1. K-State home
  2. »Engineering
  3. »ARE-CNS
  4. »Undergraduate
  5. »Architectural Engineering

Architectural Engineering and Construction Science

Architectural Engineering

Architectural engineers are concerned with the task of combining the various building systems provided by today's advanced technology into an integrated whole.

The traditional method of designing a building involves the architect interviewing the client and interpreting his/her needs in the form of a building. On the architect's part, this means determining the size and shape of the building, room sizes and relationships, traffic flow, orientation of the building on the site, and aesthetics. When this process is complete and the client agrees with the architect that this is what he/she wants, the architect calls on consulting engineers to do the structural, mechanical, plumbing, and lighting/electrical design for the building. In some cases, an acoustical specialist is also required. The engineering design for the building is what architectural engineers do.

At Kansas State University, the aim of the Architectural Engineering (ARE) curriculum is to prepare entry-level engineers for the consulting engineering field who are well-grounded in the engineering specialties, but who also have an understanding of how the building is designed and built and how the engineering systems fit into the building.

Architectural Engineering at Kansas State University is a program, accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org, that integrates an engineering program with building systems courses.  This course of study provides the theoretical tools required for engineering design and the ability to apply these tools to architectural structures to provide a completely functional building.

An architectural engineer must be aware of the practical, functional and aesthetic possibilities of contemporary materials and mechanical, electrical and structural systems. As an important member of the building design team, the engineer must be able to create designs that will answer the economic, safety, environmental and aesthetic requirements of a project and must have a feeling for the total design.

In the program students will complete extensive work in mathematics and engineering science, as well as take courses in architectural design, materials, graphics and building systems. Students will also learn to apply these principles to structural, mechanical, electrical, lighting and acoustical requirements of building design.

Students will graduate with a basic competency in structural, mechanical, lighting and electrical design for buildings and may, upon selection of the proper technical electives, strengthen personal knowledge in any of these areas. The primary goal of most students is to practice as a consulting engineer in one of the above fields.

Because the curriculum is primarily engineering, this requires a good background in mathematics and science, particularly physics, and a talent for creative design and art.

In their final semester, the students take a Senior Project course. This is a three-credit hour design course in which the students must do the structural or the mechanical, plumbing and lighting/electrical design for a real building and produce construction documents sufficient to adequately depict the design requirements. This is referred to as a "capstone" course since it utilizes all the previous individual engineering design courses into an integrated whole. Capstone courses are now an ABET accreditation requirement.

The expectation is that the architectural engineering graduate will be well-qualified to enter the consulting engineering field with one or more specialty areas and an excellent understanding of the complete design-construction process, as well as many other fields such as facilities management, engineering management and sales.

Because of the stated aim of the program, the staff is very profession-oriented. Practically all the faculty are licensed professional engineers or architects. Most have had considerable experience in a professional office. Most of the ARE graduates pass the E.I.T. examination while in school and then go on to become licensed professional engineers.

The demand for K-State Architectural Engineering graduates is strong and typically far exceeds the number of graduates. Perhaps this is the reason for the continued high enrollment in the program. On the other hand, the large number of students may be a reflection of the students' desire to acquire an education which will provide an excellent monetary reward along with the deeper satisfaction of seeing their designs and innovative ideas become a reality.

For more information about Architectural Engineering, contact:

Department of Architectural Engineering and
Construction Science and Management
Kansas State University
240 Seaton Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506-2903
(785) 532-5964

For more information about Kansas State University, contact:

Office of Admissions
Kansas State University
119 Anderson Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506
(785) 532-6250