Arctic Engineering - Online Short Course


The School of Engineering at the University of Alaska Anchorage will present an online short course titled "Fundamentals of Arctic Engineering". The curriculum is accessible to enrollees via the web anytime during the scheduled duration. Homework, quizzes, and a final exam are transmitted by students via email or the web and are promptly annotated by UAA Arctic Engineering faculty and returned by these means. Seven instructors, who are recognized experts in a range of Arctic engineering and research endeavors, present specialized educational materials and guide the learning of students in the course.

This course introduces students to a broad spectrum of engineering challenges that are unique to cold regions of the world. Physical principles and practical data collection, analysis, design, and construction methods are discussed. Students gain a working knowledge of cold regions engineering problems and modern solutions as a basis for more detailed study.

Information in the format of narrated slide presentations, videos, and other online study aids is presented in 10 daily increments. Students should budget 4 to 5 hours per day for reviewing online materials, participating in discussions, and accomplishing daily exercises. Students may choose their own optimum learning times to maintain the daily pace. The tenth day of the course includes a comprehensive final examination.

Licensing Approval: The UAA "Fundamentals of Arctic Engineering" course is approved by the Alaska State Board of Registration for Architects, Engineers, and Land Surveyors to satisfy the Alaska regulation governing registration and licensing (12 AAC 36.110), which reads "...An applicant for registration as an architect, engineer, or landscape architect must have successfully completed a board-approved university level course in arctic engineering or its equivalent...." The Board's Licensing Examiner, with permission of each student, will be notified by the UAA School of Engineering of the names of those students who pass the course.

Course registration requirements: Graduate standing, with a degree in engineering, architecture, landscape architecture, Geomatics, or physical science, or upper class standing in an accredited undergraduate program in these categories.

Textbook: No textbook is required, since all materials are provided online via the course web site and links to other pertinent materials published on the Internet .

Instructive online presentations and materials will provide students with an introductory working knowledge of Arctic design principles, as they relate to the major design areas of architecture, engineering, land surveying, and landscape architecture, including information about:

  • Cold regions natural conditions and engineering challenges,
  • Associated specialized language and units of measure,
  • Location, interpretation, and application of public information about cold regions physical conditions,
  • Application of fundamental physical principles to solve common cold regions engineering problems, and
  • Introduction to more sophisticated and complex solutions.

Course Topics:
Arctic Geography, Climate, and Global Warming
Arctic Heat and Mass Transfer
Arctic Hydrology and Hydraulic Engineering
Snow and Ice Engineering
Geotechnical Fundamentals and Frozen Ground
Arctic Buildings and Building Foundations
Arctic Utilities
Arctic Roads
Arctic Construction
Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Issues

Homework assignments: Assigned computations, interpretation of data, and other applications of information about cold regions are electronically submitted by students.

Practice exams: Students complete automatically graded practice exams for which multiple attempts will be allowed. Problems on the practice exams will cover conventional homework assignments and problems in the Final Exam.

Guided discussions:
A variety of opportunities will be provided for students to participate in guided discussions on cold regions engineering topics. Discussions will be primarily among class peers on topics provided by the instructor, but students may also initiate other topics of discussion. All discussions will be available for viewing by everyone enrolled in the class.

Final exam: A final exam will be administered online for which only one attempt at correct answers will be allowed. The majority of the course score will be based on the score of this final exam.