Work-In-Progress: What Goes into an Engineering Decision: An Infrastructure Decision-Making Game for Exploratory Equity Learning

Abigail L. Beck, Eun Jeong Cha

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


In structural engineering education, social considerations, beyond life-safety, have not been incorporated or highlighted within the curriculum. With ABET's EAC Criterion 5 expansion, we see calls for increased embracement of diversity, equity, and inclusion as a profession. It is the duty of educators to convey to students that engineering decisions have broad reaching impacts on the community beyond their pure technicalities. As engineering decisions are made, elements concerning equity should be weighed along with classic performance benchmarks. This paper introduces an infrastructure decision-making game that highlights many different aspects of risk mitigation decision-making: equity, community impact, system performance, uncertainty, and resource constraint. In this game, teams make decisions about which elements of an electric network to repair and retrofit given constraints as hazards randomly impact the community. While making decisions, the teams must weigh many different metrics and be conscious of the sociodemographics across the community. The construction of this game proves an apt complement within classic educational structure, such as in a basic structural engineering course, where students can connect design retrofit strength levels with broader community impact. This game is applicable to students in high school, college-level, and also professionals as an introductory course module for complex multi-faceted risk mitigation engineering decision-making and the role of equity considerations in it. The game design is flexible and can include other impending issues such as climate adaptation. It also has potential to be expanded to include other social considerations such as diversity and inclusion. The paper presents the game development, along with results from a post-game survey demonstrating the effectiveness of the initial version of the game and direction for further game development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 25 2023
Event2023 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - The Harbor of Engineering: Education for 130 Years, ASEE 2023 - Baltimore, United States
Duration: Jun 25 2023Jun 28 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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