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Summer Practicum FAQ

Summer Practicum – Frequently Asked Questions

What is the CCEE Practicum?
The CCEE Practicum is a three-week summer program conducted at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC. Faculty from the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello (UCAB) and the North Carolina State University Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering (CCEE) developed the concept for the Practicum in 2001. The objective of the three-week program is to provide a series of seminars, laboratories, and field trips related to civil, construction and environmental engineering, and to promote collaboration between NCSU and universities in South America.

When is the CCEE Practicum held?
The Practicum is held for three weeks lasting from mid-July to early August.

What is North Carolina State University?
North Carolina State University (NCSU) is the largest university in the state of North Carolina. NCSU was founded in 1887 and currently has a student population of nearly 30,000 students in 10 different colleges.

Where is North Carolina State University located?
NCSU is located in Raleigh, the capital city of the state of North Carolina. Raleigh has a population of about 307,000 inhabitants distributed in a land area of 115 square miles (297 km2). Raleigh is also located near the Research Triangle Park and the Raleigh Durham International Airport.

What is the Research Triangle Park?
The Research Triangle Park (RTP) is a public/private, planned research park, created in 1959 by leaders from business, academia, and industry. The RTP promotes university, academic, industry, and government collaborations in research, science, and technology. At the vertices of the “triangle” are NC State University, the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), and Duke University (Durham). The goals of RTP are to create quality jobs and opportunities for its citizens.

Who teaches the Summer Practicum?
Faculty of the CCEE Department teach the Practicum seminars and laboratories. Graduate students help with local arrangements, field trips, housing, etc.

Who has attended the previous Summer Practicums?
Practicum attendees have been undergraduate students of civil engineering in the last two years of school from Universidad Católica Andrés Bello. The Practicum is also open to students from other universities. The maximum class size is about 25.

How do I register for the Summer Practicum?
To register for the Practicum, contact:

John R. Stone
Associate Professor
Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering
NC State University
Campus Box 7908
Raleigh, NC 27695-7908 USA

José Ochoa Iturbe
Director, Escuela de Ingenieria Civil
Universidad Católica Andrés Bello (UCAB)
Apartado 20.332
Caracas 1020-A

What is the language used in the Summer Practicum?
All seminars/sessions are conducted in English.

What are the topics covered in the seminars and laboratories?

Practicum topics vary depending on the interests of the students and the availability of faculty. Typical topics may include:

  • Construction Engineering and Management
    Construction estimation and planning
    Construction scheduling
  • Environmental & Water Resource Engineering
    Principles of solid waste engineering
    Water supply and waste water systems
  • Geotechnical Engineering
    Engineering geology
    Site selection and foundation design
  • Structural Engineering
    Earthquake engineering
    Structural modeling and analysis
  • Transportation Engineering
    Highway network modeling & travel demand
    Traffic operations and highway capacity analysis
  • Special Topics
    Graduate school opportunities at NCSU
    The Civil Engineering profession in the Triangle area

How are the seminars conducted?
The seminars are held in the CCEE Department, Mann Hall, on the north campus of NCSU. In the classroom, each student has access to a computer with engineering software and Internet connections. The seminars emphasize “hands-on” computer-based analysis. Laboratories and field trips provide examples of topics analyzed and discussed in the seminars. Practicum students usually meet with one or two instructors for a two-day sequence of discussions and laboratory work on a topic. One day each week is devoted to field trips – construction sites (highway, airport, building, etc.), recycling plant, landfill, water treatment plant, quarry, computerized traffic control center, etc.

Where do I stay?
Housing for the Summer Practicum is at University Towers, a residence hall that is convenient to classrooms, libraries, and activities. Distance from the dorms to Mann Hall is about a 10-minute walk.

Where do I eat?
During the week an attractive cafeteria at the University Towers provides all meals to Practicum students. During the weekend students may purchase meals at the cafeteria or eat at one of the restaurants near the NC State University.

Will transportation be included in the Practicum?
The Practicum staff provides transportation for field trips and special events like weekend picnics, area tours, and sporting events. The staff also carries students to and from the Raleigh-Durham Airport and NCSU. Inside the University campus, NCSU Wolfline buses are available to all students. Taxicabs and local transit provide transportation to local shopping malls and points of interest.

What type of visa do I need to enter the United States to attend the Summer Practicum?
A tourist visa is required to enter the United States.

What is the cost of the Summer Practicum?
The cost of the CCEE Summer Practicum depends on the number of students who come. The more students who attend, the less the cost is. The cost includes academic seminars, laboratories, computing, housing, meals Monday – Friday, gymnasium access, and medical insurance during the Practicum. Participants in the Practicum pay for their own airfare from their home city to Raleigh, NC. The cost does not include weekend meals and entertainment. For current cost information contact John R. Stone.

Where can I see information about graduate school in the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering?
Information about Graduate School can be found in the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering graduate programs website.

What is the summer temperature like in Raleigh?
Average temperatures during July and August are around 26°C with the highest and lowest temperatures of 31°C and 20°C, respectively.

What entertainment is available?
Weekend entertainment may include Practicum picnics, visits to local attractions, and attendance at a baseball game. The minimum drinking age is 21 years old.