Leonard C. Nelson College of Engineering & Sciences


Steven D. Leftwich
Professor and Chair
Fax: 304.442.3391

Zeljko “Z” Torbica
Dean and Professor
Fax: 304.442.1006

Paul O. Steranka, Jr.
Associate Dean and Professor
Fax: 304.442.1006

Accredited ABET Engineering Accreditation Commission

Accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET
111 Market Place
Suite 1050
Baltimore, MD 21202-4012

Civil Engineering

Civil Engineering, the most diverse branch of engineering, is directly related to facilities and systems used by the public in their daily life. Civil engineers are engaged in the planning, design, construction, and maintenance of bridges, buildings, foundations, dams, sanitary and solid waste disposal systems and related environmental considerations, highways, airport facilities, transportation systems, waterways, hydroelectric installations, pipelines, coal preparation and loading facilities, and other systems and structures.

Engineering students get a sound basic knowledge of science and a set of core courses in humanities and social sciences. The Civil Engineering curriculum at WVU Tech has been designed to give the student a broad coverage of all fields of Civil Engineering with some flexibility to explore a particular field of choice. This approach gives the WVU Tech graduate a well-rounded background to handle Civil Engineering projects.

Design is incorporated across the Civil Engineering curriculum, and the design experience begins early with some exposure in the Surveying and Mechanics of Materials courses. Design exposure continues in the junior and senior years with 11 courses having a design component for a total of 19 hours of design. The design component is completed with a capstone design course in which student teams are responsible for the completion of a comprehensive Civil Engineering project which involves several Civil Engineering disciplines with oral and written presentations of the project.

Meaningful design experience is also included in several of the required and elective Civil Engineering courses. Required courses and required elective courses which include significant design content are Hydraulic Engineering, Sanitary Engineering, Highway Design, the required structural design elective (Structural Steel Design or Reinforced Concrete Design), the required geotechnical elective (Foundation Design or Groundwater and Seepage), the required environmental elective (Advanced Sanitary or Advanced Hydraulics), and Civil Engineering Projects. One of the two additional electives (one CVLE and one Technical) also must contain significant design.

The Civil Engineering Projects class, originally designed to serve the “capstone design” concept, requires the students to completely design a Civil Engineering project encompassing several of the Civil Engineering disciplines. Discussion and consideration of constraints such as economic factors, safety, reliability, aesthetics, ethics, and social impact are incorporated as a normal part of most design courses. Aesthetics and social impact are stressed in the Sanitary Engineering course; and ethics, safety, social impact, and professional issues are covered in the Civil Engineering Seminar course. In addition to design, the Projects course includes principles of project and/or construction management, cost analysis and estimating, and scheduling.

The Civil Engineering Program Goals include the following:

  1. To prepare students to be able to apply science and mathematics to the analysis of civil engineering problems and the design of infrastructure systems to increase human welfare and promote sustainable development.
  2. To prepare well-rounded students to practice engineering in a professional environment and to be successful in graduate school should they choose to attend.
  3. To help students recognize the role of the civil engineer in contemporary society especially with respect to the societal and environmental contexts of civil engineering projects.
  4. To energize students to maximize individual potential, including acquisition of necessary skills and recognition of the need for continuing education and lifelong growth and development.

The Civil Engineering Program Educational Objectives include the following:

  1. Our graduates will obtain employment in the civil engineering field and will hold positions with significant professional responsibilitiy.
  2. Our graduates will obtain professional registration.
  3. Our graduates who pursue advanced studies will be successful.
  4. Our graduates will learn new skills as they progress in their careers and will move to new positions having increased leadership and responsibility.

To meet the educational objectives, the civil engineering program will achieve and continually assess thirteen outcomes. In achieving these program outcomes, our graduates will demonstrate:

  1. an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering.
  2. an ability to design and conduct experiment, as well as to analyze and interpret data.
  3. an ability to design civil engineering projects or components of projects to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability.
  4. an ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams.
  5. an ability to identify, formulate, and solve civil engineering problems.
  6. an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility.
  7. an ability to communicate effectively.
  8. the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context.
  9. a recognition or the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning.
  10. a knowledge of contemporary issues.
  11. an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.
  12. an ability to apply sound safety practices in laboratory and design work.
  13. an ability to develop and manage budgets and schedules.

These program outcomes are achieved by graduates through a solid grounding in mathematics, chemistry, and physics along with a strong understanding of basic engineering principles. Added to this is a broad exposure to the humanities and social sciences and an extensive development of the fundamentals of material science, environmental, geotechnical, hydrotechnical, structural, and transportation engineering. Specialization in one or more branches of civil engineering is possible by a selection of civil engineering and technical electives during the junior and senior years.