|Title||Taking environmental engineering out of the laboratory|
|Authors||Gleeson, C.P. and Burke, A.|
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.
|Keywords||Environmental engineering, Construction and surveying, Laboratory experiments, Hand-held equipment|
|Conference||Built Environment Education Annual Conference (BEECON 2007)|
|Web address (URL) of conference proceedings||http://cebe.cf.ac.uk/news/events/beecon2007/files/P15_C_Gleeson.pdf|