Transformation in SE Education

Full Session with Abstracts

339351-4 - Project-Based Learning in Structural Engineering: The Constructionarium

Friday, April 20
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Location: 202A

This paper discusses the Constructionairum, a project-based learning course offered in the top civil engineering degree programmes in the UK. This project gives students a first-hand experience on the delivery of design and construction. Students also learn about the challenges associated with the design of structures for their temporary condition at various stages of a project as well as the implications of certain design decisions on the constructability of a structure. Student teams act as contractors to produce a scaled version of existing structures including:
• Ravenspurn Platform: a North Sea gravity gas platform off the Humber estuary designed by Ove Arup. It was the platform that established the viability of concrete gravity structures. The student version is a concrete caisson 4m square and 1.5m high with a steel scaffold superstructure and plywood platform. It is built in a dry dock and then floated to position and sunk to “seabed” of a 2m deep lake.
• The Kingsgate Footbridge: Designed by Ove Arup in 1967 and a great example of a ‘simple concept elegantly expressed’. It connects Durham University and the town centre across a steep gorge. The student version of the bridge has an overall span of 10m, and consists of two precast segments supported on rotating steel frames which rest on concrete piers in the river bed.
• The Brewery Wharf footbridge: Designed by Ove Arup and constructed in 1992. The student version has a 10m clear span, a two-section precast deck with cables connecting to a 4m high slanting concrete A-frame.
• Millau Viaduct: A 2460m long cable stay-bridge between Clermont-Ferrand and Béziers in southern France. It stands some 275m above the Tarn River. The student version has end spans of 4m and middle span of 5m, 2 concrete piers (3.4m high) and 2 steel pylons (3m high) with deck 1.5m wide (plywood). The challenge, apart from scale, will be to launch the two halves of the deck from each side, on schedule.
The work is carried out under the supervision, help and guidance of a sponsoring contractor, who also provides all materials, plant and equipment. Engineers from a design firm act as resident engineers. The impact of this activity on student learning, employability and accreditation are also discussed in the paper.

John J. Schemmel

Bruce and Gloria Ingram Endowed Chair in Engineering
Texas State University

John Schemmel, PhD, PE, FACI is the Ingram Endowed Chair in Engineering in the School of Engineering at Texas State University. Previously Dr. Schemmel has served as Director of the Concrete Industry Management (CIM) program at Texas State as well as being on the faculty at the University of Arkansas, South Dakota State University, and Valparaiso University. His industrial experiences include engineering, standards, and management consulting services; founder and formerly co-owner of eTEC LLC; and Research Engineer for the USACE Engineer Research & Development Center, Vicksburg, MS. John holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Wisconsin, a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Lehigh University, and a PhD in Civil Engineering from North Carolina State University. He is a member of several ASTM and ACI committees and is very active in technician training and certification. John is a Fellow of the American Concrete Institute and recipient of the ACI Certification Award. Dr. Schemmel is a licensed professional engineer in Arkansas.


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339351-4 - Project-Based Learning in Structural Engineering: The Constructionarium

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