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Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering
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2354 Fairchild Drive
Suite 6J-159
USAF Academy, CO

Phone (719) 333-3150
DSN 333-3150
Fax (719) 333-9102
Email:  webmaster

USAFA 60th Anniversary

Field Engineering and Readiness Laboratory (FERL)

Aerial View of FERL Site


What is FERL?

The U.S. Air Force Academy's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (DFCE) is committed to graduating Air Force officers with the leadership skills, motivation, and technical competence to be future leaders in the Air Force. To achieve these ends, DFCE implemented a systems approach to learning that bridges the gap between theory and practice; a concept that has evolved into the "construct first, design later" approach to engineering education.


FERL 23 Logo


Cadet Information

FERL Handbook

Mentor Information

By being exposed to actual hands-on experiences in surveying, construction methods, and construction materials at the Field Engineering and Readiness Laboratory (FERL), the "construct first, design later" approach provides students with a solid foundation for learning scientific theory and engineering design principles in more advanced courses of the civil and environmental engineering curriculum. The "construct first" approach is the primary focus of Civil Engineering 351 (CivEngr 351), the entry-level course for cadets majoring in civil engineering at the U.S. Air Force Academy.

How is the course run?

CivEngr 351 is an integrated, two-phase program over a five-week period. The first phase is Operation Civil Engineering Air Force (OPS CEAF). Students spend two weeks at an operational Air Force base in order to gain an appreciation of Air Force missions, support functions, and civil engineering capabilities. The second phase is FERL. During this three-week phase, students "deploy" to the FERL training area to perform hands-on activities in surveying, construction methods, and construction materials under the supervision and guidance of mentors. Students will gain experience working and living under field conditions as they utilize some of the readiness assets used in the Operational Air Force.

The FERL concept is now in its twenty-third year of implementation. The program could not be successful without the contributions of Active-Duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian personnel who serve as mentors for the cadets. Mentors provide functional expertise in their specialties and serve as role models in an advisory capacity. During FERL, mentors work alongside cadets on activities such as concrete placement, roadway construction, surveying, heavy equipment operations, power production, welding, and wood frame construction. These tasks and more were selected to provide cadets with broad exposure to the Civil Engineering career field.

We will be accepting mentor applications for FERL 2017 between 01 February and 1 April 2017.


U.S. Air Force Academy, USAFA, CO 80840, (719) 333-1110 DSN: 333-1110, 25 Oct 16
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