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Civil and Environmental Engineering Senior Elective Guide

Senior Elective Guide

Choosing senior electives that are going to fit your career goals can be difficult and course catalog descriptions aren’t always the most helpful for students. The table on this page contains short, plain language summaries of many of our senior electives, and helps students understand additional considerations that would normally be covered in an advising session or discussed with the instructor. Students are encouraged to review the table before they meet with their academic advisor or faculty mentor, and we hope that this will make picking the right electives a little less stressful and help get you on track to achieve your personal career goals. Feel free to contact the academic advisors with any questions you may have.

CE 402 - Applied MeteorologyThis class teaches students the basic concepts of meteorology and atmospheric processes, and then link meteorological phenomena to engineering design principles.Students with an interest in weather patterns and forecasting. Possible careers include government and private industry
CE 405 - Decision-Making for Sustainable and Resilient Civil Infrastructure This class introduces students to the use of mathematical and/or probabilistic tools in engineering decision-making and their applications to support sustainable and resilient civil infrastructure development. Resilience is an important aspect of engineered systems because it increases the lifespan and reduces costs of built systems.Through this course, students will learn how to use engineering knowledge in making effective decision-making. This course will encourage critical thinking abilities, effective discussion, cooperative learning, and effective and collective decision-making skills, which would be an essential skill set for successful engineers.
CE 414 - Structural Design Loads & Load PathsStudents will learn how to determine basic loads (dead, live, snow, wind, seismic) on structures, and trace those loads from the point of application to where the structure is anchored to the ground. This class prepares students for all senior-level structural design classes (reinforced concrete design; steel design; timber design; masonry design), and also prepares students for any senior design projects related to structural engineering.
CE 415- Environmental MeasurementsThis class takes students outside collecting samples from a local stream and gives you experience making water quality measurements, among many other activities. Students also learn how to measure local air quality through roof top samplers and advanced instrumentation. This course will provide you experience in analytical methods central to environmental engineering and the opportunity to improve your technical writing and data analysis skills. This class will prepare you with the theory and hands-on skills for a career in environmental engineering in the public and private sectors, or for experimental research in an environmental graduate program.
CE 418 - Hazardous Contaminant Pathway AnalysisIn this class you will learn how industrial chemicals are transported through different components of the environment. You will become familiar with the names and properties of persistent contaminants, and quantitatively evaluate partitioning of contaminants onto soils, evaporation into the atmosphere, and the possibility that compounds will breakdown into harmless products.You should take CE 418 if you are interested in industrial pollution and how to evaluate its effects. The class also provides essential knowledge to design clean up systems, which is covered in the follow-on class CE 419.
CE 419 - Hazardous Waste TreatmentThis class builds on the quantitative environmental pathway analyses covered in CE 418. Such fundamental knowledge of how chemicals behave is applied to the design of treatment systems to clean up industrial waters, soils, and groundwater contaminated with heavy metals and persistent organic contaminants. Students who are interested in practical design procedures used for environmental remediation in consulting, industry, and government should take CE 419.
CE 425 - Soil and Site ImprovementYou will learn the need for soil and site improvement and principle, analysis, and design procedures of the common and state-of-art site improvement techniques.Students that are interested in careers in geotechnical engineering and construction. Soil and site improvement is part of most present day civil engineering projects and there are many exciting new developments in the area of geotechnical engineering that this class will help you learn
CE 435 - Foundations This class will teach you how to design retaining walls, shallow and deep foundations and slope stability. It will also teach you how to use insitu data in site investigation. Any student with an interest in how to support structures of any size will benefit from this class. Students will be well-prepared for senior design projects in civil engineering, and also for entry-level positions in Civil Engineering and Construction firms focusing on foundations and structural support.
CE 436 - Design of Timber StructuresTimber is the only truly renewable building material and this class teaches students all about basic wood properties and how to design durable and safe structures. This includes analysis and design of members like beams and columns, as well as timber connections using nails, bolts and screws. Finally, you will learn about how the "skin" of the building helps resist extreme earthquake, wind and snow loads through structural diaphragms and shear walls.Most civil engineering programs in the US teach design of steel and concrete structures, but relatively few teach timber design. This course will provide you with specialized knowledge that is valued by structural engineering design firms and is increasingly important for sustainable construction. WSU has a long track record of providing structural engineers that are competent in designing with a range of materials, including timber.Note that CE 414 is a prerequisite.
CE 442 - Water and Wastewater Treatment and DesignIf you've ever wondered about how drinking water and/or wastewater treatment plants work this class is for you. Students will become familiar with the theory and design of drinking water and wastewater treatment systems including operational strategies of various physical, chemical and biological treatment processes.Students who are interested in design and operations of drinking water and wastewater treatment plants in consulting, industry and government should take CE 442. This class opens doors for careers around the world because it is one the most basic, essential elements of environmental engineering.
CE 450 – Design and simulation of water resource systemsStudents will learn how to analyze and approach common real-world design problems in water resource engineering. This includes flow in pipes, open-channels, sewers and drains, hydropower operations, and aquifers. Students gain experience using computers as tools for solving complex problems. Hands on demonstrations, activities, and tours of campus water facilities bring the concepts to life. The broad content is ideal for students that plan on working immediately after graduation, but don’t have a specific application in mind. The class is entirely focused on practical applications and provides more detail than CE351, but less theoretical detail than senior electives like CE416, CE475, and CE451. It is recommended to take CE450 and the topical senior electives to maximize knowledge retention.
CE 451 - Open Channel FlowThis class covers the details of flow in open channel systems including stormwater channels, natural streams, and other engineered structures. A heavy emphasis is placed on understanding the theory of mass and momentum balance and the mathematics describing open channel flows and basic sediment transport. Students that intend to pursue careers in developing drainage engineering, stormwater management, irrigation, and other open channel systems. Students interested in spillway design will also benefit from the class. Students with an interest in site, building, or stormwater drainage are encouraged to also take CE 450, and students interested in un-lined or natural streams are encouraged to also take CE 475 to provide complementary instruction in these areas.
CE 460 - Engineering HydrologyThis class builds on CE 351 and teaches additional fundamentals in hydrology and a broad array engineering analysis approaches that are commonly used in consulting and federal/state agencies. Topics cover the hydrological cycle (precipitation, atmospheric circulation, evaporation, infiltration, soil-water dynamics, groundwater, streamflow, overland flow, river routing, and risk analysis. Students gain experience through solving real-world problems, a student project, and lively discussions in the classroom.This class will prepare students for senior design projects in civil engineering, the fundamentals of engineering exam, internships in consulting or other agency, and work after graduation.
CE 472 - Durable & Sustainable Pavements and BridgesIntroduce you to durability and sustainability concepts and practices related to bridges and pavements; teach you deterioration mechanisms of concrete and asphalt materials; enable holistic perspectives for infrastructure management.This senior elective course is designed to engage students from all CEE subdisciplines by breaking the boundaries between them.
CE 475 - GroundwaterYou’ll learn the fundamentals of the groundwater flowing right under your feet. This includes both the conceptual and mathematical models of flow and their limitations, with discussion of some of the classic, and common, problems in GW engineering. Hands-on, weekly labs reinforce the material. Students that hope to work on problems related to groundwater management, remediation, or long-term planning. The class is also recommended for those considering graduate study to provide a more complete view of hydrologic engineering.
CE 498 - StormwaterThis course describes the current state of knowledge and best management practices (BMPs) available to manage stormwater quantity and quality in an ecologically sustainable manner. This course also provides an overview of the engineering aspects of both traditional and more innovative approaches to stormwater management. The course highlights: 1.) Relationships between stormwater runoff, the hydrologic cycle, and urbanization, 2.) environmental impacts (e.g., fate and transport of contaminants), and 3.) optimization of management strategies.This course introduces students to the issues posed by stormwater runoff, how stormwater is (and isn't) regulated, and provides the foundation required for stormwater components of senior design projects. Students will also become familiar with regional stormwater manuals and become familiar conventional and sustainable stormwater mitigation strategies implemented in Washington State, one of the most progressive states for stormwater management.