Several programs have implemented the Design Days concept in second year: Civil Engineering, Environmental & Geological Engineering.

 Civil Engineering

Students in second year civil engineering spend two days designing, building, and testing bridges in a realistic simulation of real engineering practice.  Students spend the first day studying a topographic map of a region to identify a river crossing location.  With the location chosen, students design their bridge and predict its strength.  On the second day, students construct their 2m long bridges and use destructive testing to verify their strength.

Students standing on their constructed bridge

Environmental/Geological Engineering

In this 2-day activity for second year Environmental and Geological Engineering, students "worked" for a mining company that was expanding production in Northern Ontario and needed a new source of electrical power.  During the first day, students conducted stakeholder consultations, selected a site, and then designed a new hydroelectric dam.  On the second day, they constructed and tested scale models of their dam in a realistic test environment.

Select Papers Published:

S. J. Phillips, K. Giesinger, R. Al-Hammoud, S. Walbridge, and C. Carroll, “Enhancing Student Learning by Providing a Failure Risk-free Environment and Experiential Learning Opportunities,” presented at the 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Salt Lake City, UT, 2018.