Mosul Dam: A Study in Complex Engineering Problems
Contributing USMA Research Unit(s)
Civil and Mechanical Engineering
Proceedings of the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference
XXX seeks to educate and inspire their civil engineering students through a rigorous and realistic academic program. Recognizing that civil engineers often face complex problems that encompass technical engineering and societal, political, and economic challenges, the XXX has established an Infrastructure Engineering course to prepare their students for these problems. A key element is an established model of infrastructure analysis, which is introduced in the course and applied in follow-on experiences in the program. Faculty members draw upon their engineering experiences to provide relevant challenges for the students to apply the model, such as the Mosul Dam in northern Iraq. These challenges are often multi-dimensional and include difficult questions which require the student to advocate for solutions which do not satisfy all stakeholders.
The Mosul Dam is a piece of critical infrastructure on the Tigris River in Iraq which provides hydroelectric power, irrigation, water supply and flood control for the nearby city of Mosul and the surrounding area. The Mosul Dam has well-known technical engineering and other challenges and is presented as a case study to the senior civil engineering students in their culminating professional seminar course. Students are provided technical data, environmental conditions, and the social, political and economic context in which the project functions. Students are challenged to assess the dam with the established infrastructure model, develop creative mitigating measures, and outline the inter-related technical and non-technical concerns.
The result of the student’s experience in wrestling with the Mosul Dam addresses several of the program’s ABET student outcomes. These outcomes include: Incorporating the knowledge of contemporary issues into the solution of engineering problems, drawing upon a broad education necessary to anticipate the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context, and explaining the basic concepts of business and public policy. The assessment of these specific ABET student outcomes includes direct and indirect embedded indicators. Additionally, the impact on the cognitive and affective developmental domains is considered with respect to educating and inspiring our future civil engineers.
Bruhl, J. C., & Hanus, J. P., & Moody, P. M., & Klosky, J. L. (2016, June), Mosul Dam - A Study in Complex Engineering Problems Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25755
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