Additional Undergraduate Information

Student Advising

The Engineering Advisement Center is charged with advising and monitoring lower division students, as well as handling problems which may arise with all engineering students. When a student reaches upper division status, the student record is forwarded to the major department and a department advisor is assigned to the student. The department advisor monitors the student's registrations, withdrawals, and other actions related to the degree curriculum. Each department has a prescribed order to the assignment of student advisors.

At the advising session the student's record is reviewed to ensure that the student is making satisfactory progress towards his or her degree. The advisor is responsible for the control of pre-requisites. Although most of the advising is done during engineering pre-registration week, all full-time Civil and Environmental Engineering faculty are available throughout the year to offer advice to students who seek it. Permanent records of each advising session are kept on advising sheets that become part of the student's permanent record. This process ensures that the student follows the published curriculum and meets ABET criteria before graduating.

Transfer Credit

University of Alabama in Huntsville engineering equivalence tables have been developed for neighboring colleges and universities, and equivalence for transfer credit is evaluated by the Student Records Office and the Associate Dean of Engineering. Credit from other ABET accredited schools is accepted. Faculty advisors may also suggest specific equivalencies, but any formal action requires approval by the administration. These equivalencies are evaluated periodically and information is exchanged between institutions.

Oral and Written Communication

All students are required to take two Freshman Composition courses (EH 101 and EH 102) offered by the English Department. Both of these courses stress critical writing and research while emphasizing organization, clarity of thought and expression, and effectiveness of presentation.

Several of the more advanced courses in the Civil and Environmental Engineering curriculum include laboratories and projects that require written reports, i.e., Mechanics of Materials (CE/MAE 370), Soil Mechanics laboratory (CE 373), and Introduction to Environmental Engineering (CE 449). Written and oral communication skills are developed further in the two-course senior civil engineering Design Project courses (CE 498 and CE 499). In these courses students must present their results and findings in a written final report using a word processing system and make an oral presentation to students and faculty. Final grades for Civil Engineering Design Project are based on the style, organization, and clarity of the oral and written presentations, as well as the technical and design content and oral presentation of the final report.

Students who fail to meet the standards put forth by the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department in oral and written communication skills are encouraged to take courses in Technical Writing (EHT 301) and Editing (EHT 302) which are also offered by the English Department.

Computer Experience

All Civil and Environmental Engineering students are introduced to the fundamentals of computing in Computer Programming in Engineering (CPE 112), including knowledge of computer structure and a high level programming language, such as C or C++. Most of the Junior and Senior level courses taught in Civil and Environmental Engineering include computer-based homework assignments or projects that range from writing small special purpose computer programs for engineering analysis problems to using existing software packages for more comprehensive design or analysis projects.

Laboratory Experience

In addition to laboratory exercises in chemistry (CH 125) and physics (PH 111 and PH 112), students are nominally required to perform eight laboratory experiments in Mechanics of Materials (CE/MAE 370), nine laboratory experiments in Soil Mechanics (CE 373) and two laboratory experiments in Water Quality Laboratory (CE 455). Students may gain additional laboratory experience through the selection of appropriate technical electives or, if they choose, through laboratory work in support of the required Civil Engineering Design Project course (CE 499).

Engineering Design Experience

Courses with significant design content required of all students include Hydraulics (CE 441) and Transportation Engineering and Design (CE 321). In CE 441, students design pipe networks and pumping systems. In CE 321 students identify a local traffic problem, analyze the problem, suggest several alternative solutions, and analyze the alternatives to determine a final solution to the problem.

Environmental engineering concentration students design a wastewater facility in Water Quality Control Processes (CE 456). In addition, students who enroll in Environmental Engineering Design (CE 458) typically design and prove the feasibility of a hazardous waste remediation process for an actual Superfund site.

For students enrolled in the structural engineering concentration, the material presented in Reinforced Concrete Design (CE 483) and Structural Steel Design (CE 484) naturally focuses on applicable design codes and appropriate design methodology as applied to a variety of steel and reinforced concrete design problems. In Foundation Engineering (CE 485), students design reinforced concrete foundations. Naturally, the design activities in CE 485 build on the material covered in Soil Mechanics and Reinforced Concrete Design (CE 372 and CE 483, respectively).

To ensure that students have a significant engineering design experience in their education, the civil engineering program of study culminates in a two-course capstone design, Civil Engineering Design Projects I and II (CE 498 and CE 499). As are all real design problems, the projects are naturally open-ended without a single "correct" solution. Typically, the students in the class will work with the instructor to define the scope of the project, the important design objectives and constraints, and the general design approach including appropriate analytical and numerical techniques, data requirements, and appropriate design methodology. The project results must be summarized in a written Final Report and presented orally to other Civil and Environmental engineering faculty and students. In the Final Report, the students must document the particular design approach used, the various objectives considered, the alternative solutions generated, and the justification behind the final solution. The Civil Engineering Program capstone design course includes aspects of decision-making processes, teamwork, allocation of limited resources, cost analysis, consideration of human factors, and participation in communication and presentation of results and findings.

Humanities and Social Sciences Requirements

Engineering students are required to take 18 semester hours (in addition to EH 101 and 102) in the humanities/social sciences. Included in the 18 semester hours is an in-depth study of the humanities and fine arts, or the social and behavioral sciences, through completion of a 6-hour sequence in a particular discipline.

Study in the humanities addresses the ability to deal with questions of values, ethics, or aesthetics. Requirements include at least 9 semester hours in humanities, including PHL 202, a minimum of 3 hours in literature and 3 semester hours in the arts. Disciplines in the humanities include literature, philosophy, religious studies, speech, foreign languages, art, music, theater, and dance.

Study in the social and behavioral sciences deals primarily with the study of human behavior, social and political structures, and economics. Requirements include 9 semester hours in the social and behavioral sciences with a minimum of 3 semester hours in history. Disciplines include anthropology, economics, geography, history, political science, psychology, and sociology. A list of courses which satisfy the humanities and social science electives is maintained in the Engineering Student Affairs Office (EB 157).

Probability and Statistics Requirements

An understanding of the basic concepts of statistics is vital to students in any field of engineering. Engineers use statistics for many purposes including: understanding, controlling, and accounting for errors in measurement; facilitating the collection of adequate and reliable data for engineering design; understanding and accounting for uncertainties in the demands placed on engineering products; and controlling the quality of materials and workmanship.

Ethical, Social, Safety, and Economic Considerations in Engineering Practice

The course Introduction to Ethics (PHL 202) is a required course for all engineering students and covers ethical and social considerations in engineering practice. Engineering Economy (ISE 321) introduces the student to various economic analyses associated with engineering projects, including time value of investments and engineering project cost estimation. The capstone design courses (CE 498 and 499) cover the responsibilities of the engineering profession and its interaction with society.

Opportunities and Support on Campus for Student Participation and Membership in Technical, Professional and/or Honor Societies

The UAH ASCE Student Club was chartered in 1985 and was upgraded to a Student Chapter in 1989. The UAH ASCE Student Chapter is one of the most active groups on campus. Since 1986, the students have participated in the ASCE Southeast Regional Student Conference. The UAH student group has been the overall champion at this conference 6 times since 1988. In these years, the UAH ASCE Student group has represented the Southeast Region at the National Concrete Canoe Competition. In these national competitions, the UAH ASCE Chapter has had the championship team 4 times. The department supports the activities of the ASCE Chapter by providing funds to help pay for the trips to the regional and national meetings and competitions. Joint meetings are held with the Huntsville Branch of the ASCE, and Chapter activities are occasionally supported by local and state sections of ASCE.

Interaction Between Students and Civil Engineering Practitioners

The Introduction to Civil Engineering course (CE 101) offers the opportunity for freshman CE students to attend a professional ASCE meeting to network with local professionals. They also meet practitioners who volunteer to make presentations on engineering ethics and job opportunities in Huntsville during the course. The senior design course also makes use of practitioners’ knowledge in the forms of seminars on CAD, economics, and marketing for civil engineers.

Many students work part-time with local engineering firms, industry, and government agencies. This work is often performed in conjunction with the extensive University sponsored Cooperative Education Program. Tours of local facilities are often arranged by faculty in conjunction with Civil Engineering courses, and some Civil Engineering students elect to work on projects generated as a result of interactions with the local community.

Fundamentals of Engineering Examination

All Civil Engineering Program students are encouraged to take the FE examination prior to graduation. CE faculty offer a refresher course in the month prior to the exams for all UAH students. The FE exam is offered on the UAH campus twice each year. Applications are available at appropriate times in the Dean's office.