George Mason University 1997-98 Catalog Catalog Index
Course Descriptions

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Civil, Environmental, and Infrastructure Engineering




Faculty

Professors: Houck (Interim Director), Ryan

Associate Professors: Arciszewski, deMonsabert, Rathbone

Adjunct Professors: Freas, Gerstenzang, Harrop-Williams, Lemmer, Matusik, Spencer

URL: http://engineering.gmu.edu


Introduction

Civil, Environmental, and Infrastructure Engineering administers two degree programs: the Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Urban Systems Engineering. These degree programs complement the study of civil and environmental engineering with advances in information technology, and they focus on the physical and organizational infrastructure essential to the function of an urban society. The Urban Systems Engineering degrees are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. (ABET).

Urban systems engineering is the study of land, transportation, water, energy, and telecommunications systems from a civil engineering perspective, within a complex social, political, economic, and environmental context. The focus of the program is on how these systems are successfully conceived, developed, designed, built, operated, maintained, and renewed in the built environment such as the Washington metropolitan area.

An urban society thrives and prospers when adequate, appropriate, reliable, robust, and cost-effective infrastructure systems to support the functioning of the society are provided. The investment in existing infrastructure and other urban systems in the United States is enormous. The investment required to maintain, operate, renew, and manage the evolution of these urban systems in the future is even greater. The need for highly educated professionals to confront and solve these continuing vital problems is pressing. Examples of urban systems include water supply and distribution; streets, roads, and highways; wastewater management; transit; stormwater management; public utilities; energy supply and distribution; telecommunications; buildings, facilities, and structures; and solid waste management.


Course Work

The Civil, Environmental, and Infrastructure Engineering Program offers courses with the designator USE in the Course Descriptions section of this catalog.


Undergraduate Program in Urban Systems Engineering

Urban Systems Engineering, B.S.

The bachelor's degree program includes a solid foundation in the theory of urban systems engineering. Students benefit from exposure to practical civil, environmental, and infrastructure engineering problems and their solutions in the classroom, lab, and field. There is also the opportunity for students to work as junior engineers each summer.

The urban systems engineer can look forward to a career with land development, architecture/engineering, and construction firms, or government organizations. The program also prepares for continuing graduate studies in engineering and related fields.


Advising
All urban systems engineering students are assigned faculty advisers; students are required to see their advisers at least once each semester to plan for the following semester's registration. Each student is expected to complete an approved plan of study, which constitutes a "learning plan" for the degree program.


Degree Requirements
In addition to the general requirements for the B.S. degree, students must meet the specific requirements for this degree outlined in the accompanying sample schedule.

The university's writing-intensive requirement for urban systems engineering majors is satisfied by the successful completion of USE 400.


Sample Schedule for Undergraduate
Urban Systems Engineering Majors

First Semester
MATH 113
ENGR 107
ENGL 101
CHEM 251
CS 112
Total Hours


4
2
3
4
4
17

Second Semester
MATH 114
PHYS 250
ENGR 183
ECON 103

Total Hours


4
4
3
3

14

Third Semester USE 290
MATH 213
PHYS 350
PHYS 351
Literature elective*
Total Hours


4
3
3
2
3
15

Fourth Semester
USE 230 (formerly 310)
USE 300
MATH 214
ENGR 210
STAT 344
Total Hours


3
3
3
3
3
15

Fifth Semester
USE 301
USE 365
ENGL 302
ENGR 310

Total Hours


3
5
3
3

14

Sixth Semester
USE 305 (formerly 405)
USE 340
USE 367 (formerly 467)
ENGR 307
Area C elective**
Total Hours


3
3
3
3
3
15

Seventh Semester
USE 400
USE 440 (formerly 350)
USE 455 3
Technical elective*
Humanities/social
science elective*
Total Hours


3
3
3
3
3

15

Eighth Semester
USE 463
USE 490
Technical elective*
Technical elective*
Literature elective

Total Hours


3
3
3
3
3

15

* These electives must be selected with the advice and approval of the academic adviser. The technical electives must include at least six credits of USE designated courses. ECE 285 is strongly recommended for those students preparing for the FE exam.

** Area C includes anthropology, economics, geography, government, history, linguistics, psychology, and sociology; PSYC 100 is recommended. Adviser approval is required.


Graduate Program in Urban Systems Engineering

Urban Systems Engineering (USE), M.S.

The M.S. program educates students in the theory and practice of urban systems engineering. Information technology and automated tools for analyzing and solving urban systems problems are important components of the program. The urban systems engineer can look forward to pursuing a career in the private and public sectors or to continuing graduate study toward the Ph.D.


Admission Requirements
To be considered for admission to the program, a candidate must:

  1. Satisfy the general university requirements for admission to a graduate program;
  2. Have earned a baccalaureate degree in engineering, physical sciences, economics, or other urban systems engineering-related field; and
  3. Have three letters of reference submitted by former professors or supervisors.
Acceptance to the degree program is based on an assessment of the applicant's capacity to pursue these graduate studies successfully. Consideration is given to the applicant's undergraduate record, any previous graduate work, professional work experience, the letters of reference, and any recent Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. Well-qualified students who present minor admission deficiencies may be admitted subject to completing an articulation program. Courses taken in the articulation program extend the minimum requirements for the degree.


Degree Requirements
The M.S. USE program includes three core courses, one methods course, electives selected by the student with the aid of a faculty adviser, and a thesis or urban systems engineering project. Students must complete a faculty-approved plan of study with a minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate-level work, including the thesis (6 credits) or the research project (3 credits).


Core Courses
Students must complete the following three core courses. These courses provide a common background for understanding the breadth and complexity of urban systems engineering, and for introducing the application of information technology and the systems approach to analyzing and solving problems in urban systems engineering.


USE 601 Urban Systems Engineering I¬Modeling and Problem Solving
USE 602 Urban Systems Engineering II¬Infrastructure Planning and Management
SYST 530 System Management and Evaluation


Methods Courses
Students must complete at least one of these courses:


USE 585 Automated Support Tools for Urban Systems Engineers
USE 670 Urban Systems Decision Methods and Tools
USE 680 Spatial Decision Support Systems
USE 685 Urban Systems Engineering Information Management

or other appropriate methods courses such as SYST 611, 612, OR 541, 542, STAT 644, 670. Concentration Area
Each student must select an additional four or five electives that together constitute a concentration area. With the prior approval of a faculty adviser, a student may design his or her own concentration area, or may select from one of several standard concentration areas, including the following:

Transportation Systems Engineering
Construction Management
Environmental Systems Engineering
Engineering Management
Water Resource Systems Engineering
Facilities Management


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