CE 3541 -- New Course

Tue Jan 21 10:47:33 2014

Approvals Received:
on 01-17-14
by Tiffany Ralston
Approvals Pending: College/Dean  > Provost > Catalog > PeopleSoft Manual Entry
Effective Status: Active
Effective Term: 1149 - Fall 2014
Course: CE 3541
UMNTC - Twin Cities
UMNTC - Twin Cities
Career: UGRD
College: TIOT - College of Science and Engineering
Department: 11101 - Civil Engineering
Course Title Short: Environmental Lab
Course Title Long: Environmental Engineering Laboratory
Max-Min Credits
for Course:
3.0 to 3.0 credit(s)
Experiments focused on physical, chemical, and microbiological measurements used in the analysis of air, water, and solid samples. Applications to water treatment, waste water treatment, hazardous waste treatment/remediation, air pollution, and environmental sensing.
Print in Catalog?: Yes
CCE Catalog
<no text provided>
Grading Basis: A-F only
Topics Course: No
Honors Course: No
Online Course: No
Contact Hours:
3.0 hours per week
Years most
frequently offered:
Every academic year
Term(s) most
frequently offered:
Component 1: LEC (with final exam)
Component 2: LAB (no final exam)
Progress Units:
Not allowed to bypass limits.
3.0 credit(s)
Financial Aid
Progress Units:
Not allowed to bypass limits.
3.0 credit(s)
Repetition of
Repetition not allowed.
for Catalog:
No course equivalencies
No required consent
(course-based or
CE 3501
Editor Comments: <no text provided>
Proposal Changes: <no text provided>
History Information: <no text provided>
Sponsor Name:
Sponsor E-mail Address:
Student Learning Outcomes
Student Learning Outcomes: * Student in the course:

- Can identify, define, and solve problems

Please explain briefly how this outcome will be addressed in the course. Give brief examples of class work related to the outcome.

Laboratory exercises and lecture materials will have problems that need to be solved. For example, the laboratory on water treatment will evaluate the dose of chemical needed to achieve water clarity. The students will be given the general experimental parameters, and then asked to design the experiment. Specific problems associated with lecture topics will also be assigned to ensure material relevant to the laboratory experiments is understudy.

How will you assess the students' learning related to this outcome? Give brief examples of how class work related to the outcome will be evaluated.

Short problem sets and laboratory reports will be graded as to whether the problems are set up and solved correctly.

- Can locate and critically evaluate information

Please explain briefly how this outcome will be addressed in the course. Give brief examples of class work related to the outcome.

The data collected in the laboratory exercises will need to be evaluated and interpreted to draw conclusions that can be supported by the collected data. Laboratory reports will be the associated class work.

How will you assess the students' learning related to this outcome? Give brief examples of how class work related to the outcome will be evaluated.

Laboratory reports will be graded as to whether the data is collected and analyzed correctly. Additionally, the evaluation of the data will be assessed based on the conclusions drawn.

- Can communicate effectively

Please explain briefly how this outcome will be addressed in the course. Give brief examples of class work related to the outcome.

Technical writing skills will be a component taught in the writing of laboratory reports.

How will you assess the students' learning related to this outcome? Give brief examples of how class work related to the outcome will be evaluated.

Grammar, spelling, syntax, and organization will comprise a portion of the laboratory report grading.

Liberal Education
this course fulfills:
Other requirement
this course fulfills:
Criteria for
Core Courses:
Describe how the course meets the specific bullet points for the proposed core requirement. Give concrete and detailed examples for the course syllabus, detailed outline, laboratory material, student projects, or other instructional materials or method.

Core courses must meet the following requirements:

  • They explicitly help students understand what liberal education is, how the content and the substance of this course enhance a liberal education, and what this means for them as students and as citizens.
  • They employ teaching and learning strategies that engage students with doing the work of the field, not just reading about it.
  • They include small group experiences (such as discussion sections or labs) and use writing as appropriate to the discipline to help students learn and reflect on their learning.
  • They do not (except in rare and clearly justified cases) have prerequisites beyond the University's entrance requirements.
  • They are offered on a regular schedule.
  • They are taught by regular faculty or under exceptional circumstances by instructors on continuing appointments. Departments proposing instructors other than regular faculty must provide documentation of how such instructors will be trained and supervised to ensure consistency and continuity in courses.

<no text provided>
Criteria for
Theme Courses:
Describe how the course meets the specific bullet points for the proposed theme requirement. Give concrete and detailed examples for the course syllabus, detailed outline, laboratory material, student projects, or other instructional materials or methods.

Theme courses have the common goal of cultivating in students a number of habits of mind:
  • thinking ethically about important challenges facing our society and world;
  • reflecting on the shared sense of responsibility required to build and maintain community;
  • connecting knowledge and practice;
  • fostering a stronger sense of our roles as historical agents.

<no text provided>
LE Recertification-Reflection Statement:
(for LE courses being re-certified only)
<no text provided>
Statement of Certification: This course is certified for a Core, effective as of 
This course is certified for a Theme, effective as of 
Writing Intensive
Propose this course
as Writing Intensive
Question 1 (see CWB Requirement 1): How do writing assignments and writing instruction further the learning objectives of this course and how is writing integrated into the course? Note that the syllabus must reflect the critical role that writing plays in the course.

<no text provided>
Question 2 (see CWB Requirement 2): What types of writing (e.g., research papers, problem sets, presentations, technical documents, lab reports, essays, journaling etc.) will be assigned? Explain how these assignments meet the requirement that writing be a significant part of the course work, including details about multi-authored assignments, if any. Include the required length for each writing assignment and demonstrate how the minimum word count (or its equivalent) for finished writing will be met.

<no text provided>
Question 3 (see CWB Requirement 3): How will students' final course grade depend on their writing performance? What percentage of the course grade will depend on the quality and level of the student's writing compared to the percentage of the grade that depends on the course content? Note that this information must also be on the syllabus.

<no text provided>
Question 4 (see CWB Requirement 4): Indicate which assignment(s) students will be required to revise and resubmit after feedback from the instructor. Indicate who will be providing the feedback. Include an example of the assignment instructions you are likely to use for this assignment or assignments.

<no text provided>
Question 5 (see CWB Requirement 5): What types of writing instruction will be experienced by students? How much class time will be devoted to explicit writing instruction and at what points in the semester? What types of writing support and resources will be provided to students?

<no text provided>
Question 6 (see CWB Requirement 6): If teaching assistants will participate in writing assessment and writing instruction, explain how will they be trained (e.g. in how to review, grade and respond to student writing) and how will they be supervised. If the course is taught in multiple sections with multiple faculty (e.g. a capstone directed studies course), explain how every faculty mentor will ensure that their students will receive a writing intensive experience.

<no text provided>
Statement of Certification: This course is certified as Writing Internsive effective  as of 
Course Syllabus
Course Syllabus: For new courses and courses in which changes in content and/or description and/or credits are proposed, please provide a syllabus that includes the following information: course goals and description; format;structure of the course (proposed number of instructor contact hours per week, student workload effort per week, etc.); topics to be covered; scope and nature of assigned readings (text, authors, frequency, amount per week); required course assignments; nature of any student projects; and how students will be evaluated. The University "Syllabi Policy" can be found here

The University policy on credits is found under Section 4A of "Standards for Semester Conversion" found here. Course syllabus information will be retained in this system until new syllabus information is entered with the next major course modification. This course syllabus information may not correspond to the course as offered in a particular semester.

(Please limit text to about 12 pages. Text copied and pasted from other sources will not retain formatting and special characters might not copy properly.)

Fall 2014 ⿿ CE 3542: Environmental Engineering Laboratory
3 Credits

Mondays, time TBD
Wednesdays, time TBD
location TBD

Fridays, time TBD
650 Civil Engineering

Instructor:        Dr. Erin Surdo
Office:        TBD Civil Engineering
Office Phone:        TBD
Email:        surdo001@umn.edu
Office Hours:        TBD

TA:        TBD       
Office:        TBD
Office Phone:        TBD
Email:        TBD
Office Hours:        TBD

Course Description:
A laboratory-based course focused on physical, chemical, and microbiological measurements used in the analysis of air, water, and solid samples. Applications include water treatment, wastewater treatment, hazardous waste treatment/remediation, air pollution, and environmental sensing.

CE 3542 targets the following Student Learning Outcomes. In this course, you will:
⿢        identify, define, and solve problems.
⿢        locate and critically evaluate information.
⿢        communicate effectively.

You will also meet the following ABET Criterion 3 Program Outcomes:
(b)        An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data.
(g)        An ability to communicate effectively.
(k)        An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.
⿢        CE 3501: Introduction to Environmental Engineering
A background in the concepts and strategies used in environmental engineering is required for the successful completion of this course.

Required Texts:
⿢        CE 3542 Laboratory Manual
⿢        Fundamentals of Environmental Engineering, by James R. Mihelcic
This textbook provides a brief overview of the physical, chemical, and microbial processes that are used to understand environmental systems and treatment applications.

Recommended Texts:
⿢        Introduction to Environmental Engineering and Science, 3rd Edition, by Masters and Ela
This textbook is required for CE 3501 (the course prerequisite) and may help guide you through the environmental engineering applications of the basic processes and measurements we cover in CE 3542.⿿
Role of the Instructor:
The University⿿s policy regarding instructor responsibilities may be found at:
In addition, I view my role as instructor to:

⿢        Facilitate Learning
As the instructor of this course, it is my job to facilitate your progress toward achievement of the course objectives. I will facilitate learning by presenting the class with discussion topics and hands-on laboratory problems designed to help you develop a deeper understanding of course material.

⿢        Be Honest and Fair
I will do my best to be fair and open about student performance throughout the semester. If you have any questions about your performance or how it may be improved, please do not hesitate to approach me with your questions and concerns.

⿢        Appreciate Diversity
Diversity in backgrounds and ideas is important in every field. This is especially true in engineering, where the best solution to a problem may culminate from exposure to a variety of different academic backgrounds. I will try to promote open-mindedness to new ideas and reliance on diverse experiences throughout this course. If you have any further ideas about how I can improve in this area, please let me know.

The University policy on equity and diversity can be viewed at: http://regents.umn.edu/sites/default/files/policies/Equity_Diversity_EO_AA.pdf

⿢        Accommodate Student Disabilities
Disability Services (http://diversity.umn.edu/disability/ or 612-626-1333) offers services to students with documented disabilities and will help me determine how to accommodate your needs in this course. Please contact me, Disability Services, or (preferably) both as soon as possible if services are needed.

Mental health and stress management services are also available and can be accessed via: http://www.mentalhealth.umn.edu/

⿢        Balance Academic Workload
It is also my job to ensure that this course fits within guidelines established by the Department of Civil Engineering and by the University of Minnesota. The University⿿s academic workload policy can be found at: http://www.policy.umn.edu/Policies/Education/Education/STUDENTWORK.html

⿢        Promote Academic Freedom
Academic freedom is the freedom to discuss matters relevant to the content of the course. You are free to disagree with matters of opinion presented in the course, but you are also ultimately responsible for learning the content presented. Within this context, it is my responsibility to ensure that ALL student opinions are heard and respected.⿿
Role of the Student:
The University outlines student responsibilities in its teaching and learning policy:
In addition, I require that my students:

⿢        Participate
Labs and in-class discussion are intended to enhance your learning and retention of course material. They are also meant to be fun and to encourage discussion and the sharing of ideas. Much of your grade in this course is indirectly linked to participation, as these in-class experiences are designed to improve your ability to apply concepts covered in the course.

⿢        Complete Major Assignments
The quizzes, pre-lab assignments, and laboratory reports required for this course are designed to provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of the course material. Completion of these assignments is essential to evaluate learning.

⿢        Act Professionally
-        Proper Classroom Conduct
        Civility in the classroom is necessary to ensure a comfortable learning environment for all students. Disruptive and inappropriate behavior (including that associated with the use of personal electronic devices) is not acceptable. Students who interfere with their classmates⿿ learning will be asked to leave. The official University policy on classroom conduct is available at:

        Sexual harassment of any kind will not be tolerated and is prohibited by University policy. The official policy may be viewed at: http://regents.umn.edu/sites/default/files/policies/SexHarassment.pdf

-        Academic Honesty
        Cheating in this course is unacceptable. The University has compiled a useful list of Frequently Asked Questions pertaining to scholastic dishonesty: http://www.oscai.umn.edu/integrity/student/index.html

        Individual work (quizzes, laboratory reports) is expected to be completed independently. Anyone found cheating will earn a zero on the assignment, and students with recurring incidents of cheating will fail the course. Plagiarism is considered cheating and will not be tolerated. More information on plagiarism can be found at: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/589/1/

Course materials, including notes taken during class, are available to help you and your classmates develop a deeper understanding of course material. Use of course notes and materials beyond the classroom (such as broad distribution or receipt of payment for course materials) will not be tolerated.
Major Assignments:
⿢        Lab Reports (6) ⿿ 72%
Lab reports are designed to evaluate your understanding of the usefulness of the experiment conducted, your interpretation of the data obtained, and your ability to communicate this understanding in professional written form. The proper format of lab reports will be discussed during the first week of class. Each lab report will be due a week and a half after the completion of the lab, as noted in the course schedule.
⿢        Pre-Lab Assignments (12) ⿿ 12%
Pre-lab assignments include the necessary background study and calculations required to design and implement a successful laboratory experiment. Pre-lab assignments are due each Friday before lab. You are encouraged to work on pre-lab assignments with your lab partner or with others in the class, but the assignment must represent your own work (and not a copy of your lab partner⿿s work).
⿢        Quizzes (4) ⿿ 16%
Short-answer quizzes (20 minutes each) are closed-book/closed-notes and will cover reading and lecture material. See course schedule for quiz dates.

⿢        The University of Minnesota Senate document defining assigned grades can be found at: http://www.policy.umn.edu/Policies/Education/Education/GRADINGTRANSCRIPTS.html
⿢        Quantitative Grade Assignments:
A        =        93-100%        C        =        73-76%
A-        =        90-92%        C-        =        70-72%
B+        =        87-89%        D+        =        66-69%
B        =        83-86%        D        =        60-66%
B-        =        80-82%        F        =        <60%
C+        =        77-79%       
⿢        Grade Distribution:
        Lab Reports (6)        72%
        Pre-Lab Assignments (12)        12%
        Quizzes (4)        16%
⿢        Missed Quizzes:
Make-up quizzes will not be offered without prior instructor approval or a doctor⿿s note.
⿢        Late Assignments:
Meeting deadlines is an important task that all practicing engineers will face on a regular basis. Late assignments will automatically loose 50% of their value and cannot be turned in for credit more than one week after the due date.
⿢        University Policy:
The University⿿s policy on make-up work can be viewed at: http://policy.umn.edu/Policies/Education/Education/MAKEUPWORK.html

Tentative Course Schedule (subject to change):
Topics        Reading        Lab
Week 1: September 3-5
⿢        Course Introduction
⿢        Keeping a Lab Notebook
⿢        Writing a Lab Report        Chapters 1 and 2        Class will meet in lecture room (TBD) on Friday, September 5.
Week 2: September 8-12
⿢        Statistics
⿢        Indoor and Outdoor Air Quality Parameters        Statistics Handout

        Environmental Monitoring I: Air Quality Monitoring

Week 3: September 15-19
⿢        Water Quality Parameters        Statistics Handout        Environmental Monitoring II: Water Quality Monitoring/Field Sensing
⿢        Field Sensing Equipment       
⿢        Collection/Analysis of Large Data Sets       
Week 4: September 22-26
Quiz 1 on Monday, September 22
⿢        Activity vs. Concentration
⿢        Chemical Equilibrium
⿢        Alkalinity        Chapters 3.1, 3.3, and 3.4.2-3.4.3
        Chemical Processes I: Ionic Strength, pH, and the Carbonate System
Week 5: September 29-October 3
Environmental Monitoring Lab Report Due on Wednesday, October 1
⿢        Solubility/Precipitation
⿢        Hardness        Chapter 3.4.4
        Chemical Processes II: Solubility and Water Softening
Week 6: October 6-10
⿢        Turbidity
⿢        DLVO Theory
⿢        Stoke⿿s Law        DLVO Handout
Chapter 4.3.2

        Solids Removal: Coagulation/Flocculation and Filtration for Surface Water Treatment
Week 7: October 13-17
Quiz 2 on Monday, October 13
Chemical Processes Lab Report Due on Wednesday, October 15
⿢        Microbiology
⿢        Exponential Growth
⿢        Biological Markers for Tracking Environmental Contamination        Chapters 5.1 and 5.2

        Biological Processes I: Microbiology and Water Quality

Week 8: October 20-24
Solids Removal Lab Report Due on Wednesday, October 22
⿢        Biological Wastewater Treatment
⿢        BOD/COD
⿢        Nutrient Removal        Chapters 3.2, 5.4, and 5.5

        Biological Processes II: Wastewater Treatment

Week 9: October 27-31
⿢        Microbial Evolution in the Presence of Water Pollutants
⿢        Bioremediation        Biological Processes III: Bioremediation

Week 10: November 3-7
Quiz 3 on Monday, November 3
⿢        Introduction to Mass Transfer
⿢        Fick⿿s Laws        Chapter 4.3.1

        Physical Processes I: Diffusion

Week 11: November 10-14
Biological Processes Lab Report Due on Wednesday, November 12
⿢        Advection vs. Diffusion
⿢        Mixing/Turbulence
⿢        Mass Transfer Coefficients        Mass Transfer Handout

        Physical Processes II: Mass Transfer Coefficients

Week 12: November 17-21
⿢        Mass Balances
⿢        Dynamic and Steady-State CMFR Theory        Chapter 4.1

        Reactor Dynamics I: Completely Mixed Flow Reactors

Week 13: November 24-26
Physical Processes Lab Report Due on Wednesday, November 26
⿢        Dispersion        Happy Thanksgiving!
Week 14: December 1-5
⿢        Reaction-Mass Transfer Dynamics        Chapter 4.3.3
        Reactor Dynamics II: Packed Columns
Week 15: December 8-10
Quiz 4 on Monday, December 8
⿢        Wrap-Up
⿢        Lab Clean-Up       
Reactor Dynamics Lab Report Due on Wednesday, December 17

Strategic Objectives & Consultation
Name of Department Chair
Tim LaPara
Strategic Objectives -
Curricular Objectives:
How does adding this course improve the overall curricular objectives ofthe unit?

The course will provide students with the opportunity to conduct laboratory experiments and critically analyzing and interpreting data in more than one major environmental engineering focus area, e.g. air, water, land, environmental health.
Strategic Objectives - Core
Does the unit consider this course to be part of its core curriculum?

Yes, as the course is needed to satisfy program criteria for environmental engineering curriculum requirements specified by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.
Strategic Objectives -
Consultation with Other
In order to prevent course overlap and to inform other departments of new curriculum, circulate proposal to chairs in relevant units and follow-up with direct consultation. Please summarize response from units consulted and include correspondence. By consultation with other units, the information about a new course is more widely disseminated and can have a positive impact on enrollments. The consultation can be as simple as an email to the department chair informing them of the course and asking for any feedback from the faculty.

March 25, 2013: Discussed Bachelor of Environmental Engineering (BEnvE) program with Prof. Uwe Kortshagen, Head, Mechanical Eng (ME).  The new course would not overlap an existing course.  Kortshagen was concerned that students would not be aware of opportunities for environmental type courses and research within a department such as mechanical engineering.  Labuz noted that technical electives from other departments will be allowed.

April 15, 2013: Discussed BEnvE program with Prof. Donna Whitney, Head, Earth Sciences (ESci).  The new course would not overlap an existing course.  Whitney was supportive.

May 8, 2013: Discussed BEnvE program with Profs. Shri Ramaswamy (Head) and John Nieber, Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering (BBE).  The new course would not overlap an existing course.  
However, they were concerned with the BEnvE program being affiliated with one department.  Environmental issues are addressed in several departments across the University, and students may not find these other opportunities.