Todd Drager
Structural Option

User Note:
Note: While great efforts have been taken to provide accurate and complete information on the pages of CPEP, please be aware that the information contained herewith is considered a work‐in‐progress for this thesis project. Modifications and changes related to the original building designs and construction methodologies for this senior thesis project are solely the interpretation of Todd Drager. Changes and discrepancies in no way imply that the original design contained errors or was flawed. Differing assumptions, code references, requirements, and methodologies have been incorporated into this thesis project; therefore, investigation results may vary from the original design.

ABET Assessment, Course and CPEP Reflection


ABET Outcome Survey:


ABET Outcomes
AE 481W/482

Outcome not able to be assessed



(= Score of 0)

Level of ability demonstrated but below acceptable


(= Score of 1)

Minimum acceptable level of ability demonstrated


(= Score of 2)

More than minimum level of ability demonstrated


(= Score of 3)

a. An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering





b. An ability to analyze and interpret data





c. An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs





e. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems





f. An understanding of professional and ethics responsibility





g. An ability to communicate effectively





h. The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context





i. An ability to engage in life-long learning





j. A knowledge of contemporary issues





k. An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice





o. Engineering design capabilities in at least= two (2) of the (3) basic curriculum areas of architectural engineering, and that design has been integrated across the breadth of the program





p. Communication and interaction with other design professionals in the execution of building projects






AE 481W & AE 482 Reflection:

Looking back at my abilities a year ago in comparison to what they are now, it’s easy to see the degree of progress I’ve made.  This is no doubt mostly due to the time and energy spent on 5th year senior thesis. All things considered, senior thesis was a great learning experience leading to more knowledge, additional practice, and more refined skills in many aspects including analytical procedures, technical writing, professional responsibility and communication.  However If I’m being completely honest, I have to admit the process was not perfect.

I did not have the easiest road to completion; several issues cropped up along the way and caused delays with my project. One of the main issues was acquiring a project. I had originally been granted a sponsored project from the AE department and began my thesis with this building, but unfortunately the owner of that project decided it wasn’t in his best interest to have alternate designs or checks out there, so mid-semester I had to search for a new project. This proved to be quite difficult as I went through all my contacts and contact’s contacts and kept coming up dry. Eventually a friend stepped in and helped me find a project, but the delay was crippling and the work originally planned to be done throughout an entire semester now had to be completed within 5 weeks or so. I can take some of the blame for this because I waited until the first week of class to contact the owner, but I still held a bit of resentment for the department sponsoring projects they really didn’t have permission for. The other issue was that at the start of the second semester I caught a pretty bad case of mononucleosis.  So I had a late start in both the fall and spring semesters. The AE faculty, however, was very understanding of my circumstances which I am very grateful for.

I appreciate the idea behind thesis where the student is in a way left on his own to find and discover engineering processes relative to his building; however, I feel that this in some way is more difficult for some than others. Knowledge attained through certain courses not specifically required with an AE bachelor’s degree or through summer internships helped minimize frustration and ease the process for some students, but others were left to find this information and apply the concepts without any sort of introduction. As an example, for minimum thesis requirements for a structural option student a lateral analysis was required. However, lateral analysis was not a major part of any bachelor’s AE course. It was talked about in several classes, but not to the degree where a serious lateral analysis and redesign could be expected. Most of what I learned about lateral analysis came from an M.A.E class I took fall semester 5th year. I found myself more prepared than some of the B.A.E students that had the same thesis expectations. Again, I do understand the thought behind leaving us our own a bit and the advisors were very helpful, but If I had one suggestion, it would be to make a lateral course part of the B.A.E curriculum and to ensure all students have some introduction to all thesis topics.
Although I tend to learn better in the classroom setting rather than on my own, senior thesis allowed me the opportunity to really apply concepts I had been learning about for the past few years. It really was a culmination of most of what I learned throughout college. I found myself going through notebooks I hadn’t opened in years and bringing all these different pieces of structural engineering together. With the help of my classmates and advisors, I think I was able to pull together a pretty respectable project whose ideas will serve as a guide for future endeavors in the structural engineering field. I’d like to thank the AE faculty, industry professionals, my classmates, family, friends, and everyone else that helped me through thesis and gave me a solid base on which to start my career.

Discussion Board and CPEP Reflection:

I'd first like to thank all the mentors that volunteered their time to answer questions, give opinions and provide insights that would otherwise be very difficult to find. The response time was incredible, as many questions were answered the same day or the day after a post was made. Although I didn't post frequestly, I did read up on what others were asking about, and because of this I became a little more knowledgeable on different topic.

Posting on the CPEP proved to be an easier task than I had orginally thought. Having no experience with any web-based applications, I was a bit nervous going into it, but after putting some time in to get to know the prgram, it became much easier. It would have been beneficial to have some sort of introduction to the program before 5th year, but again, after putting some time in it became much easier.



The Capstone Project Electronic Portfolio (CPEP) is a web‐based project and information center. It contains material produced for a year‐long Senior Thesis class. Its purpose, in addition to providing central storage of individual assignments, is to foster communication and collaboration between student, faculty consultant, course instructors, and industry consultants. This website is dedicated to the research and analysis conducted via guidelines provided by the Department of Architectural Engineering. For an explanation of this capstone design course and its requirements CLICK HERE