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Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture Civil and Environmental Engineering News – Fall 2015

Coming soon: Construction engineering program planned for fall 2016

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, America’s aging infrastructure needs $3.6 trillion in investment by 2020.

To meet the employment needs of heavy/civil industries, the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) plans to offer the first accredited Bachelor of Science degree in construction engineering in the Pacific Northwest beginning in fall of 2016.

The initial intake will be limited to 25 students. The current specialization track for this high-demand program in CEE has proven popular, easily meeting its 25-student limit.

This program is in collaboration with WSU’s construction management program. It is unique in higher education in the United States, offering crossover courses that meet industry needs, says Balasingam Muhunthan, chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The WSU civil engineering program has a reputation for providing job-ready graduates and provides a comprehensive design curriculum. Meanwhile, WSU’s construction management program is a leader in the commercial building industry.

The construction engineering program has been designed with support from more than 150 construction and engineering contractors. Graduates from the program will be able to enter the contracting industry with the ability to obtain a Professional Engineer license.

Students in construction engineering will take core engineering courses as well as courses in heavy/civil construction administration, heavy/civil estimating, earthwork and equipment, human factors/ management, delivery systems, and planning and scheduling.

In addition to the new anticipated construction engineering degree, the department is making additional curriculum changes to modernize programs and better meet student needs. Among the changes:

  • Students will be required to take three sub-discipline courses instead of four. “This will allow students to take an extra course in their area of specialization,” says Professor Bill Cofer, who led a committee to assess changes.
  • The curriculum committee is working with the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication to create a new technical communications course to improve student writing skills. The course was offered for the first time last spring as a pilot course.
  • Additional or revised senior elective courses will be offered in traffic operation, traffic logistics, pavement maintenance, hydraulic engineering design, and sustainable pavements and bridges.