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[Education] State of Education in Civil (Structural) Engineering in India
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Ankur Shah
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2016 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear All,
              Unless AICTE or Govt gets stricter w.r.t to norms (already in place but not followed), changing syllabus would be not produce overall impact.

However one suggestion might be to introduce "Design Application" as a subject or in syllabus in every semester and credits should be assigned to it.  This should contain practical scenarios & proposed solutions (5-10 problems per subject).

Some examples are as follows :-

SUBJECT : Structural Design

1. Draw approximate bending moment diagrams of Simply Supported beam, Continuous Fixed beam & Cantilever beams subjected to UDL. Draw longitudinal section and show main steel, anchor bars & stirrups.

2. An opening of 5’x5’ is to be made in a Load Bearing Structure. Describe in a page with figures your proposed solution and Calculations

3. Design a Security cabin & check results with STAAD / ETABS

4. Provide some Simple row house plan. Plot column location & Design sample beam column & Foundation.


Subject : Waste water management

1. Plot a Layout of Drainage system for nearby Village. Draw a Layout and From Toilets to its Disposal
(How may Students really do have an idea regarding construction of single toilet, septic tank & soak pit)

Subject : Building and Town Planning
1. Plot a layout of building in plan and complete all the procedures for application and approval in Municipality.

Subject : Soil Mechanics

1. Prepare a soil report for a nearby land for high rise construction
2. Black cotton soil is available at nearby site. What solutions would you propose for construction of building.

Subject : Surveying

1. Area is to be measured in a Busy site with lot of activities going on Nearby . Briefly Explain procedure to survey along with instruments preferred and Method to be used

The idea is to get students knowledge regarding application of subject also rather than just classroom teaching.

List is Extensive & above are some examples from different subjects related to practical scenarios. (Similar examples can be asked for Mechanics of Solid, Structural analysis, building construction etc)

Regards,
Ankur Shah..
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indutridibesh
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Joined: 25 Mar 2011
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2016 6:32 pm    Post subject: [Education] State of Education in Civil (Structural) Engineering in India Reply with quote

First of all, it is good to read every evening such volume of english literature being posted on the econf. But I am not sure if any one of us here are authorised to / empowered to implement any one of these in reality!
If we look at the nations where we have PE stamps and Chartered Engineer stamps..they are enforced practices implemented at appropriate levels by the national governance. So, unless and until such practices are enforced in our country, nothing probably is going to work...we can keep discussing and publish / present though.
We have multiple bodies like IE, CEAI, IStructE etc., but still no action for so many years..one org is strong in one region and the other in another region...no good.
We talk about changing engg course curriculum in this forum...but does this forum really empowered to bring about a change there?
We talk about industry academia relationship..but are the academia really ready to acknowledge and embrace the experienced engineers by their side to share practical knowledge with the students on a real scale! Not sure...
Many excellent practising engineers may not have post graduate degrees but I see all the good institution need doctorates or post doctoral degrees to entertain the candidates (even without any industry experience but with some research background on some esoteric topics!) - we are expecting well trained practising engineers to emerge from the esteemed institutions though...
I myself don't have a doctoral degree but I feel that I should be able to spend some time (depending on mutual convenience) in a good institute sharing and discussing some interesting / practical experience with budding UG or PG students....(even if it is on the weekends and on honorary basis)...possible? Probably not easy to find a suitable opportunity.
These are just my musings...request all to receive them positively....
Regards,
Tridibesh Indu On Feb 16, 2016 7:27 PM, "rupen" <forum@sefindia.org (forum@sefindia.org)> wrote:
Quote:
           Dear SEFIans:

There seems to be an undercurrent to suggest that there is a need to revamp Structural Engineering curriculum. Why not we explore that for a bit? While quality of teaching is something we cannot change overnight, proposing a fresh curriculum is certainly possible.

To begin with, let us not start listing what should be there. More or less, we know the curricula of various good institutes/universities, including the curriculum we as students have gone though. But, keeping in mind the changing needs of the profession, let us first list what should not be missed out from the curriculum, and then add new ideas. Then, we can compile these together to come up with a comprehensive curriculum for the future that will help the profession.

Shall we?
Rupen Goswami
     



     



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nnsivakumar
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 1:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am posting the folowing which I posted under another topic of the coference.
Distinguished members of the forum,
I wish to add to Prof B.V.Rameshs' views as below:
1. Colleges need to offer more  electives from various divisions. This will allow students to be specific in their learning by choosing the subjects of their interest.
2. Offering " Integrated design" subject as a compulsory module. Industry experts can be involved in this subject which will enable the students to be involved in doing real life projects. This will be expensive for the college and hence they will be reluctant. Industry experts should take it as service oriented rather than business oriented.
3. Lecturers also loaded with many tasks besides teaching such as research, admin jobs, post graduate supervision, publication, consultancy, student affairs etc. etc.  There is no standard scale available to measure the work load of a lecturer which results in the overload. This is a cause for concern.
I also would like to get the opinion of the members on the following:
1. How to reduce the gap between teacher and a practicing engineer (theory and practice)? In spite of engaging the industry experts in the academic activities and site visits (as mentioned by all in the  earlier postings), I feel there is the gap.
2. How to make the students interested? Tough we do motivational talks,  site visits, expert talks, adjunct professor talks,it still lacking.
Thank you,
Sincerely,
Dr.Sivakumar
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husainhamdulay
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 5:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Sefians,   I completely agree with Mr Rupen that the current curriculum for structural engineering shall be modified and including advance design of structure shall be inculcated. And the use of software's for designing shall be used and taught. Project based on softwares shall be done easily if we are well skilled in software.
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JVCSNL
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the important point brought in the discussion is to reduce the gap between teachers and practicing engineers.  This is proposed to improve quality of engineering education through theory taught by teachers and applied by practicing engineers.  

One of the way I envisage is that practicing engineers shall be motivated either to do Masters or Ph.D (of course if they don't posses those titles) while they still serve their job.  I think, many practicing engineers do lot of innovations in their design, device new tools and insights into the fundamentals, which probably is not shared to the world.  This happens primarily because the practicing engineer has not much time to fulfill "bureaucratic formalities" to acquire titles of masters of Ph.D.  

I am sure many work done by practicing engineers deserves PhD based on the innovation, insight or concept used in their work.  This work may not fit in the framework of PhD requirements as of now and hence, such work remains with that individual. This professional may not have time to go step by step as required.  HIs work is a result of perspiring work and may not need those "prescribed" steps.  

On the contrary, I am afraid to say this, since teachers have to grow in their career and Ph.D. is a mandatory prerequisite for the same, most teachers acquire Ph.D. in 3 to 5 years time, through systematic program prescribed.  I am sure that their work has high importance to the subject of research, but I think, the quality of such work is not at par with research of may be 20 years back.  Teachers pursuing the PhD follow systematic procedure, reviews etc., as probably their institutions provided that time.  similar time is not available with the practicing engineers.  Since, many teachers have not practiced in field, they would not appreciate the work done by a practicing engineer and he/she may not be encouraged to go for PhD in current framework.  

I am emphasizing this point a bit more as I feel, such practicing engineers if motivated to acquire additional qualifications, they will have more interaction with the students and the teachers.  It is a win-win case for both and a great service to profession.  Out of their PhD work, they will be required to publish papers and the knowledge which was there in a pocket has got wings to spread across industry.  We must have the mechanisms to dig out such pockets of excellence.  A little rule breaking is needed in order to serve the profession better.  

The academic institutions need to think beyond curricular based degrees to an experience or contribution based degrees.  This will certainly bring a breakthrough improvement in quality of education, improvement in teachers and students orientation and knowledge will be shared for everyone's benefit.  Can some institution try this?

Regards,

Jignesh V Chokshi
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JVCSNL
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr. Husain advocated to include advance design of structures using software in the academic curriculum.  

I have a slightly different opinion.  I think, the use of software in education is certainly encouraged and I have strongly recommended the same.  But the use of software needs to have a discipline.  In my opinion, the software can be used to teach the fundamentals, judging the right behavior and obtaining realistic forces that will be used for design.  

Let us take simple example, a simply supported beam subjected to UDL. The software shall not be taught in the engineering school to design the beam but to explain the bending and shear stress.  While we were taught the shear and bending stress, we only focused shear stress at end and bending stress at mid span.  We never visualized the variation of both the stresses and it remained as formula in our mind.  

During education on this topic, the teacher can actually show the shear and bending stresses to students for variety of sections (like prismatic, I, C or L).  This way, the concept of stress will be much better to students along with the fundamental derivation and formulae.  

I also wish to emphasize that the students need to inform during such interaction is that the software is only a "tool to solve problem" and not a "Solution".  Current state of understanding is that most engineers accept what is given by software.  Even senior professionals do not review the output provided by a software, with a claim that how can I challenge such reputed software?  

As universally known, for a given configuration of structural system and the loading, the analysis part will remain uniform across the world.  But the design phase is an art.  This is the real phase where creativity in structural system, member sizing and orientation plays a big role.  The students need to be guided to think creatively in design phase also.  In most cases, the size considered in analysis is designed and it is never challenged.  Most professionals also behave in this manner and hence, we don't see much creativity in the designs.  

In a summary, I suggest to use the software during the education for understanding structural mechanics and not for design of elements.  The powerful graphics and animations will help student remember the concept for life.  The element design shall be through guided help and that too by manual calculations where the student has to try multiple option and understand the concept of optimization.  

Regards,

Jignesh V Chokshi
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Dr. N. Subramanian
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Dr Sivakumar,

Any amount of external stimulus will not change the behaviour of any student.

In order to learn, the student should be self-motivated and take action. Unless there is some initiative from his/her own self, the teacher can not motivate the student to learn.

Moreover, now-a-days many students join any course to finally become a software engineer. In such a case, how can you motivate him to become a good Civil Engineer?

Warm regards,
Subramanian


nnsivakumar wrote:
I am posting the folowing which I posted under another topic of the coference.
Distinguished members of the forum,
I wish to add to Prof B.V.Rameshs' views as below:
1. Colleges need to offer more  electives from various divisions. This will allow students to be specific in their learning by choosing the subjects of their interest.
2. Offering " Integrated design" subject as a compulsory module. Industry experts can be involved in this subject which will enable the students to be involved in doing real life projects. This will be expensive for the college and hence they will be reluctant. Industry experts should take it as service oriented rather than business oriented.
3. Lecturers also loaded with many tasks besides teaching such as research, admin jobs, post graduate supervision, publication, consultancy, student affairs etc. etc.  There is no standard scale available to measure the work load of a lecturer which results in the overload. This is a cause for concern.
I also would like to get the opinion of the members on the following:
1. How to reduce the gap between teacher and a practicing engineer (theory and practice)? In spite of engaging the industry experts in the academic activities and site visits (as mentioned by all in the  earlier postings), I feel there is the gap.
2. How to make the students interested? Tough we do motivational talks,  site visits, expert talks, adjunct professor talks,it still lacking.
Thank you,
Sincerely,
Dr.Sivakumar
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abidafzal
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Joined: 17 Dec 2014
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:00 pm    Post subject: [Education] State of Education in Civil (Structural) Engineering in India Reply with quote

Dear All Structural /Civil Engineers, It is a great learning in itself by going through the discussions, suggestions that are pouring in into the E-CONF2016 from esteemed and learned members and gurus.
I have just one small point of concern.
Can we; the structural engineers be a complete designer of a building or a structure without having thorough knowledge of foundation engineering and/or without involving a geotechnical engineer/expert/agency?




With warmth regards to all SEFIANS




Abid Afzal

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nnsivakumar
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 2:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well said Dr.Subramanian. The student needs to have some basic interest towards learning. Nowadays I find that students are only interested in getting grades. Hence they really don't study to gain knowledge and so lack of understanding. I try my best to motivate them for which my practical experience really helps a lot.
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str.engr
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Joined: 26 Jan 2003
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 4:00 am    Post subject: [Education] State of Education in Civil (Structural) Engineering in India Reply with quote

Hi All,

There have been so many insightful and erudite comments on this topic on the econference that there is hardly anything new to contribute. I agree with Prof Rupen and others that there is a need to revamp civil engineering curriculum. I would further add that it is perhaps more  important to change the pedagogy of civil engineering,  i.e. the method and practice of teaching civil engineering. That is the major malaise in our education. Prof Arun Menon in another topic has shared an excellent presentation on the necessary changes required in Engineering teaching methods and curriculum. 


Civil engineering in most colleges. is  taught from part to whole. Wait, that is not quite right. We never get to the whole, do we?  We teach engineering at the element level but the student does not  ever understand the whole. Because there is no History of Structures ever taught, no role models ever put forward. How many of our students learn about Nervi, Torroja, Brunel....? How many learn History of Construction Technology? Can a single engineering student explain to us how the domes of cathedrals were built or even that of Taj Mahal? Most architecture students can. 


 Students  graduate with no engagement with their core discipline. Jignesh, Ankur and others have ably pointed to more issues that need reflection on our part. Also, the current  civil engineering program allows students to slack off during  the semester and slog at the end for submissions and exams. This is unlike the architecture program where the student gets accustomed to hard work all through the semester and develops into a professional who is not a shirker. Engineering students believe  real life is an extension of their student years  and feel it is okay not to work assiduously except at deadlines time. An office environment which requires them to apply themselves, which expects them to "think"  constantly is considered "Stressful". 


BMD, SFD are the alphabet of structural engineering. Students don't know their alphabet and are called upon to write essays on graduating in the form of real life design. It does not faze them at all. They are happy to write gibberish. Except that this  gibberish is a real building and real people will live.work/visit there. I don't see any difference between a terrorist and an engineer with poor fundamentals who still goes on to design buildings. I say this out of sheer exasperation. I was recently called in for  a peer review of a building under construction who's design is so wrong and has already started showing cracks and huge deformations, the most sage thing to do would be to tear it down. And why did this happen ? Because nobody in that big consulting firm bothered to check the design of an  incompetent  engineer!!


I believe that some colleges are trying to change the scenario. I have been talking to some IIT Directors who see merit in bringing out sweeping changes and are going out of the way to increase industry - academia manifold. I see colleges like BITS Pilani who send their students for two  six month internships during their undergraduate program. TVS had similarly tied up Thiagarajar College to train their students during 4-6 weeks semester  vacations and a semester long project. But more interaction with architecture colleges will also help our faculty and students to pull up their socks. We need to wake up and smell the coffee. We will not survive like this because if we are graduating technicians and not engineers, they can be replaced easily. 



Why dont we try to work with a select 4-5 colleges across India as an experiment? I repeat - there is a need for a change in the pedagogy of  civil engineering as much or perhaps more than  a change in curriculum content. Let's make a start somewhere. 


warmly,
Alpa





On Tue, Feb 16, 2016 at 7:25 PM, rupen <forum@sefindia.org (forum@sefindia.org)> wrote:
Quote:
           Dear SEFIans:

There seems to be an undercurrent to suggest that there is a need to revamp Structural Engineering curriculum. Why not we explore that for a bit? While quality of teaching is something we cannot change overnight, proposing a fresh curriculum is certainly possible.

To begin with, let us not start listing what should be there. More or less, we know the curricula of various good institutes/universities, including the curriculum we as students have gone though. But, keeping in mind the changing needs of the profession, let us first list what should not be missed out from the curriculum, and then add new ideas. Then, we can compile these together to come up with a comprehensive curriculum for the future that will help the profession.

Shall we?
Rupen Goswami
     



     



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