Design and Evaluation of Ground-Based Transportation Systems

Kara Kockelman, Professor, Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

In this talk, the instructor and TA will share their experiences developing a new capstone course for civil engineering, on the topic of designing and evaluating ground-based transportation systems.  This course builds upon a past capstone course for highway design, and emphasizes the variety of design opportunities that exist for transportation engineers in public settings, reflecting a need for more sustainable solutions, including more comprehensive evaluations. As in the past, the course includes weekly lab sessions and culminates in a team-based design project.

Our graduates need to appreciate engineering standards for safety and quality, alongside real-world constraints involving market demand, cost, environmental, social, political, ethical, and public health factors.  This course prepares students for this mission through course lectures, weekly laboratory assignments, and a long-term project where teams identify transportation deficiencies in the Austin setting, propose and evaluate alternatives, and develop detailed designs for a preferred project alternative.  Thanks to coordinated lectures, labs, homeworks, and the course project, student teams are able to directly apply theoretical and methodological concepts to unique and substantive real-world transportation projects.

This project was funded by the Cockrell School of Engineering Academic Development Funds.  For information on this new CAEE course, please see the Fall 2012 CE377K syllabus,

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