University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering


Alum Publishes Textbook for Civil Engineering Students


Toby Weber

University of Houston Cullen College alumnus Harry O. Ward (BSCE 1984) has written a textbook offering instruction in one of the newest tools available to civil engineers.

The book, Autodesk Civil 3D: Procedures & Applications, published by Prentice-Hall, provides civil engineering students with training in the Autodesk Civil 3D computer aided design program.
According to Ward, the program has only been on the market for a few years, and his book is the first to cover it.

“There are not any other textbooks that deal with this [program],” he said. “It’s got some things that civil engineering has never seen before like parametric and dynamic modeling. It also has a very state-of-the-art interface.”

The text, whose first edition was released last month, is written for sophomore-level college students. It is derived largely from Ward’s work as an adjunct professor of civil and infrastructure engineering at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., where he teaches a lecture class and lab on the program and the mathematical theories and formulas that underpin it.

“Basically, what I did was reduce my class into a textbook,” he said. “The front end of every chapter introduces theory, formulas and algorithms that the chapter uses in its application of the software.”

Early response to the book, said Ward, has been excellent. In addition to being used by several universities, the text has also been adopted by community colleges and technical schools across the nation. Ward said he did not anticipate such widespread interest.

“The book didn’t actually ship until the first week of September. At that time, several thousand copies had already been back-ordered. For a first-run engineering textbook, that’s somewhat remarkable,” he said.


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