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Design and Assessment of Architecture/Engineering/Construction (AEC) Curricula for Resilient and Sustainable InfrastructureThe devastation caused by recent natural disasters, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and hurricanes, has increased awareness regarding the importance of providing interdisciplinary solutions to complex infrastructure challenges. In October 2018, the University of Puerto Rico received a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) collaborative award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop an integrated curriculum on resilient and sustainable infrastructure. The project titled “Resilient Infrastructure and Sustainability Education – Undergraduate Program (RISE-UP) aims to educate future environmental designers and engineers to design and build a more resilient and sustainable infrastructure for Puerto Rico. This paper presents the design, initial implementation, and assessment of a curriculum encompassing synergistic interactions among these four domains: integrated project delivery, user-centered design, interdisciplinary problem-solving, and sustainability and resiliency. The project seeks to foster interdisciplinary problem-solving skills involving architects, engineers and construction managers, in order to better prepare them to face and provide solutions to minimize the impact of extreme natural environment events on infrastructure. The new curriculum stresses on problem-settings, the role that participants have on defining the characteristics of the problems that have to be solved, learning in action, reflecting on the process, and communication between the different stakeholders. This multisite and interdisciplinary program providesmore »
After a natural disaster, multiple disciplines need to come together to rebuild the damaged infrastructure using new paradigms. For instance, urgent restoration of services demand to abridge the projects’ schedule and provide innovative solutions, thus making collaboration and integration essential for the project’s success. Commonly, the academic preparation of scholars on infrastructure-related disciplines takes place in isolated professional domains, rarely tackling interdisciplinary problems and/or learn from the systematic research of previous experiences. In Puerto Rico, the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria has heightened awareness regarding the education on infrastructure-related disciplines to provide transdisciplinary solutions to pertinent complex challenges. This taxing context compels the academia to train a new cadre of professionals properly prepared in those STEM disciplines. Further, current public awareness of the vulnerability of the existing infrastructure creates an opportunity to recruit and prepare students to become those much-needed professionals. The present work offers the conceptual framework of a collaborative effort among Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) to develop an interdisciplinary program in resilient and sustainable infrastructure. The framework includes the development of transformational pedagogic interventions and changes that will challenge the disciplinary splits among AEC. The framework targets values and skills for inter and transdisciplinary problem solving,more »