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Engineering Graphics, AutoCAD and Programming, CE20 Kurt McMullin, Ph.D., P.E. San Jose State University To introduce the students to engineering graphics, both computer and manual. To learn basic skills in AutoCAD to be used in upper-division CE classes.

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engineering graphics autocad and programming ce20

Engineering Graphics, AutoCAD and Programming, CE20

Kurt McMullin, Ph.D., P.E.

San Jose State University

course goals from ce faculty
To introduce the students to engineering graphics, both computer and manual.

To learn basic skills in AutoCAD to be used in upper-division CE classes.

To gain additional skills in computer programming through the use of Visual Basic for EXCEL.

To be introduced to the types of projects that civil engineers design and build.

Course Goals from CE Faculty
who we are not
Who we are not?
  • Not artists. Their work transfers emotions.
  • Not architects. We will not work with shading, perspectives, or texturing.
who we might be
Who we might be
  • Drafters. Most times we produce work for drafters to perform.
  • We may be called upon to draw production quality drawings when the drafting people are overloaded.
who we will probably be
Civil Engineers.

Most of our time will be involved in the design and the calculation of engineering projects.

Usually we will produce small working drawings of our result.

As part of the calculations, we often will use spreadsheets (such as EXCEL) that we might create, or that another engineer may have made before.

Who we will probably be
teaching style
A recent study listed the methods of classroom instruction that Civil Engineering students prefer.

The list shows the favorites

Lecture/Discussion/ Problem Solving.

Working in teams, group interaction.

Visual presentations by instructor (Mmedia, video)

Computer assignments.

Teaching Style
and the losers
And it also listed those least preferred.

Homework, especially ungraded.

Formal “chalkboard” lecture.

And the Losers!
our course
Our Course
  • Project-based learning = students learn the material to meet the course objectives by completing a project that requires use of the skills learned.
  • Cooperative learning = students work in small teams, sharing their knowledge and learning from their fellow team members.
drafting engineer a
Drafting Engineer = A
  • Someone who can produce a wide variety of drawings with minimal guidance.
  • Exams and projects show that engineer can analyze information and make rational decisions.
drafter b
Drafter = B
  • Can produce drawings on a wide variety of projects but needs assistance in understanding the layout, orientation, and/or other pertinent information.
  • Can choose the appropriate drawing view for a project.
  • Can scale and layout drawing.
tracer c
Tracer = C
  • Can reproduce the changes marked by another engineer.
  • Is unable to evaluate the project and make decisions about views, scale and/or layout.
beginner d
Beginner = D
  • Can use some commands of AutoCAD but is unable to complete the drawings assigned.
  • Shows potential but needs to improve in productivity.
unemployed f
Unemployed = F
  • Is not able to contribute to completion of project.
  • Is more of a liability than asset.
Does not require close supervision.

Regards their supervisor as their peer, and vice versa.

Takes full responsibility for their actions.

Avoids rumors.

Continual self-improvement.

Loyal to fellow workers and employers.

Does not advance at the expense of others.

Proud of profession.

extra credit for ce20
Extra Credit for CE20
  • I will allow up to 5% of the course grade for students to receive extra credit.
  • This extra credit is awarded for extracurricular activities where the student participates.
  • Credit is received after a paper explaining the work is written and reviewed.
rules for extra credit
Rules for Extra Credit
  • Activity must be related to civil engineering.
  • Student must play an active role in the activity. Officer of a club, attendance at seminars and/or presentations.
  • Student is not compensated: credit for CE105, class field trips, paid internships.
acceptable ideas
Acceptable Ideas?
  • A wide variety of activities and/or ideas will qualify for this extra credit.
  • Please talk to the instructor about what you are involved with, how it could be used for extra credit, and how much extra credit the activity is worth.
mcmullin s law of plotters
McMullin’s Law of Plotters
  • Theorem 1
  • Plotters and printers work 99% of the time.
corollary 1
Corollary 1
  • 1% of the time, printers and plotters don’t work.
  • This always occurs before deadlines.
corollary 2
Corollary 2
  • Your client’s schedule is NOT dependent upon the operation of your computer, printer or plotter.


  • We must learn to schedule our work so that an inoperable computer, printer, or plotter will not cause a crisis.
  • Keep hardcopies of works-in-progress. Remember that you may need to substitute the draft for the final document.
  • Know of additional facilities for emergency. Campus computer labs, Kinko’s, CAD Services.
civil engineers sometimes work in less than ideal situations
Civil Engineers often work in situations without support equipment.

Sometimes even with no power and no electricity.

Earthquake response, accident investigation.

We cannot become so dependent upon computer facilities that when we lose them we can’t continue our work.

Lives sometime depend upon our immediate response to all types of disasters.

Civil Engineers sometimes work in less than ideal situations