Improved Teaching of Structural Concrete Design


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Title: Improved Teaching of Structural Concrete Design

Author(s): R. N. White

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 213


Appears on pages(s): 19-42

Keywords: analysis; civil engineering curricula; construction; design; professional education; professional registration; structural concrete

Date: 5/22/2003

This paper provides discussion and suggestions on the very difficult question of how to best teach the design and construction of concrete structures at the undergraduate level and beyond. The end goal remains unchanged-to provide the best possible constructed facilities for the public and private sectors. After presenting the background and scope of coverage, important issues in structural design are discussed, including a defmition of the three types of knowledge bases needed in performing any design. Expectations of new graduates as they enter the work force are covered, and implications for professional registration are discussed. The paper continues with extended discussion on a host of important issues that need coverage to varying degrees in the curriculum. The critical importance of proper integration of materials selection into the overall design process is explored. Given that learning must be a life-long process, professional post-B.S. education approaches (both "conventional" and internet-based) are presented, along with comments on the ASCE position that the professional Master’s degrees should become the degree of entry into the profession. The paper concludes with suggestions and recommendations.