Dr. William Rasdorf

Dr. William Rasdorf

Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering

Phone: 919-515-7637
Instructor Website

CE 538 Information Technology and Modeling

3 Credit Hours

Information technology, modeling, and infrastructure asset management technologies of interest to engineers. Issues in the design and development of engineering information systems to acquire, manage, and use engineering data and complex applications. The most prominent and recent literature will be used to create a rich knowledge base for students.


Engineering Graduate Standing. Undergraduate Engineering Degree.

Course Objectives

The key objective of the course is to teach students to look at any engineering system, to fully understand its structure and characteristics, and know how to model and describe it in ways that are useful to engineers and for engineering applications. The course addresses the management, preservation, and maintenance of infrastructure assets. It deals with how to inventory assets, collect field and office inventory data, determine optimal condition assessment data, perform a field condition assessment, determine and assign a condition rating, assess and determine a criticality rating, evaluate risk and cost, and develop their repair, maintenance, and replacement strategies. The principles for doing so are applicable over the broad range of infrastructure activities from planning and preliminary engineering, through design and construction, and during maintenance and operations. It includes such topics as database design and management, advanced technologies, engineering constraints, and decision tables all applied to the creation maintenance and operation of our infrastructure.

Students taking this course will learn to explore, evaluate, and assess new and emerging computing and information models and technologies and determine their role in engineering infrastructure preservation. These are most critical in engineering design, construction, manufacturing, and materials management. This course should be of interest to students working in these or related areas.

Course Requirements

Periodic assignments (usually weekly) will be made during the course and will be graded. There will be a number of announced quizzes. Assignments are expected to be completed in a timely and professional manner following a set of high quality writing standards.

CE 538 will include one or more of three case studies to demonstrate the application of the principles to various engineering scenarios. In both case studies links to GIS, GPS, and facility management will be explored. Relationships between geographic and database management systems will be studied. The application of the principles studied will especially be demonstrated for construction, environmental, transportation, and geotechnical applications. Also included will be an examination of the use of IT in support of disaster management related activities.

One case study will be especially of interest to construction and transportation students. It will focus on a highway network and will seek to illustrate the issues associated with representing transportation spatial (topology and geometry, point and segment data, locational data, and linear referencing), attribute, and temporal data. The link to the use of those same networks in construction scheduling and disaster response will be demonstrated.

The second case study focuses on the spatial, environmental, and geotechnical aspects of Oak Ridge National laboratory and considers all of the items associated with the transportation case study while adding environmental emergency response operations (security for construction) and all of the issues that embodies. This case study includes the spatial layout of the facilities at the lab and their operations and is particularly related to transportation network emergency response in NC where need is dictated by floods, hurricanes, and tornados.

The third case study focuses on an inventory and condition assessment system for retaining walls. It deals with developing an entire business process for their data collection, inventory, condition assessment, criticality and risk analysis, and condition repair strategies. It incorporates the development for an information model and its implementation using a database management system. The development of a tablet based field data collection system for both inventory and condition assessment is included. Finally, an appropriate amount of queries for data analysis are developed.


The materials for this course will be available in Google Drive. Once registered in this class a link will be provided to the online material. All required course materials will be provided by the instructor through Google Drive.


Fall 2022 Coming Soon