Use of a physical water pipe network competition in applied civil engineering students' learning

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Citations (Scopus)


The issues of scale and complexity make it difficult to design physical problem-based exercises to enhance student learning in the discipline of water and environmental engineering. Thus, learning problems are mostly restricted to those investigated using standard laboratory setups or computer software applications. This paper presents the use of the Aqualibrium competition, a physical hydraulics problem, in enhancing the understanding of water distribution system operation for civil and environmental engineering students. The competition was open for enrollment of civil engineering undergraduate students who have completed or were at the time enrolled in the CIVL 400 (Water Resources Engineering) course at UAE University. In this paper, the competition delivery is explained in details, including aspects of team building, motivation, and timing. Data were collected on the academic performance of participating students and their feedback on their experience in the competition. Results show that the students participating in the competition while enrolled in the course were more enthusiastic about the competition and had better organization and teamwork. Students who had completed the CIVL 400 course had difficulties organizing meetings, which resulted in insufficient practice ahead of the competition. Student feedback results also show that while the competition encouraged self-learning, it left the students confused about the interactive principles of pipe network hydraulics.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 2019 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON 2019
EditorsSebastian Schreiter, Alaa K. Ashmawy
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781538695067
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019
Event10th IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON 2019 - Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Duration: Apr 9 2019Apr 11 2019

Publication series

NameIEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON
ISSN (Print)2165-9559
ISSN (Electronic)2165-9567


Conference10th IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited Arab Emirates


  • Aqualibrium
  • Collaborative learning
  • Problem-based learning
  • Self-learning
  • Student competition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Education


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