University of Wisconsin–Madison

NCEES Engineering Education Award $10,000 winner

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Project: 2023 NCEES Texas Wind Farm


Students: Camille Schmidt, Alex Jansen, Lucas Senta, Brogan MacDougall, and Jorge Gutierrez

Faculty: Jan Kucher, Mark Oleinik, and Greg Harrington

What value does a real-world project bring to students?

The real project provides a way to teach students how designs go from concept to concrete in the full range of civil engineering.

How do you decide what projects to work on?

Our team finds projects that are needed by clients in our area and explains the value the student teams can add.  We also screen projects for depth, such that many key elements can be addressed.

How did this project prepare students for professional practice?

The students learned about the many moving parts associated with how to explain the project to the general public, analyze alternatives, illustrate decision making methods, create drawings, project design presentations, and to provide construction documents.

What advice do you have for other programs wanting to add similar collaborative projects to their curriculum?

The best suggestion from my perspective, is to observe our surroundings, and ask how a Capstone team could repair, redesign, or design new infrastructure for the common good of a community. Also, look for teaming with other design disciplines.