Engineering and Physics Faculty Research and Publications


Integrating Service, Learning, and Professional Practice: Toward the Vision for Civil Engineering in 2025

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Publication Title

Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice

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The ASCE Body of Knowledge and the ABET Engineering Accreditation Commission have emphasized a broad set of competencies required by 21st century civil engineers. In addition to competencies that are traditionally technical, these organizations recognize that professional competencies such as leadership, the ability to design sustainable systems, effective communication, and interdisciplinary teamwork are among the many skills required by engineers of the future. To develop and enhance all of these proficiencies within the undergraduate curriculum, there is a need to take an approach that interconnects all of these outcomes throughout the curriculum, or a “networked” approach. This paper discusses service learning as a potential approach for facilitating the broad set of foundational, technical, and professional learning outcomes cited by ASCE and ABET, by investigating two case studies within the Engineering Projects in Community Service program at Purdue University. The case studies are two service-learning projects from one large, multidisciplinary, vertically integrated student design team. One project focuses on sustainable and energy efficient housing for Habitat for Humanity (HFH) in Indiana, whereas the other project focuses on affordable houses for HFH in Haiti. The current analysis of these cases suggest that service-learning projects can provide a unique learning experience for the students to develop and synthesize the broad set of foundational, technical, and professional skills by integrating learning outcomes.

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American Society of Civil Engineers