Application of the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) in an Interdisciplinary Capstone: The AISC Steel Bridge Competition

Contributing USMA Research Unit(s)

Civil and Mechanical Engineering, Systems Engineering

Publication Date

Summer 7-31-2019

Publication Title

International Journal of Engineering Management

Document Type



Seven West Point Cadets recently competed in the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) Steel Bridge Competition for their capstone project. West Point capstones allow cadets to demonstrate their practical, innovative, and hands-on solutions to complex problems, serving as an opportunity to demonstrate characteristics required of Army leaders. For purposes of meeting guidelines established by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), the capstone serves as a culminating major engineering design experience in at least two civil engineering contexts. It incorporates engineering standards and allows students to apply knowledge and skills from previous coursework. Historically consisting of all civil engineers, this year’s interdisciplinary Steel Bridge Team included a systems engineer major for the purposes of improved project management. As tomorrow’s leaders are asked to solve complex problems and win in an uncertain tomorrow, the need for graduates to have the skills required to organize chaos, manage risk, establish a schedule and plan, and adapt to change are more important than ever. This paper, organized by the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) Process Groups of Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling, and Closing, documents the implementation of project management principles towards the West Point Steel Bridge Team’s success and their development as future leaders.

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