Construction Systems


Date of this Version



ASEE 2011 Annual Conference and Exposition, June 26-29, 2011, Vancouver, BC, Canada.


Copyright 2011, American Society for Engineering Education. Used by permission.


Complex engineering systems often require dynamic coordination of multidisciplinary teams with conflicting objectives. Failing to understand the complex relationships among the conflicting objectives may result in serious engineering failures. In engineering education, one of the challenges in teaching complex systems is the lack of effective tools to demonstrate system dynamics, especially spatial-temporal relationships in the system. The described project in this paper is supported by grants from Engineering Education program of the National Science Foundation. In the project civil/construction engineering cases are used as the context to test the proposed new teaching/learning tool on the subject and to demonstrate the effectiveness of the developed tool. In building system design, structural designs mainly focus on the behavior of structures under design loads specified for operating stage. Typically less attention is given to the dynamic transient load during various construction stages. The insufficient considerations of the construction related transient loads may reach the critical point during construction and cause structural failure. For example, there were cases of bridge collapse during construction due to inadequate considerations of the load dynamics during construction. Also, many factors affecting construction transient loads were not technical. Rather, they are management related such as construction sequence and cost considerations. Thus, enabling construction students to learn from the similar cases through effective media is critical to avoid repeating the mistakes.