Educating Future Structural Engineers through Project-Based Learning

Four structural engineering elective courses at San Jose State University have been revised to use project-based learning to educate undergraduate and graduate students in both technical content and workplace skills. These courses include introduction to steel design, timber design, advanced steel design and advanced seismic resistant design. The courses were originally transitioned to project based learning starting in 2009 and several years of pedagogical experience have shown benefits to students. Projects include design of a truss bridge, design of a glulam beam roof system, design of a soft-story retrofit, pushover evaluation of a bridge bent using FEMA 356 and a fiber hinge, evaluation of the lateral load path of a woodframe structure, elastic analysis of a 3d concrete moment frame structure, and a written term paper about drift-demands of steel frame structures. Adjustment of pedagogical strategies to address differentiated learning styles, student/faculty ratios over 30, conversion from two meetings per week to a single three-hour design studio and reduction of traditional lecture format instruction have been successfully modeled. Assessment of group and individual achievement is conducted for overall projects, individual contributions, and written examination.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Pagination: pp 47-53
  • Monograph Title: Structures Congress 2017: Business, Professional Practice, Education, Research, and Disaster Management

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01686355
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780784480427
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Oct 4 2018 3:56PM