2010 Civil and Environmental Engineering Senior Capstone Design Projects

Mandar Dewoolkar, assistant associate professor in civil engineering in the School of Engineering, values rigor and theory but sees doing as a path to knowing. Part of the curriculum requirements for students enrolled in his CE175 course is service-learning projects. During their last semester, students work together in groups of four to five, collaborating with community partners from site visits to final presentations. Projects vary in scope and often extend beyond engineering, as students take into consideration historic preservation, societal needs and economic factors.

Linking students and community partners creates a win-win scenario. Students gain a unique understanding of the complexity involved in finding creative solutions to specific engineering problems -- community partners gain from low-cost recommendations made by students. In 2010, students worked with the City of Burlington, Towns of Essex, Barnet and Richmond, Gardenside Community in Shelburne and the University of Vermont as community partners on a total of eight projects. Professor Emeritus Richard Downer acted as a technical consultant for the projects and helped guide the students. We welcome you to watch the project video stories of the following projects. Brief descriptions of some of the projects in students' words are provided below.

Low Impact Stormwater Management for Decatur Street, Burlington

The City of Burlington worked with UVM students Ian Anderson, Joel Fleming, Brendan Kerin, Kristofer Kretsch and Addison Minott, Joel Fleming and Kristofer Kretsch to solve an ongoing problem on Decatur Street in Burlington, VT. The accumulation of stormwater at the southern end, combined with a high volume of traffic, may create makes the road unsafe conditions for pedestrians and bikers. Students worked to design a sustainable stormwater system to address the flow of traffic, as well as be aesthetically pleasing for residents. Solutions proposed by students included an underground storage system and a rain garden containing a tree box filter, gravel wetland and bio-retention facility – the students choice was for their rain garden design.

Essex Way Stormwater Analysis and Design

The Town of Essex, VT partnered with students Tyler Glode, Michael Mainer, Michael McGaughan, Michael Mainer and Newt Rogers to address stormwater issues in the Essex Way area. Water flowing into the Indian Brook artery of the Winooski River has caused Indian Brook to be designated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as an "Impaired waterway." Students were asked to design an optimal, cost effective, aesthetically pleasing and safe stormwater system that could comply with the new 2010 NPDES permit regulations. Students, after considering multiple scenarios, recommended a combination of expanding three existing retention ponds, installing new rain gardens and infiltration trenches, as well as the installation of underground storage tanks.

Modifications to Harvey’s Lake Dam, Barnet

The Town of Barnet partnered with students Matthew Gamelin, Kurt Hutchins, Christopher Pollock, Laura Townsend, and Michael Wynne to design an improved sluice gate to operate in the stoplog slots for the dam. Using detailed flow analysis including sedimentation and lateral movement of the outlet channel, the students created a replacement gate that is safe and easy to use, and which will increase the flow capacity of the dam. Students also included the addition of safety railings and walkways.

Stormwater Management for Gardenside Community, Shelburne

The Gardenside Community in Shelburne, VT partnered with students Daryl Deprey, Katherine Mason, Allison Murphy, Nicholas Frangis and Erin Menzies to solve a variety of stormwater-related issues. The Laplatte River tributary passing through the community is experiencing eroding slopes, bank failures, and has water ponding and sediment loading. The students designed rain gardens to mitigate some of the stormwater issues and developed a variety of low-cost solutions to minimize soil erosion and water ponding issues.