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Utilizing Capstone Courses in Separate Fields to Create Real-World Multidisciplinary Team Simulations

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Construction Division Technical Session 4: Capstone, Safety and Beyond

Tagged Division

Construction Engineering

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Paper Authors


Bradley Louis Benhart Purdue University

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Brad Benhart has been a mainstay in the construction industry for over 25 years. He has been involved in all aspects of construction including: healthcare, commercial, residential, international, and all related aspects of training and education. In 2009, Benhart furthered his commitment and passion to construction education by accepting a professorship at Purdue University in their School of Construction Management. Brad focuses on construction supervision, project management, strategic planning, preconstruction, and sustaining the built environment. At Purdue, Benhart also leads the Healthcare Construction Management program and works with the first ASHE (American Society of Healthcare Engineering) student chapter. His position allows him to further develop construction education in the built environment and be an industry advocate for the next generation of builders. He is also very involved in field supervision training programs, both at Purdue and on the national level. He focuses on the sustainability of our industry by mentoring the retiring baby boomers with new foremen and superintendents. Benhart also has an extensive resume in industry. His previous position was Vice President with Pepper Construction Company of Chicago, IL. While at Pepper, Brad managed multiple projects ranging from $100k to $250 million dollars. He continues to be an adjunct professor at Northwestern University in project management and has actively taught and trained many employees in the industry. In his free time, he enjoys traveling with his family.

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Clark A. Cory Ph.D. Purdue University, West Lafayette (College of Engineering)

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Clark Cory joined the Computer Graphic Technology Department at Purdue University in 1999. Clark's primary professional responsibility is undergraduate instruction in architectural and construction graphic communication and visualization. He currently continues to develop & improve the Construction Graphics Communication specialty area within the Computer Graphics Department at Purdue. Clark has had over 35 years experience in the AEC industry with positions ranging from general laborer to project manager of residential & commercial structures and even designer. In addition to professional experience, teaching, and student organizations participation; Clark is currently involved in industry/educational partnerships with such companies as Holder Construction, Saterfield & Pontikes as well as software developers like AutoCAD & Argos Systems Inc. that develop and promote construction visualization, Building Information Modeling, 4D CAD, 5D CAD, animation for AEC, AEC illustration, smart house technology, and visual communication information which his primary areas of research.

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Rabita Rajkarnikar Purdue University


Cirilo I. Rangel Purdue University

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Cirilo (Cy) Rangel is a thirty-five year veteran of the construction management industry. After earing his B.S. Degree in BCT from Purdue in 1983, Cy has worked for industry giants including Turner Construction, M.A. Mortenson Construction, Weis Builders, and Jones Lang LaSalle. His work experience includes five major hospital projects as well as many senior living facilities as well as corporate interiors projects.

Cy earned his Masters Degree with Thesis in Construction Management from Purdue University in 2017. Cy currently teaches Construction Capstone, Concrete Construction, and Construction Project Administration courses at Purdue. In addition to teaching, Cy is the school's Industry Projects Coordinator. In this role Cy works with industry partners to secure and house an e library of construction project related documents which faculty uses for course instruction in its new project based curriculum.

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Mark Shaurette Purdue Polytechnic Institute

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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.

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Every day the business world requires stakeholders and companies from multiple disciplines to work together to reach a project’s successful completion. Problem solving, teamwork, and communication skills continue to rank as the top competencies required of today’s work force. In an effort to better prepare graduates, many academic programs have focused on senior design and capstone courses that create scenarios where students can “fail safely”. While capstone courses have progressed to create these simulations, there remains the challenge of creating the real-world complexity of multi-disciplinary teams from different fields. This paper highlights the case study of capstone programs in separate fields and how students were required to collaborate to attain goals specific to their own project’s success. No team could attain their final project without the collaborative skills of the other teams. The simulation mimicked the real-world. Within each program students were broken into companies complete with job titles, roles, and responsibilities. Each company was assigned a company in the other program to “contract” for their project. Teams were required to follow scopes of work and determine their timelines and resource allocation. At first, teams focused on the deliverables of one another. As projects evolved, students soon learned that communication, clear expectations, schedules, and accountability were all required more so than their respective discipline skills. With four sessions complete and over 200 students, the program has evolved. The objective of this paper is to share and highlight the history, setup, results, best practices, and candid pitfalls that have resulted from this collaboration for the potential use of other programs.

Benhart, B. L., & Cory, C. A., & Rajkarnikar, R., & Rangel, C. I., & Shaurette, M. (2018, June), Utilizing Capstone Courses in Separate Fields to Create Real-World Multidisciplinary Team Simulations Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--31218

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