CE 538: Information Technology and Modeling

The key objective of the course is to teach students to look at any engineering system, to fully understand its structure and characteristics, and know how to model and describe it in ways that are useful to engineers and for engineering applications. The course will include information and spatial technologies that are of interest to engineers including geographic information systems (GIS), positioning systems (GPS) (global, local, and site), and identification systems (ID) technologies, among others. The course addresses issues in engineering modeling of structures, assemblies, processes, and phenomena.

CE 538 will include one of two case studies to demonstrate the application of the principles to various engineering scenarios. In both case studies links to GIS, GPS, and facility management will be explored. Relationships between geographic and database management systems will be studied and links to traditional software will be considered. The application of the principles studied will especially be demonstrated for construction, environmental, and transportation applications but may include geotechnical and structural as well.

One case study will be especially of interest to construction and transportation students. It will focus on a highway network and will seek to illustrate the issues associated with representing transportation spatial (topology and geometry, point and segment data, locational data, and linear referencing), attribute, and temporal data. The link to the use of those same networks in construction scheduling and disaster response will be demonstrated.

The second case study focuses on the spatial, environmental, and geotechnical aspects of Oak Ridge National laboratory and considers all of the items associated with the transportation case study while adding emergency response operations (security for construction) and all of the issues that embodies. This case study includes the spatial layout of the facilities at the lab and their operations and is particularly related to transportation network emergency response in NC where need is dictated by floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes.

Students taking this course will learn to explore, evaluate, and assess new and emerging computing and information models and technologies and determine their role in engineering application modeling. The focus of the course is on developments in information modeling and management that affect engineering and that represent fully its characteristics. These are most critical in engineering design, construction, manufacturing, and materials management.