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Civil Engineering Senior Design

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Civil Engineering Senior Design

CE490/CE492 Senior Design is the Capstone course of the Undergraduate Civil Engineering Curiculum at Clarkson University.  Students in this course execute a multi-disciplinary project focused on the breadth of civil engineering practice and covering all of the stages of the design and construction planning process.  This page is intended to highlight some of the design products and presentations of the students in the class as well as describe how the class proceeds for those interested in learning more about Clarkson's efforts to build Civil Engineers for tomorrow.

Example Projects

Semester   Project Name   Project Team   Product
Spring 2017 Maple City Trail Extension Scratch Your Backus Schematic Design Submittal
Spring 2016 House in a Box Innov8 Industries Final Design Presentation
Spring 2016 ROTC Storage Building 6Ps Design Final Design Submission
Spring 2016 Munter Trail Extension and Bridge Raquette River Engineering Schematic Design Presentation
Spring 2016 Armenian Eco Village Eco Design Schematic Design Presentation
Spring 2016 House in a Box Peak Design Proposal Submission
Spring 2016 Munter Trail Extension and Bridge Raquette River Engineering Proposal Presentation


This list will be updated periodically.  All of the above are student work products, and as such all rights are reserved to the authors in conjunction with Clarkson University.

How the Class Proceeds

Senior design in Civil Engineering at Clarkson mirrors the typical design process executed by consulting firms across the United States/Canada.

Senior Design Process Graphic

Proposal Stage

The Senior Design course begins with the course instructors providing the students a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a construction project.  The projects are sourced, most often, from real world problems; either in support of Clarkson Facilities and Services or from Community and Corproate Partners.  Students develop a qualification statement and initial concept design as a part of their proposal submittal.  Students then conduct a proposal interview.

Schematic Design

Using the comments garnered during the proposal stage, the teams begin developing a design for the problem/project focus.  Students are guided by faculty to understand program requirements, develop design criteria, and present potential design solutions.  As part of this stage, students execute life cycle cost analysis, integrate sustainability principles, and follow code requirements.  Students use design guidance and follow design standards that match the state of the art in the industry, often requiring the implimentation of new technologies and techniques.  At the end of this stage, students submit a deliverable that is evaluated, and make a presentation.  During this stage, students also respond to an ethical decision making case study.

Final Design

The last major phase of this course is the final design of the project.  Students prepare a final design product, often including design plans and specifications that enable the project to be built.  At this stage the students also complete a cost estimate for the proposed design solution as well as a preliminary construction schedule.

Final Presentation

The last part of the Senior Design course is a formal presentation of their design.  These presentations are feature events, open to the public and inviting in the project sponsor to see the result of the student work and the anticipated final deliverable for the client.