Inderscience Publishers

An educational experiment to address infrastructure needs

Over recent years, it has become clear that engineering of the built environment is more than designing structures and infrastructure that satisfy codified values of resistances and loads. The creation of sustainable communities that enhance current and future standards of living is an outcome of tradeoff analyses that reflect economic, scientific and social decisions. Advances in analytical models and computational capabilities in the last decade have enabled concepts of probabilistic performance-based design, risk analysis and sustainability to become part of the research lexicon and will soon be a physical reality. This paper describes a new graduate programme and consortium at the University of Colorado at Boulder that attempt to address the need for broadly educated engineers who are familiar with the range of issues of future infrastructure design while working within the constraints of current engineering practice requirements. This paper presents the motivation, objectives, core areas of knowledge, and the initial outcomes of this formative programme.

Keywords: education, educational assessment, educational experiment, educational plans, graduate education, infrastructure education, interdisciplinary education, lifecycle engineering, sustainability education, built environment, probabilistic performance-based design, risk analysis, infrastructure design, sustainable communities, civil engineering, environmental engineering, architectural engineering

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