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Master of Civil Engineering - Online

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  • Course description
    The MCE program is made up of six, six-credit seminars for a total of 36 credits. Each seminar is approximately 11 weeks in length. The program is designed so you can complete the course work in 18 months (21-24 months for students requiring any prerequisites) and graduate 21 months from the time you first enroll. The program ends with a one-week residency and graduation ceremony at Norwich University in June.

    The MCE program offers two start dates per year: March and September. Currently available areas of concentration are Structural Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Construction Management, and Environmental/Water Resources Engineering. (Prerequisite seminars are offered for those not meeting full admission requirements. Assessments are conducted on a case-by-case basis.)

    Core Courses:

    Prerequisite Courses


    Engineering Analysis Techniques


    A fast-paced review of fundamental techniques from typical undergraduate level calculus courses. Mastery of these topics is required for success in the differential equations and engineering analysis courses in the MCE program. (3 credit hours)

    Semester 1 — Seminar 1

    Math & Project Management


    The Analytical Methods portion of the course includes first and second order differential equations, basic matrix algebra with emphasis on solving systems of equations and understanding eigenvalues and eigenvectors, numerical techniques for solving both differential and algebraic equations, and an introduction to partial differential equations. In addition to solving problems by hand, students will also be using software tools.

    The Project and Business Management Fundamentals portion of the course is an examination and understanding of issues related to organizational behavior and leadership in complex environments, such as engineering firms or construction project teams. The concepts of individual and group behavior, motivation, decision-making, team and organizational dynamics, communication, and leadership are explored to provide a conceptual foundation for future management and leadership roles. (6 credit hours)

    Semester 1 — Seminar 2

    Project Management

    An examination and understanding of: (1) the metrics employed in the planning and management of projects and (2) issues related to planning the formal structure of an engineering project. The planning and management metrics that will be examined include accounting, financial, and scheduling techniques that link monetary and temporal project issues. Contract systems will be analyzed as a basis for understanding the owner-engineer-contractor relationships. Altogether these techniques will bring an understanding of the project environment that strives to optimize project performance throughout the entire life cycle. (6 credit hours)

    Semester 3 — Seminar 6

    Capstone Design Project

    This six credit hour course has two parts: an in-depth capstone design project and an introduction to utility systems.

    Civil engineering projects have always had social, political, economic, and environmental impacts. The capstone design project requires you to anticipate these impacts prior to project implementation. As the engineer in a leadership position you will direct the project from conception to completion. This includes the preparation of a comprehensive project business plan that will include project goals, political hurdles, anticipated revenues and expenses, marketing, facility design, etc.; all pertaining to the design of a major civil engineering project.

    In addition to the capstone design project you will learn about a topic neglected in most undergraduate civil engineering programs, utility systems. This portion of the course will provide an overview of the fundamentals of utility systems: heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment; power supply systems and equipment; lighting, communication, and security systems; plumbing systems and equipment. (6 credit hours)

    Structural Concentration:


    Prerequisite Courses

    Engineering Mechanics I

    A review of engineering mechanics fundamentals from the fields of statics, dynamics, and mechanics of materials. Free body diagrams, force systems, equilibrium, geometric properties, kinematics, kinetics, stress and strain. (3 credit hours)

    Fundamentals of Structural Engineering


    A review of the basic concepts of structural engineering that form the required background for later courses. Types of structures, construction materials, structural design, and safety issues are discussed. Students will become familiar with a number of typical structural design calculation methods for later use. (6 credit hours)

    Semester 2 — Seminar 3

    Classical, Matrix, and Dynamic Analysis of Structures


    This course addresses two tracks of analysis. First, static analysis is investigated with advanced classical methods and with matrix methods, the cornerstone of the finite element method. Second, dynamic analysis is presented using both classical and matrix approaches for single and multiple degree of freedom systems. Analysis issues related to design codes are addressed for both static and dynamic conditions. The use of commercially available software is introduced. (6 credit hours)

    Semester 2 — Seminar 4

    Design of Steel and Timber Structures


    An exploration of advanced structural design issues in the areas of both steel and timber. Using the latest provisions from the American Institute of Steel Construction and the National Design Specification for Wood Construction the course will cover the design and behavior of 2-D and 3-D framing, framing members and connections under various loading conditions, including wind and seismic. Strength and serviceability issues. (6 credit hours)

    Semester 3 — Seminar 5

    Design of Reinforced and Prestressed/Precast Concrete Structures


    This course focuses on advanced topics in reinforced concrete design and an introduction to prestressed/precast concrete using the provisions of the American Concrete Institute. Beams, slabs, columns, deflections, analysis and design of prestressed members, loss calculations, use of standard precast members. Design and detailing for seismic loads.

    The course also includes an introduction to Geographic Information Systems as they apply to the structural engineering field and will spend time formulating proposals for the student's upcoming capstone design project in Seminar Six. (6 credit hours)

    Environmental/Water Resources Concentration:


    Prerequisite Courses

    Hydraulics for Environmental Engineers


    A review of fluid mechanics and hydraulics fundamentals. Pipe flow and networks, open channel flow, measurement techniques for fluids, etc. (3 credit hours)

    Fundamentals of Environmental/Water Resources Engineering


    A review of the basic concepts of environmental and water resources engineering that form the required background for later courses. Basic concepts from environmental chemistry, ecology, biology, microbiology, geology, and soil science along with an introduction to environmental engineering field. Designed to prepare students for entry into the Environmental Engineering sequence of the Master of Civil Engineering program. (6 credit hours)

    Semester 2 — Seminar 3

    Physiochemical and Biological Processes in Water and Wastewater Treatment


    Physical, chemical, biological, and advanced treatment unit processes. This course will cover basic physical, chemical and biological concepts, reactor kinetics, water and wastewater qualities and quantities, and physical, chemical, and biological unit processes. Design of individual unit processes and integration of unit processes into treatment trains capable of meeting treatment objectives will be emphasized. (6 credit hours)

    Semester 2 — Seminar 4

    Stormwater Management and GIS Applications for Water Resources


    Stormwater management issues, from both flood control and water quality points of view, are integral water resource components associated with land development, urbanization, and watershed hydrology. This course will examine rainfall-runoff relationships (including statistical analysis), channel and basin routing, stormwater treatment, low impact development, best management practices, and wetland utilization and benefit/cost ratio analysis. Geographic Information Systems software will be introduced and applied for examining and analyzing decision-making processes involved with the stormwater management components of the course. (6 credit hours)

    Semester 3 — Seminar 5

    Geoenvironmental Engineering – Groundwater Flow and Waste Containment


    This course approaches the field of geoenvironmental engineering from two points of view: groundwater flow and contaminant transport issues and the principals related to solid waste disposal and containment.

    The groundwater portion of the course will focus on flow and contaminant transport including aquifer properties, principles of ground-water flow, flow into wells, soil moisture and ground-water recharge, regional ground-water flow and the advection, diffusion and attenuation of ground-water contaminants.

    The solid waste portion of the course will focus on landfill siting, design and construction. Material properties and engineering design of geosynthetic components including geomembranes, geotextiles, geocomposites, and geosynthetic clay liners. Methods to estimate and design landfill leachate quantities and gas generation.

    The course will also spend time formulating proposals for the student's upcoming capstone design project in Seminar Six. (6 credit hours)

    Construction Management Concentration:


    Prerequisite Courses

    Introduction to Management


    The construction management prerequisite is a 12-credit hour certificate course that prepares you for an education in business. In addition to an understanding of the critical business functions, two key skill areas that are essential for all business professionals are a proficiency in business communication and a working knowledge of business statistics. Both are part of this prerequisite. (12 credit hours)

    All subjects of the Common Professional Components are covered in the prerequisite seminar. These include:

    1) Functional Areas
          a)     Marketing
          b)     Finance
          c)     Accounting
          d)     Management (includes Operations Management, Organizational Behavior, and Human Resource Management)

    2) The Business Environment
          a)     Legal Environment of Business
          b)     Economics
          c)     Business Ethics
          d)     Global Dimensions of Business

    3) Technical Skills
          a)     Information Management
          b)     Quantitative Techniques/Statistics

    Semester 2 — Seminar 3

    Information Technology


    Information Technology is changing the face of the AEC industry. Virtual Design and Construction is being enabled by an ever expanding range of software programs. Knowledge of project management software is becoming a base level competency. This course develops a base level competency in a host of software products. More importantly it develops an understanding of the strategic importance of integrating IT across all aspects of the project.

    Semester 2 — Seminar 4

    Contracts and Insurance


    One of the most contentious issues in a project is the understanding and allocation of risk. This seminar addresses the risk characteristics of various contractual forms and the place that insurance and surety plays in the AEC arena. The emergence of new contractual forms from AIA and the ConensusDocs require a new perspective on contracts and the project organization. This seminar will develop a strategic understanding of contract variables that span plans and specs to Integrated Project Delivery.

    Semester 3 — Seminar 5

    Project Finance and Accounting


    Every project is judged on its financial performance. The same project can have different performance characteristics for different players. An effective project manager needs to understand the financial ramifications of decisions across all project participants. In addition to traditional arrangements, the advent of new models such as the Special Purpose Entity (SPE) and Public Private Partnerships (PPP) has introduced a host of opportunities and risks. This seminar will enable the student to address the ever increasing complexity of the financial arena.

    Semester 3 — Seminar 6

    Construction Capstone


    The successful project manager operates at the nexus of management and technology. This seminar brings together the strategic thinking and skill sets from the first five seminar and employs them in the development of a real world project proposal. As part of this seminar the student can also prepare for a sit for the Project Management Professional (PMP) exam.

    Geotechnical Concentration:

    Prerequisite Courses

    Introduction to Soil Mechanics I


    An introduction to the engineering properties of soils: soil classification, soil structure, mineralogy, flow of fluids in soils, soil compression, consolidation, and shear strength. (3 credit hours)

    Introduction to Soil Mechanics II and Foundation Engineering


    Introduction to Soil Mechanics II: An introduction to the engineering properties of soils: soil compression and shear strength. Foundation Engineering: Determination of bearing capacity and settlement characteristics of shallow and deep foundations. Design and evaluation of earth slopes and earth retaining structures. (6 credit hours)

    Laboratory Courses:

    On Campus Laboratory #1 – Review of Geotechnical Engineering Testing

    Survey of techniques for classification of soils, assessment of hydraulic properties, consolidation, and assessment of shear strength parameters of soils.

    Semester 2 — Seminar 3

    Intermediate Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering


    Intermediate Soil Mechanics: General principals of soil mechanics and their applications, including soil structure, mineralogy, fluid flow through porous media, shear strength, slope stability, primary consolidation, and secondary consolidation. Classical earth pressure theories. Foundation Engineering: Analysis of shallow and deep foundations including bearing capacity and settlement of footings, rafts, drilled piers, and piles. Analysis of stability and design of retaining walls and anchored bulkheads. (6 credit hours)

    Semester 2 — Seminar 4

    Earthquake Engineering and Soil Stabilization


    Earthquake Engineering: Evaluation of geotechnical earthquake hazards and mitigation. Plate tectonics, seismicity, wave propagation, characterization of ground motions, theory of vibrations, effect of local soil conditions on ground response, development of design ground motions, liquefaction, dynamic lateral earth pressures, slope stability and deformation, earthquake design codes. Soil Stabilization: The application of mineralogical and physicochemical principals to soil stabilization problems, and stabilization techniques for highway and foundation applications. (6 credit hours)

    Semester 3 — Seminar 5

    Numerical Methods in Geotechncial Engineering


    Survey of computer methods and applications for analysis of complex geotechnical engineering problems. Finite element, finite difference and closed form solution techniques, modeling applications. (6 credit hours)

    Semester 3 — Seminar 6

    Laboratory Courses:

    On Campus Laboratory #2 – Intermediate Measurement of Soil Properties


    Laboratory determination of soil properties including flexible wall permeability, compaction, and triaxial shear tests with pore pressure measurement, field techniques in geotechnical engineering.

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