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Undergraduate Course Catalog 2010-2011

College of Engineering and Physical Sciences


Civil Engineering (CIE)


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Chairperson: Jean Benoit
Professor: Jean Benoit, M. Robin Collins, Pedro A. de Alba, David L. Gress, Nancy E. Kinner, James P. Malley Jr.
Associate Professor: Thomas P. Ballestero, Erin S. Bell, Raymond A. Cook, Jo S. Daniel, Kevin H. Gardner, Charles H. Goodspeed, Robert M. Henry, Jennifer M. Jacobs
Assistant Professor: Tat S. Fu, Ricardo A. Medina
Research Assistant Professor: Jeffrey S. Melton, Robert M. Roseen, Alison W. Watts
Lecturer: Rebekah J. Briggs

Civil engineering involves the planning, design, and construction of public works: buildings, bridges, roads, dams, water transmission systems, water treatment systems, tunnels, and more. These facilities must provide efficient service, be cost-effective, and be compatible with the environment. Moreover, civil engineers work under a code of ethics in which their primary, overriding responsibility is to uphold the public’s trust by working to plan, design, build, and restore safe, sustainable, and environmentally responsible public works.

Civil engineers work as private consultants and for government agencies in a wide variety of indoor and outdoor settings around the world. There is a strong and constant market for civil engineers due to the demands placed on the profession to construct, maintain, and repair the infrastructure.

As civil engineering is such a broad field, it is traditionally divided into several sub-disciplines. At the University of New Hampshire, five are offered: civil engineering materials, environmental engineering, geotechnical engineering, structural engineering, and water resources engineering. Civil engineering majors may choose the sub-discipline in which to focus their studies during their senior year. Additionally, the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, through the Departments of Civil Engineering and Chemical Engineering, offers a B.S. in environmental engineering (ENE) which is a major for students who choose to specifically focus their attention solely in that area. (Students who are interested in environmental engineering but who also want a broader or more traditional civil engineering focus should pursue the civil engineering major and elect environmental engineering courses in their senior year.) Students may readily transfer between the civil engineering (CIE) and ENE programs within the first two semesters. Both the B.S. in civil engineering and the B.S. in environmental engineering provide a firm base in mathematics, science, and engineering and all majors are expected to develop excellent communication and computer skills. Graduates are prepared to enter the profession and to pursue advanced study. Because of the broad technical background attained, some graduates also successfully pursue further education in business, architecture, education, and law.

The mission of the Department of Civil Engineering is to pursue and disseminate knowledge through teaching, research, and public service. As part of its teaching mission, the department provides rigorous, yet flexible, undergraduate and graduate education for both traditional and nontraditional students through classical and creative instruction in the classroom, laboratory, and field. While preparing students for the profession, the department offers an education in civil engineering that includes working in multidisciplinary teams that critically analyze and formulate solutions to civil engineering problems and apply engineering principles that provide social, economic, and environmental benefits to the public. The department encourages in its students a lifelong desire to keep abreast of new developments in the field and teaches them the skills necessary to continue learning. As part of its research mission, the department maintains a rigorous multidisciplinary program of scholarship advancing the state of the art in civil engineering. As part of its mission in public service, the department enhances the quality of life for people, especially in New England and specifically New Hampshire, by providing expert services, advancing and transferring knowledge and technology, and serving as a resource for information.

Educational Objectives

In accordance with its University, college, and department missions, the faculty of the Department of Civil Engineering has established clear objectives for students to help them become successful professionals after graduation. To assist graduates to become practicing civil engineers, the program helps students achieve a basic competence in math, science, and engineering principles; learn how to apply this knowledge to solve engineering problems; achieve a working knowledge in the basic civil engineering areas of structural engineering, geotechnical engineering, civil engineering materials, water resources, and environmental engineering; and extend their knowledge in one or more of these areas. As part of this process, students learn how to critically analyze and design equipment, structures, systems, or processes to meet current needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs; and to use current, and be able to independently learn new, engineering software. Engineers also need to be effective communicators. Engineering students learn how to communicate and defend ideas in technical documents such as calculation sets, reports and correspondence, how to speak before a group and convey information to technical and non-technical audiences, and how to create and effectively use graphics in support of a presentation or report. Students also learn how to work effectively as good team players who are able to work effectively as team members and team leaders and who can work on multi-disciplinary teams.

As part of finding engineering solutions civil engineering students learn how to be effective researchers who can gather and synthesize information and data to accomplish tasks. Students learn to locate, compile, and use existing information; design and perform experiments to gather new information; analyze information; and draw conclusions. Due to the nature of civil engineering efforts, which involve the public, public safety, and significant financing, it is imperative that graduates become good engineering citizens who are ethical and aware of the social, economic, and environmental impact of engineering solutions. Students develop an awareness of sustainable engineering and the interaction between engineering practice and social, economic, and environmental issues; ASCE Code of Ethics; an awareness of contemporary, global issues; their effect on public policy and their interaction with civil engineering practice; and the importance of broadening their education by being familiar with topics outside of the math, science, and engineering areas including the basics of business and management. Civil engineers also are professionals who often are licensed, seek continuing education, participate in professional societies, and perform public service. Students are prepared to take the Fundamentals of Engineering examination, understand the need for lifelong learning, and are encouraged to join and be active in professional organizations such as ASCE, SWE, SWB, Tau Beta Pi, and the Order of the Engineer.


Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering

Matriculating students should have strong aptitudes in mathematics and science along with imagination, spatial and graphic abilities, communication skills, and creativity. Students then follow a four-year program that conforms to the guidelines of, and is accredited by, the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202-4012, (410) 347-7700.

The first two years of the program provide the necessary technical knowledge in mathematics, chemistry, and physics, while introducing and developing problem-solving techniques in seven courses tailored to civil engineering students. The junior year provides courses in each of the civil engineering sub-disciplines, providing students with skills in each and allowing students to determine which they wish to pursue further. The senior year is flexible, allowing students to choose where to focus attention by selecting from more than thirty elective courses in civil and environmental engineering.

The required curriculum includes eight writing-intensive courses, thereby not only satisfying but exceeding the University’s writing requirement. (See University Academic Requirements.)

Approximately one-third of the major’s total credits and more than half of the senior-level courses are elected by the student. Of these, there are Discovery Program electives required by the University and other electives required by the Department in order to satisfy departmental objectives and accreditation requirements.

1. The Discovery Program is described in University Academic Requirements. Courses required by the civil engineering major fulfill requirements in Inquiry (CIE 402); Writing Skills (ENGL 401); Quantitative Reasoning (MATH 425); Physical Sciences (PHYS 407); Laboratory Coursework (PHYS 407); Environment, Technology, and Society (CIE 402); and a Senior Capstone Experience (CIE 784/788). Therefore, students select electives to satisfy Discovery requirements in Biological Science, Fine and Performing Arts, Humanities, Historical Perspectives, World Cultures, and Social Science.

2. Civil engineering majors wishing to participate in exchange programs must achieve a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better in all MATH, PHYS, CHEM, CIE, and ENE courses taken to date at the end of each of the second and third semesters prior to their exchange semester.

3. In the senior year, students take four courses specific to civil engineering sub-disciplines, and a Senior Technical Elective. Students can use these electives to focus on a particular civil engineering area or can acquire a broader perspective by taking courses in a variety of areas. At least one of these four elective courses must qualify also as a civil engineering design elective, and no more than three courses may be taken in one sub-discipline. Lists of courses that fulfill these electives are available from the department.

Additional program policies and requirements

1. To transfer into the civil engineering major, a student must have the following:

a. an overall grade point average of 2.33 or greater;

b. an overall grade point average of 2.33 or greater for all CIE and ENE courses taken to-date;

c. a grade point average of 2.33 in courses taken to-date of MATH 425, PHYS 407, CHEM 405 or CHEM 403, CIE 525 or ME 525, and CIE 526 or ME 526;

d. a minimum grade of C+ in courses taken to-date of CIE 525 and CIE 526.

2. Students who are transferring into the civil engineering major may only transfer in the following:

a. a maximum of 20 credits for CIE and ENE 600- and 700-level coursework,

b. CIE and ENE 600- and 700-level courses in which the student has received a grade of C- or better.

3. To continue as a civil engineering major, a student must adhere to the following restrictions:

a. a maximum of two CIE or ENE courses may be repeated (though each of these may be repeated more than once),

b. a semester grade-point average lower than 2.0 may be earned for a maximum of two consecutive semesters, 

c. a cumulative grade-point average of less than 2.0 for CIE and ENE courses may be earned for a maximum of any two semesters.

4. CIE and ENE 600- and 700-level courses are intended for CIE and ENE majors only. All others may enroll in these courses only with the permission of the instructor, but others may take no more than 20 credits of these courses.

5. To enter the required 600-level courses in the junior year, students must achieve the following:

a. the completion of CIE 525, CIE 526, MATH 425, PHYS 407, and CHEM 405 or CHEM 403,

b. an overall grade-point average of 2.0 or greater for these courses,

c. a grade of C or better in each of CIE 525 and CIE 526.

6. To graduate with a bachelor of science in civil engineering, a student must achieve the following:

a. 130 or more credits,

b. credit for the civil engineering program’s major and elective courses,

c. satisfaction of the University’s Discovery Program requirements,

d. satisfaction of the University’s writing intensive course requirements,

e. a cumulative grade-point average of 2.0 or better for all courses,

f. a cumulative grade-point average of 2.0 or better for all CIE and ENE courses.


First Year

Abbreviation Course Number Title Fall Spring
CIE   402   Intro. to Civil Engineering   4   -  
ENGL   401   First-Year Writing   4   -  
TECH   564   Fundamentals of CAD   3   -  
Elective (2)     Discovery Program requirement*   4   4  
CIE   505   Surveying and Mapping   -   4  
MATH   425   Calculus I   -   4  
PHYS   407   General Physics I   -   4  
Total       15   16  

Sophomore Year

Abbreviation Course Number Title Fall Spring
CIE   525   Statics   3   -  
ENGL   502   Technical Writing   4   -  
MATH   426   Calculus II   4   -  
PHYS   408   General Physics II   4   -  
Elective (2)     Discovery Program requirement*   4   4  
CHEM   405   General Chemistry   -   4  
CIE   526   Strength of Materials   -   3  
CIE   533   Project Engineering   -   3  
MATH   644   Statistics for Engineers and Scientists   -   4  
Total       19   18  

Junior Year

Abbreviation Course Number Title Fall Spring
CIE   622   Engineering Materials   4   -  
CIE   642   Fluid Mechanics   4   -  
ENE   520   Environmental Pollution and Protection   4   -  
MATH   527   Differential Equations with Linear Algebra   4   -  
CIE   665   Soil Mechanics   -   4  
CIE   681   Classical Structural Analysis   -   3  
ENE   645   Fundamental Aspects of Environmental Engineering   -   4  
Elective (1)     Discovery Program requirement*   -   4  
Total       16   15  

Senior Year

Abbreviation Course Number Title Fall Spring
CIE   760   Foundation Design I   4   -  
CIE   774   Reinforced Concrete Design   4   -  
CIE   784   Intro. to Project Planning and Design***   1   -  
Elective (1)     Discovery Program requirement*   4    
Elective (3)     civil engineering**   3   6  
CIE or ENE   788   Project Planning and Design***   -   3  
Elective (1)     civil engineering design**   -   3  
Elective (1)     senior technical elective**   -   3  
Total       16   15  

*A course satisfying one each of the Discovery Program categories of Biological Science, Fine and Performing Arts, Humanities, Historical Perspectives, World Cultures, and Social Science.

** Approved list available in the CIE office.

*** Satisfies Capstone requirement for Discovery.


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