University of Wisconsin Madison

NCEES Engineering Education Award $10,000 winner

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Project: Lakeside House Redevelopment


Students: Andrew Baker, Mason Bartol, Jacob Klenz, and Adam Wehking

Faculty: Jan Kucher, Charles Quigliana, and Greg Harrington

Professional Engineers: Mark Oleinik, Jan Kucher, Loei Badreddine, Ken Koscik, and Alyssa Sellwood

Charles Quagliana

How did you get involved with the project?

I was previously a co-instructor for the Capstone course for 12 years. After retirement from the university, I volunteered to mentor student teams during fall semesters.

How did you assist the students in the project?

As a mentor, I allowed the student team to do its own discovery but provided feedback and some course corrections. I sometimes acted as a skills developer, helping the students enhance their skill set and encouraging them to coordinate and combine their different skill sets. The most hands-on activity for me was coaching them in their soft skills related to preparing and then presenting to a diverse audience for preliminary design and final design.

What did you learn from working with the students?

I learned about their collaborative process as young people ready to enter professional practice and the importance of their team building social relationships outside the confines of the class. I learned how flexible they were in their team relationship and how that allowed for a working relationship that produced positive outcomes. I learned that they were very willing to work towards improving their own skill sets and those of their teammates.

What did you want students to learn from working with you?

I wanted then to understand the potential effectiveness of starting with the end in mind. I wanted them to get organized at the outset of the project with a work plan and detailed schedule and show them how that impacted their outcomes at the end of the semester. My co-mentor was a structural engineer. I am an architect. I wanted the students to observe how we worked together and learn about the collaborative design process.