Field Monitoring and Measurements Education: A Model for Civil and Environmental Engineering
The University of New Orleans (UNO), Louisiana State University (LSU) and the Louisiana Transportation Research Center (LTRC) are partnering on the project "Field Monitoring and Measurements Education: A Model for Civil and Environmental Engineering." The goal of this project is to develop a model instructional program, using structural engineering and structural health monitoring as a test bed, that can be used to educate civil and environmental engineering (CEE) students in the fundamental principles and technology of field monitoring and measurements (FMM) and to utilize monitoring technologies and FMM data to evaluate performance and behavior, analyze problems and design CEE systems. The nation's aging, and in some cases, failing infrastructure necessitates the education of future engineers to address problems related to structural health (and other critical areas). Since this project addresses a national need, two activities will be given significant attention: developing and implementing the instructional materials in a manner that maximizes their potential for adoption at other institutions; and building a community of interested and contributing scholars. The latter effort will encompass targeted proactive outreach activities at the state, regional, and national levels.
Specific objectives of the project are to: (1) improve student performance with respect to the existing learning outcomes of the civil engineering courses into which field monitoring modules will be incorporated, (2) improve student knowledge of and ability to use field monitoring measurements, (3) train faculty in the use of the curricular materials and (4) develop a community of scholars that has an interest in and will contribute to the further development of FMM instructional materials. Quality control and quality assurance of the instructional materials will be achieved through close coordination among the investigators, the advisory panel, and the external evaluator aided by the results of a formative evaluation of the prototype structural engineering FMM instructional unit and a summative evaluation of a revised unit over a two academic year cycle at both LSU and UNO. During the second year of the project, the unit will be introduced and assessed at four partner institutions (Virginia Tech, Case Western Reserve University, Tuskegee University and University of North Florida). The project collaborators at the partner institutions will also be used in an advisory capacity throughout all stages of the project. The results of this project will serve to establish an instructional model upon which other CEE sub-disciplines can build.