CIVL 402


Course Title and Number

CE 119 - Contracts Specifications and Technical Reports

Catalog Description

Introduction to law it relates to the practice of civil engineering.  Operation of a successful civil engineering business.  Writing various technical reports and specifications.  This is a writing proficiency, WP, course; a grade of C- or better certifies writing proficiency for majors.

Successful completion of  ENGL 001 (or its equivalent); junior standing (completion of 60 college units).

Textbook and Other Required Material

Culp, Gordon and Ann Smith, Managing People (Including Yourself) for Project Success, Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1992, 307 pp.

Alred, Gerald J., Charles T.  Brusaw, and Walter E.  Oliu, Handbook of Technical Writing, Bedford/St. Martin, 6th edition, 2000, 745 pp.

Course Objectives

The objectives of the course are to:

  • To help students develop good professional practices that will serve them well throughout the professional career.
  • To teach students to basics of technical writing to include the process, tools to improve writing, and formats for common engineering documents and reports.
  • To give the students the basic understanding of the wide range of the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful in offering civil engineering services.
Topics Covered
  • Course introduction
  • The technical journal
  • Basics of technical writing     
  • Technical proposals
  • Project management
  • Income, expenses, and profit  
  • Correspondence
  • Business practices and law
  • The law and contracts
  • Negotiation
  • Progress reports
  • Feasibility reports
  • Collaborative writing
  • Sources of information research
  • Writing and the job search
  • Writing with computers
  • Marketing and business planning
  • Tort law
  • Insurance and risks
  • Dispute resolution
  • Professional meetings
  • Specifications
  • Total quality management
  • Human resource management
Students completing the course will be able to
  • Fully understand that a variety of engineering, business, and interpersonal skills are necessary to successfully operate an engineering services business.
  • Understand the steps and procedure involved in completing a successful writing project.
  • Continue to improve the quality of their writing throughout their professional career and life.
  • Prepare common engineering documents such as proposals, feasibility studies, and correspondence.

Class/Activity Schedule

Two hundred minutes of lecture per week

Contribution of Course to Meet the Professional Component

Engineering Other: Four units

This course meets the ABET criteria:

  • An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
  • An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
  • An ability to communicate effectively
  • The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in the global and societal context
  • A recognition of the need for, an ability to engage in lifelong learning
  • A knowledge of contemporary issues
Relationship of Course to Program Objectives
  • To provide a broad-based education in design.
  • To provide a rigorous, well balanced, comprehensive and contemporary curriculum stressing fundamentals common to many fields of civil engineering.
  • To develop skills of oral and written communication, critical thinking, and leadership which are important to a successful professional life.
  • To provide an appreciation of the breath of the engineering profession and offer an opportunity for pursuit of depth in a special area of engineering.
  • To prepare graduates for numerous options including graduate or professional school as well as entering the engineering profession.
  • To instill in engineering majors a sense of good citizenship, community service, and ethical responsibility.
  • A coordinated semester long project that requires a proposal, a contract, a progress report, a draft feasibility report, a peer review of another students draft feasibility report, and a final feasibility study.
  • 2 mid-term examinations, 50 minutes each
  • 1 final examination, 110 minutes
  • Various individual assignments that include: a technical journal, short formal papers, a press release, a collaborative writing exercise, and correspondence.