American Society of Civil Engineers

Case Studies for Civil Engineering Educators

by Norbert Delatte, (Associate Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering Department, Stilwell Hall SH 108, 2121 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio — 44115-2214 E-mail:
Section: Forensic Engineering Symposium, pp. 1-11, (doi:

     Access full text
     Purchase Subscription
     Permissions for Reuse  

Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Structures Congress 2005: Metropolis and Beyond
Abstract: The study of engineering failures can offer students valuable insights into associated technical, ethical, and professional issues. Lessons learned from failures have substantially affected civil engineering practice. For the student, study of these cases can help place design and analysis procedures into historical context and reinforce the necessity of lifelong learning. Three approaches for bringing forensics and failure case studies into the civil engineering curriculum are possible. These are stand-alone forensic engineering or failure case study courses, capstone design projects, and integration of case studies into the curriculum. The ASCE TCFE Education Committee held one-day workshops in Birmingham, Alabama on July 12, 2003 and in Cleveland, Ohio on September 17, 2004 for approximately two dozen engineering educators per workshop. The participants estimated that over 75 courses and 2,000 students would be affected by the project over the next two years. The participant workbook had case studies in engineering mechanics, structural engineering, other civil engineering courses, ethics/professional issues/capstone design courses, and forensic engineering/failure analysis courses. Presentations were provided on a CD. The materials have also been disseminated on a web site.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Case studies
Engineering education