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AAMU Civil Engineering Students Learn About Roughing It

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                                                                                      by Jerome Saintjones


Huntsville, Ala. ---- College students are supposed to learn about the newest techniques and equipment of their respective professions, right?  And, isn’t it also true that many academic programs aptly boast about that ‘edge’ that distinguishes their graduates’ experiences from the rest?


But theory and text are not enough for Dr. Mahbub Hasan, assistant professor of civil engineering at Alabama A&M University.  After amassing a plethora of his own civil engineering stories, coupled with the uniqueness acquired by several years of study and work in Japan, Hasan decided to offer his hydraulic engineering design students a new way of doing things, a way calling for some deviation from the textbook. 


While books and theories remain vital, Hasan notes they can only go so far.  There are occasions, adds Hasan, when field problems occur that textbooks cannot adequately address,


In that Dr. Hasan prefers to teach and develop his students utilizing the assistance of practical experiences, the class was assigned the task of determining the discharge in the open channel spanning the AAMU wellness center and the human resources offices.  Students had to conduct their calculations without the use of the sophisticated equipment normally needed to determine the velocity and calculate the flow size of water in open channels.


“We teach our students to become field problem solvers,” said Hasan.  “We do not simply give them information available in the textbooks.”




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