3438 - Session R2H Designing a New Course Construction...

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Session R2H San Juan, PR July 23 – 28, 2006 9 th International Conference on Engineering Education R2H-7 Designing a New Course: Construction Statics and Mechanics Eric Asa, Ph.D Assistant Professor, North Dakota State University, Department of Construction Management and Engineering, 120 C CME Building, Fargo, ND 58105 [email protected] Abstract - Most engineering and engineering-related students in Colleges of Engineering are required to take engineering statics and engineering mechanics of materials courses as part of their curriculum. These courses are mostly taught by Mechanical Engineering Professors who use books written by colleagues in the mechanical engineering discipline. The entire course work –lecture notes, examples and other course materials are delivered and assessed in the context of mechanical engineering. All the examples in the courses are also geared towards machine parts, mechanical systems and components. Even though not all engineering/ engineering-related students are in mechanical engineering, little or no reference is made to other engineering disciplines. It is therefore not surprising that other engineering students find these courses unattractive and sometimes challenging. These disadvantaged (curriculum-wise) students are sometimes denied the attention required. Unfortunately, they end up with little or no appreciation for anything mechanical. It can not however be gainsaid that students other than those in mechanical engineering need to understand statics and mechanics as they relate to structures, components and systems in their own disciplines. This work is geared towards the creation and delivery (together with assessment) of a new course entitled Construction Statics and Mechanics. This course will introduce students in an engineering-related/non-major discipline like construction management to the principles of statics and mechanics of materials. These principles will then be employed to solve various problems in building and other constructed structures which are directly related to the construction discipline. This approach, coupled with other considerations like the satisfaction of accreditation requirements, will impart the necessary engineering skills to engineering-related majors in the construction discipline. Index Terms – Construction, Engineering, Mechanical, Statics, Structures, Systems. Fall Semester 2006 I NTRODUCTION Students in American Council of Construction Education (ACCE) accredited construction management programs are required to take a combined total of 120 semester hours of instruction. Fifty of these hours of instruction are required to be in construction science and construction courses [1]. To facilitate communication with design professionals, future construction managers are obligated by ACCE to take construction science courses. The traditional approach to designing construction management programs to accommodate construction science course requirements is to include Engineering Statics and Engineering Mechanics of
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