One of the Civil criteria in ABET TC2K is that programs “apply current knowledge and adapt to emerging applications of technology,” such as, changes in the building codes. Structural design firms also have the expectation that Civil Engineering Technology (CET) graduates should be able to apply current codes to determine structural loads, required for the analysis and design of structures. While most CET programs expose their students to structural analysis and design using instructor or textbook-prescribed loads, few expose students to the detailed calculation of actual structural loads using current codes. Many jurisdictions in the United States, including New York State, have recently adopted the International Building Code (IBC), which contains the latest provisions on structural loads, including wind and seismic loads for buildings. Prior to 2002, in New York State, the building code only required buildings to be designed for wind loads using a very simple tabular method. Seismic loads were not considered. Under that dispensation, it was possible and feasible to integrate the topic of structural loads, dead, live, snow and wind load, into any one of the structural design courses, all-be-it at an elementary level. However, with the adoption of building codes, such as the IBC 2000, the calculation of structural loads has become complex and time consuming. In order to meet the changing needs in this subject area of the CET curriculum, a new stand-alone course in structural loads and systems has become a necessity. This paper discusses the development and integration of a 2-credit hour required course in structural loads and systems that is offered to 3rd year students in the CET program at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). The topics discussed include: impetus for developing the course, course structure and syllabus, integration into the curriculum, intended learning outcomes, course text development (no available structured textbook exists), typical homework assignments, summary and conclusions.

Date of creation, presentation, or exhibit



Presented at the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference & Exposition, Salt Lake City, Utah. June 20-23, 2004.

Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

Document Type

Conference Paper

Department, Program, or Center

Civil Engineering Technology Environmental Management and Safety (CAST)


RIT – Main Campus