Professor Charles Jahren visited the Department of CivilEngineering at XJTLU from Nov. 25 to Nov. 27. Professor Jahren is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Construction. He is a W.A. Klinger Teaching Professor and Morrill Professor at Iowa State University. He is the Professor-in-Charge of Construction Engineering Program and Associate Chair of Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering at Iowa State University. He is the current chair of editorial board and former editor-in-chief of one of the leading journals in construction management field – Journal of Construction Engineering and Management. Throughout his academic career, he has supervised more than 70 master and PhD candidates, and one of his former PhD student Dr. Fangyu Guo now is a lecturer working at the Department of Civil Engineering at XJTLU.

On Nov. 25th, a construction management research seminar was successfully held in the Department of Civil Engineering, at XJTLU. Prof. Jahren delivered a speech on Civil Integrated Management and Publishing Archival Journal Articles in the morning session, while provided a speech on maintaining rural roads together with Dr. Yingyan Jin from Tongji University and Dr. Shang Zhang from Suzhou University of Science and Technology in the afternoon session.

On Nov. 27th, a meeting was arranged between Prof. Jahren and academic staff within the Department of Civil Engineering at XJTLU.

Dr. Konstantinos Papadikis, Head of Department of Civil Engineering, provided an opening speech by introducing the overall structure and progress of the Department of Civil Engineering at XJTLU.

Prof. Jahren introduced the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering and the embedded Construction Engineering program at Iowa State University. There are currently 1000 undergraduate students and 250 graduate students within the department. The main focus areas include transportation, structures, geotechnical and materials, water resources, and construction management. He addressed their strong research areas such as transportation and identified people with different expertise for the possible future collaboration.

Prof. Jahren also provided a presentation on online and hybrid education research. He introduced various approaches for making an online course, such as lecture capture, online group discussions, online presentations by students, and online practice problems. It was mentioned that the on-line approach gives students flexibility to learn the materials based on their own speed. Recitations are also adopted to explain more examples and allow students to ask questions in class. Students’ feedback has been collected to reflect their experience with the on-line course. The lessons learned from the online course development were also discussed at the end of the presentation. According to Prof. Jahren, “It is group efforts that makes the online lecture development possible.”

Following Prof. Jahren’s presentation, academic staff from each specialty of the Department of Civil Engineering, XJTLU introduced their teaching modules and main research direction. Dr. Cheng Zhang, the Departmental Research Officer, specifically demonstrated the main research projects and accomplishments in the construction management area within the department.

Both sides have expressed the interests in developing long-term relationship between two departments. Discussions were continued for identifying the possible areas of future collaboration. Faculties who have the common interests from each department could start working on some of the research projects or co-supervising the PhD students.

Written by Dr. Fangyu Guo; Edited by Dr. Konstantinos Papadikis
Photos taken by Caipeng Yan

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