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David Schaad

Professor of the Practice, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Pratt School of Engineering
Civil & Environmental Engineering

(919) 660-5174

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David Schaad


Dr. David Schaad has over seventeen years of design and engineering experience as a consulting engineer working for various firms including: Parsons Engineering Science, Appian Consulting Engineers and Marshall Miller and Associates.

As part of his experience, Dr. Schaad has designed waste water treatment systems to address industrial and domestic waste streams; developed designs of storm water control structures and strategies to address water quality and quantity; designed fluid transport systems to replace water supplies impacted by anthropogenic sources; designed fuel transport and delivery systems; developed designs for commercial and residential development; prepared land use plans; developed designs to protect against potential flood hazards; designed and developed plans and specifications for fluid handling systems, waste mitigation alternatives and remedial actions for RCRA and CERCLA sites including active industrial facilities and inactive disposal sites (including NPL sites); conducted feasibility studies by evaluating and analyzing the economic and engineering considerations of multiple design alternatives; obtained extensive experience with innovative remedial techniques (including groundwater extraction and treatment, air sparging, soil vapor extraction, and bioventing).

Current research focuses on sustainable engineering, community development, water and wastewater treatment design, stormwater retention/detention and treatment design, hazardous waste remediation, urban hydrology, constructed wetland and stream restoration design, ecological stabilization, sustainable engineering in land development, water resources, water and wastewater treatment.

He is also the faculty advisor for Duke Engineers for International Development ( and the Duke Chapter of Engineers Without Borders ( and has led DukeEngage experiences every year since the inception of the program. He has facilitated and/or led trips to Indonesia, Uganda, Kenya, Honduras, El Salvador, Bolivia, and Peru. Representative projects he has worked on include: building a 4800sf Infant and Maternal Health Clinic, constructing a 100ft long vehicular bridge over a seasonally flooded river, and installing a 3km long waterline. He was an inaugural member of the Faculty Leadership Council (FLC) of EWB and is a registered professional engineer in 21 states.


Title Number Level Semester Requirements Fulfilled
Engineering Sustainable Design and Construction

Design and testing of solutions to complex interdisciplinary design products in a service learning context. Technical design principles; sustainable and engineering best practices; prototype formation, testing and evaluation; and establishment of research and analysis methodologies in a community based research experience. Working in partnership with a community agency (local, national, or international) and participation in an experimental learning process by engineering a design solution for an identified community need. Evaluation focused on design deliverables, fabricated prototypes and a critical reflection of the experimental learning process. One credit. Prerequisites: EGR 75 or ECE 27 or consent of instructor.

Course Notes:
CE 315
Was: CE 185
UG Only SPRING 2013 GHC: Elective
MAJOR: Focused Study
MINOR: Elective
Integrated Environmental Design

Student design teams complete a preliminary design of an actual environmental engineering project and present the design to a panel of civil engineering faculty and practitioners. A written technical report is required. Topics to be addressed include: the design process; cost estimation; legal, ethical, and social aspects of professional engineering practice; short-term and long-term design serviceability considerations. Open only to civil engineering students during their final two semesters. Prerequisites: Civil Engineering 120L, 123L, 124L.

Course Notes:
CE 469
Was: CE 193
UG Only SPRING 2013 GHC: Methods
MINOR: Elective
MAJOR: Focused Study
GHC: Elective

Recent Publications

Huettel, L; Gustafson, MR; Nadeau, JC; Schaad, D; Barger, MM; Linnenbrink-Garcia, L, A grand challenge-based framework for contextual learning in engineering: Impact on student outcomes and motivation, ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings, vol 122nd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Making Value for Society no. 122nd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Making Value for Society (2015)

Huettel, L; Gustafson, MR; Nadeau, JC; Schaad, DE; Barger, MM; Linnenbrink-Garcia, L, Evidence for the effectiveness of a grand challenge-based framework for contextual learning, ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings (2014)