Because of significant changes in technology, global markets, and economics over the past 10 to 15 years, successful construction companies increasingly need both managerial and engineering expertise.
In response to this need, the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the School of Design and Construction have established a new construction engineering track within the civil engineering program. With this new track the BSCE program will have five tracks: environmental engineering, water resources; structural engineering; infrastructure engineering, and construction engineering. The program will get underway this fall with 20 students.
“There has been increased interest among students and industry to have a construction engineering program, and industry fully supports this,” he said.
The design-build method of doing business is creating a need for construction engineers in addition to construction managers within the construction industry, says Balasingam Muhunthan, chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The new track will allow the department to graduate civil engineering students who have expertise in “heavy’ infrastructure design, building design, and construction technology.
“There has been increased interest among students and industry to have a construction engineering program, and industry fully supports this,” he said. “We hope that it will continue to grow.”
A student who chooses the construction engineering option will be required to fulfill the requirements for an accredited degree in civil engineering while at the same time completing several construction management courses. Students will take courses in planning and scheduling, heavy/civil estimating, and sub-structures. They will also take additional civil engineering courses in areas such as reinforced concrete design, civil engineering materials, soil and site improvement, or structural steel design.
The new courses will be offered through a cooperative agreement between the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the School of Design and Construction. The program also allows for enhancement of the construction management program, fostering a synergistic partnership between the two disciplines and allowing construction management students to interact with engineering students, Muhunthan said.