Computers: What Do Students Need to Know?

by Kneeland A. Godfrey, Jr., Sr. Ed.; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 345 East 47th Street, New York City, NY.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1987, Vol. 57, Issue 6, Pg. 72-75

Document Type: Feature article


This article is based on interviews with three professors at three universities, a recent graduate from each school, and the graduate's employer. The interviews show that students are helped by new educational software, such as that written to teach steel structures design. In one senior class project students help clients solve problems with the help of student diagnoses of the problems and student-written programs that help solve them. An example is software that is helping the Indiana Highway Department reschedule workers from summer construction jobs, to winter snow removal jobs, which involves shifting many workers to different locales. In one project $100,000 was saved the first year. At another school, a new undergraduate major is helping graduates who want to make computers the focus of their work. Many civil engineering employers are small, and such a graduate may become one of its computer experts. One graduate is helping the firm Civil Consultants, of South Berwick, ME, build its computer competence in structures. The article shows that the computer requirements and course offerings at university civil engineering departments vary widely as does the computer competence demanded of the graduates.

Subject Headings: Students | Labor | Computing in civil engineering | Computer software | Steel structures | Infrastructure construction | Engineering education | Faculty | Maine | United States

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