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Civil Engineering

Learning Beyond The Classroom


The co-op program is one of the most attractive features of our civil engineering curriculum.  In this program, students have the opportunity to gain valuable “real world” experience through employment in a professional setting. Our graduates have indicated a number of advantages to doing a co-op including: exploring what specialties of civil engineering they may like to pursue after graduation; networking with our alumni and professional firms for post-grad employment; and the chance to earn money while in school.  There are two options for co-op: a four-year program working in the summer only, or the five-year program working  spring/summer or summer/fall. For more information, please contact the Cooperative Education Office at (978) 837-5447.  The Co-op office also lists job opportunities on their web-based recruting system “Advantage”. 


Experiential learning involves the attainment of knowledge outside the traditional classroom setting, usually through unique “hands-on” experiences.  Experiential learning is infused throughout our civil engineering curriculum but can also be accomplished through participation in extracurricular activities.  Many of these activities also provide opportunites for community service. Some examples of experiential learning projects are described below:

Senior Design Project (Annual)

For students to graduate from our civil engineering program they must complete a “capstone” design project in their senior year. The faculty selects projects that will engage the students with the local community and our alumni.  For examples, in recent years students have worked on a design to rehabilitate a mill building for a local business owner in the City of Lawrence; the design of a three story classroom/dormitory facility in Santo Domingo; the design of a new residential high rise to be built in the Prudential Center in Boston; and re-design of the Longfellow Bridge and an assessment of its impacts to the community. This year the students are working on the development of a site for community housing.

Community Projects

Recent community projects on which our civil engineering students have worked include the redesign of a problem intersection in the Town of North Andover, a downtown parking project for the Town of Andover and development of a structural model and an innovative design for an historic mill project as part of Lawrence’s River-front Revitalization. A group of senior civil engineering students recently worked on a housing design that could replace the dilapidated structures in a poor neighborhood in the Dominican Republic.  Through a directed study course, the students traveled to Santo Domingo over spring break to perform field research.  Funding for this project is provided through the Davis Foundation. 

Steel Bridge Competition (Annual)

Through the student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the Merrimack steel bridge team conceptualizes and designs a steel bridge for competition against other colleges/universities. 


One of the goals of our program is to provide our civil engineering students with the opportunity to participate in scientific research.  The research is usually guided by a member of the faculty who has an interest in a particular topic.