1.011 | Spring 2011 | Undergraduate

Project Evaluation


Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session

Recitations: 1 session / week, 1 hour / session

Subject Description

This course covers methodologies for evaluating engineering projects, which typically are large-scale, long-lived projects involving many economic, financial, social, and environmental factors. Students learn the basic techniques of engineering economics, including net present value analysis, life-cycle costing, benefit-cost analysis, and other approaches to project evaluation. There is an emphasis on the role of uncertainty in project evaluation. Examples are drawn from building design and construction, transportation systems, urban development, environmental projects, water resource management, and other elements of both public and private infrastructure. Students form and work in teams during the semester on evaluating a project of interest to each team, subject to approval of the teaching staff. The links below provide more information on specific topics covered in this course, as well as a list of subject keywords.

[Subject Topics](/courses/1-011-project-evaluation-spring-2011/pages/Syllabus/subject-topics)


Learning Objectives

Following this class, students should be able to:

  1. Effectively use basic engineering economics tools to evaluate major infrastructure projects.
  2. Understand when to complement this basic analysis with more sophisticated tools.
  3. Critique the process used to evaluate typical infrastructure projects.
  4. Understand a broad range of project types of relevance to Civil and Environmental Engineering and related fields.
  5. Understand some ways in which project performance can be measured and improved.
  6. Understand the role of uncertainty in project evaluation.
  7. Do an end-to-end project evaluation.


Martland, Carl D. Toward More Sustainable Infrastructure: Project Evaluation for Planners and Engineers. John Wiley, 2011. ISBN: 9780470448762.

Chapter assignments from this book and other readings can be found in the Readings section of this course.

Project Evaluation: Essays and Case Studies, based upon the textbook, is available as two stand-alone volumes. 

Teaching Modalities

The intent is that the classes should be as interactive as possible. Occasionally it’s ‘we lecture you listen’, but we will endeavor to get you involved.

In lectures:

  • Methods and concepts.
  • Case studies to illustrate and expand upon methods and concepts.
  • Reports from the Front (RFTF) - discussion of current events of relevance to 1.011.
  • Also, we want you to learn from each other - student project presentations will comprise the last several lectures.

In recitations:

  • Review and clarification of methods and concepts.
  • Discussion of problem sets/quiz.
  • Project work.

Outside the classroom:

Each term project team will meet with the teaching staff several times during the semester.


Problem sets 35%
Term project 30%
Exams 20%
Class participation 15%

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2011
Learning Resource Types
Problem Sets
Lecture Notes
Projects with Examples
Written Assignments