One of the challenges of incorporating design education into a Civil engineering curriculum is that of scale. Unlike electrical and mechanical courses where CDIO based curriculum can be applied to small electrical and/or mechanical devices, civil engineering focuses on design, construction and commissioning of large scale networks within the built environment, such as water treatment and distribution, wastewater management, transportation networks, etc. This paper will describe the incorporation of a concrete mix design competition within a senior year technical elective course at the University of Calgary. Students are given a terms of reference and then full access to the laboratory during a 13 week course, during which they must develop a mix design that best meets the specifications. Apart from learning laboratory skills (slump testing, air content, compression testing), the students gain and understanding of the challenges of quality control and assurance during production. The paper will describe the evolution of the competition and will include scores and commentary from the student course ratings and comments as part of describing the effectiveness of this approach to a laboratory course in a traditional civil engineering curriculum.
Proceedings of the 12th International CDIO Conference, Turku, Finland, June 12-16 2016