Original concept for a civil engineering capstone project

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Date: Jan. 2015
Publisher: American Society of Civil Engineers
Document Type: Author abstract; Report
Length: 259 words

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Abstract :

The objective of bachelor programs in engineering is the acquisition, over a period of approximately four years, of technical and professional skills that will allow the young graduate to address problems of relative significance and to propose workable solutions. A major step in the integration of knowledge and skills by the future engineer is often a capstone project. In civil engineering, problems of interest should require an investigation from an integrated perspective and take into account a variety of social and management issues. This paper reports on an original concept for a capstone project that was experimented at the Universite de Sherbrooke in the Fall 2000 term. In this project, all students of the graduating class had to design complementary components of the same open-ended project. The class was organized as a consortium of five consulting firms, which had to coordinate their design efforts to produce a single, complete, and integrated proposal to the client. A key feature of the project was the implementation of an original coordination approach. The conceptual aspects of this innovative capstone project are presented in the paper. The organizational aspects are discussed in view of the academic constraints and requirements. The paper provides an assessment of the project outcomes. In addition to an evaluation of the educational value of the project from the coordinating professor's point of view, the paper also presents the opinion of the students, who were invited to revisit this pedagogical experiment after 10 years of professional practice. DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)EI.1943-5541.0000199. Author keywords: Capstone project; Integration of knowledge; Professional competencies; Outcomes assessment.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A396766940