Volume 2017, Issue 1
  • E-ISSN: 2310-516X


The aim of this study was to strengthen the engineering curriculum by integrating innovative electrical and computer engineering (ECE)-specialized artificial intelligence (AI) methodologies and algorithms into traditional civil engineering (CE) problem-solving methods. An interactive and comprehensive knowledge-based expert system (KBES) was developed to document, compare, and analyze cutting-edge AI applications in the field of CE. With a large amount of successful/unsuccessful AI applications being tried and tested in the CE field, this unique intelligent database can be used as the platform and educational media for the development and implementation of curricula for the problem-based learning approach to bridge the gap in the current curricula between conventional mathematics, physics, engineering methods and state-of-the-art AI techniques. This study is the first of its kind to (1) develop an intelligent KBES platform to increase the intellectual rigor, breadth, and depth of undergraduate engineering study and lay a foundation for students pursuing master's degree or PhD in engineering; (2) establish a new interdisciplinary AI curriculum as a capstone course, enrich existing curricula by integrating case studies of AI applications into different levels of undergraduate CE courses, and include knowledge automation software in an ECE course; (3) foster interdisciplinary academic setting that will introduce latest state-of-the-art AI applications to undergraduate students and facilitate their early involvement in research. A brief description of the comprehensive literature search is presented, followed by the proposal of methodologies for the development of the KBES and curriculum. Furthermore, a case study is described to demonstrate the effectiveness and advantages of introducing AI tools into the syllabus of a sophomore CE core course. Students' experiences were assessed and evaluated. The results of the analysis showed that the interdisciplinary curriculum could significantly increase students' awareness on the need for knowledge acquisition, which, in turn, will enhance the learning outcome. The integration of innovative theories and practical applications also improves the problem-solving and critical thinking skills of engineering students, broadens their horizons to new technology, and fosters interdisciplinary settings to better prepare them for diverse and multidisciplinary workforce requirements.


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