Taking environmental engineering out of the laboratory

Gleeson, C.P. and Burke, A. 2007. Taking environmental engineering out of the laboratory. Built Environment Education Annual Conference (BEECON 2007). University of Westminster, London 12 - 13 Sep 2007

TitleTaking environmental engineering out of the laboratory
AuthorsGleeson, C.P. and Burke, A.
TypeConference paper
Abstract

Environmental engineering is a core component of most construction and surveying undergraduate courses. It is generally accepted that students on these courses should have an understanding of thermal comfort, heat transfer, condensation, lighting, noise transmission and acoustics. Experiments are essential in developing students’ awareness and understanding of the underlying physical concepts which drive environmental engineering solutions. Traditionally these experiments have been conducted by students working in small groups in laboratories. However, increasing student numbers and, in particular, the growth in part time study, have placed significant additional demands on limited laboratory resources.

The availability of reasonably priced, simple, hand-held equipment has made it possible for students to conduct experiments outside the confines of the laboratory. Furthermore, various professional software packages (some of which are freely available online) enable the resultant data to be further developed and analysed in conjunction with the conventional textbook approach.

This paper examines these alternative approaches to the traditional laboratory experiment. An assessment is provided of the types of experiment which are both possible and appropriate, and the efficacy of these approaches is considered.

KeywordsEnvironmental engineering, Construction and surveying, Laboratory experiments, Hand-held equipment
Year2007
ConferenceBuilt Environment Education Annual Conference (BEECON 2007)
FileGleeson_Burke_2007_final_author.pdf
Publication dates
Published2007
Web address (URL) of conference proceedingshttp://cebe.cf.ac.uk/news/events/beecon2007/files/P15_C_Gleeson.pdf

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