Publication Date



American Society of Engineering Education


The field of civil and environmental engineering directly ties with serving the needs of the public through infrastructure development and improvements in sustainable environments. Integrating this reciprocal connection between public policy and civil engineering into undergraduate civil engineering education is critical for the preparation of the next generation of engineers. This project, first, reviews the guidance of public policy in civil engineering programs, such as ASCE’s Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge. Then, a pedagogical application is presented that focuses on the integration of public policy concepts, methods, assessment tools and techniques in a required, upper level course in civil and environmental engineering at Bucknell University. Iterations of this course integration have been taught for over a decade, and experiences on how to engage students around this timely topic is included. Specific course materials including discussion strategies are presented, as well as methods to maintain up-to-date connections with critical ever-changing topics such as climate change. Also, case studies related to ASCE Policy Statements are shared, and summative assessments that tie directly to ABET criteria are presented, in order to showcase ways that public policy can be taught at the undergraduate level at institutions throughout the United States. Within the lesson material, both a combination of regulation and market-based instruments are presented using civil and environmental engineering examples to spur interest in field and practical applications. Lastly, opportunities within the engineering and public policy arena, in terms of graduate programs and career pathways, are introduced to spark future career interests. As more undergraduate engineers are exposed to the topic of public policy, they can begin their careers with a more well-rounded and holistic understanding of how they can lead and potentially improve the field of civil engineering in serving the public, economy, and the environment.


Conference Paper


Civil Engineering