to construction management (CM) students experiencing very little collaboration with other related AEC undergraduate students. Efforts are being made to bring together AEC disciplines in undergraduate education, with the hopes of improving interdisciplinary collaboration, communication and understanding of diverse values and needs. However, experiences such as those reported at Mississippi State University (Leathem, McGlohn, Gregory, Herrmann & Carson, 2015) and Auburn University (Holley & Dagg, 2006) are still uncommon. Given this scenario, this study proposes to analyze the curricula of CM programs affiliated with the Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) in an effort to determine overlaps between required courses in the plans of study of CM and other AEC disciplines. Overlapping courses with common characteristics are beneficial opportunities for CM students to engage with other AEC programs’ students. This study focuses on opportunities for Interior Design (ID), Civil Engineering (CE), and Architecture students taking CM courses, and vice versa. The research questions for the study are: 1) How many CM programs reside at institutions that also host ID, CE, and Architecture programs? 2) How many of the CM programs located at institutions that have ID, CE and Architecture programs have overlapping courses indicated in their plan of study? 3) How likely are CM students to take courses within ID, CE or Architectural programs? 4) How likely are ID, CE, and Architecture students to take CM courses? This study collects information in two phases: (1) information for the first two questions is collected online through universities' websites; then (2), a questionnaire will be sent to academic advisors of CM programs in order to answer questions 3 and 4. Descriptive statistics will be used to describe the data for all five questions, and a correlation analysis will be performed to verify if there is a relation between the likelihood of CM students taking other AEC courses or AEC students taking CM courses. This paper presents findings from phase 1 (online data collection). Phase 2 will be completed at a later stage. The results presented will help CM educators evaluate the present level of collaboration between AEC undergraduate programs in the United States.


Holley, P. W., & Dagg, C. (2006). Development of expanded multidisciplinary collaborative experiences across construction and design curricula. International Journal of Construction Education and Research, 2(2), 91-111. Leathem, T., McGlohn, E. M., Gregory, A., Herrmann, H., & Carson, L. (2015). A Case Study in Pedagogy for a Cross-Disciplinary Architecture/Construction Program. 51st ASC Annual International Conference Proceedings. College Station, TX.

de Cresce El Debs, L., & Shaurette, M., & Wilder, D. M. (2017, June), Undergraduate Opportunities for Construction Students' Multidisciplinary AEC Collaboration and Awareness Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--29051

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: © 2017 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