Wabash Valley Projects Sought for Rose-Hulman Civil Engineering Course

Thursday, July 22, 2021
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Capstone design projects provide civil engineering students the opportunity to use their skills to work with clients in areas of structural, geotechnical, environmental, water resources, transportation, and general design.

Seniors are seeking to culminate their undergraduate educations by working in teams during the 2021-22 school year to complete civil engineering projects for Wabash Valley and surrounding area organizations and companies.

The projects must feature at least two sub-disciplines within civil engineering: structural, geotechnical, environmental, water resources, transportation, and general design.

Ideal projects would come from municipalities and non-profit, charitable or church organizations within a 100-mile radius of Rose-Hulman’s campus in Terre Haute, according to Jim Hanson, head of the Department of Civil Engineering. He stresses that projects should have a service component to provide students the ability to identify, investigate and address a community need.

Past local senior-year capstone projects have helped plan portions of Terre Haute’s Heritage Trail system, upgrades to Fairbanks Park, and expansions for local churches and towns. Organizations have used the students’ work as the basis for seeking local, state and federal grants for their projects.

The senior-year capstone design course provides students an opportunity to work with external clients on a long-range project that covers the entire school year. Teams of three to five students begin investigating the client’s needs and propose a solution during September and October, and authorization is granted in November to proceed on detailed design. Most of the work is completed by mid-February, with final design work and final drawings completed in March. Faculty project reviews begin in early April and reports are presented to clients in early May.

Although most Rose-Hulman faculty members are licensed professional engineers, Hanson advises that the students’ work is being reviewed by educators. Depending upon the project, the students’ designs might be detailed enough to begin construction, if approved by a professional engineer, or they might be only at the level of a feasibility study. 

Projects are completed at little to no cost for clients, but they are asked to sign a release or waiver of liability before the project is initiated.

Ideas for projects must be submitted in writing by August 6 to Hanson at hanson@rose-hulman.edu. Individuals with questions can contact him by email or 812-877-8279.