CE 363 Course Description
Autumn 2010



CE 363, Construction Materials I, is a laboratory-oriented materials class that attempts to familiarize students with the physical behavior of common construction materials. The course starts with a basis in theoretical behavior of materials, which is followed by an actual examination of physical properties of specific materials in both the lecture and the laboratory. The materials covered include metals (carbon steel, stainless steel, and aluminum) and composites (asphalt concrete, portland cement concrete, and wood). The course includes hands-on laboratory activities in order to help the students understand various aspects of material behavior and material evaluation.

The course meets three times per week for 1-hour lectures, and the students are also broken down into laboratory sections (maximum 22 persons per section) which meet once per week for 2 hours. Students learn to prepare graphs for data presentation and incorporate those graphs into written reports. Some students choose to also use a spreadsheet for concrete mixture proportioning, but this is at the option of the students. The course includes a major writing component in the form of written laboratory reports. Students are expected to use outside readings to supplement classroom lectures in order to develop the background sections of the lab reports. Clarity of presentation is emphasized, and feedback from early reports is used to improve later reports.

Grading in CE 363 is based on a combination of homeworks, short (un-announced) quizzes, laboratory reports, an evaluation of performance in the laboratory, and midterm and final exams. The relative weighting is given below:


Relative Weighting





Lab Reports


Lab Performance


Midterm Exam


Final Exam


All work (unless specifically told otherwise) should be individual work. Students are permitted to discuss assignments, etc. with other students, but the work turned in should be individual work. For example, a student can talk with another student about a spreadsheet being used to analyze lab data, but each student should produce their own spreadsheet. Homeworks must be turned in at the beginning of the class period that they are due, and lab reports must be turned in at the beginning of the lab period that they are due. Since one goal of this class is to develop professionalism, late assignments will be penalized 10% per day (or portion of a day) that they are late. The exams are closed-book; equations, tables, and design charts are provided where necessary. The final exam will be cumulative over the entire course.

The average grade in CE 363 is normally in the range of 2.6 to 2.9 

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