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01-03-2011

Clarkson Environmental Design Team Wins National Competition

Sponsored by WERC: A Consortium for Environmental Education and Technology Development, the contest challenges student teams to provide solutions to environmental problems that have been submitted by private industry and government agencies.

In order for a team to be successful at the competition, said team adviser Stefan Grimberg, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, "they have to have a well-rounded project which addresses the chemistry, environmental, and health and safety issues. The Clarkson team did an excellent job with devising a solution to the problem and presenting it effectively."

The team developed a mine wall stabilization design that sealed the walls of an open pit mine by coating them with a reactive layer. Open pit mines produce acid mine drainage, which contains heavy metals leached out of the soil; coating the walls of the mine neutralizes the acid runoff and prevents the generation of future drainage. One hundred percent of the materials used in the sealant mixture were recycled waste products from other processes. At the competition, the students must demonstrate their solution with a bench-scale model using wall material from the open pit mine, and make formal presentations to the judges.

The Intel Corporation Award was presented for the best solution to an environmental problem. Top criteria for this award are innovative and efficient design, use of waste material in the solution to the problem, and effective use of computer software. "Our students' project was the most responsive to what was needed," said Grimberg, "and it was the most efficient."

The 12 Clarkson students involved in the contest were: chemical engineering majors Wendy Casazza '01 (Southbury, Conn.), Michael E. Collier '01 (Auburn, N.Y.), Kim S. Davey '01 (Petersburgh, N.Y.), Rockell S. Davis '01 (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Kodi J. Duprey '01 (Ogdensburg, N.Y.), Jeremiah Johnson '01 (Forestport, N.Y.), Patricia M. McTigue '01 (Shelton, Conn.) and Melissa L. Smith '01 (Prospect, N.Y.); civil and environmental engineering majors Jason Ammerman '02 (East Greenbrush, N.Y), Charles W. Bennett '01 (Trumansburg, N.Y.), Jennifer L. Caufield '01 (Pulaski, N.Y.); and industrial hygiene major Debra C. Ackerman '01 (Jordan, N.Y.). The team was advised by Stefan Grimberg and Thomas Young, both faculty in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department.

The Environmental Design team was sponsored in part by Eastman Kodak Company.

The Environmental Design team is part of Clarkson University's SPEED (Students Projects for Engineering Experience and Design) program. SPEED promotes multidisciplinary project based learning opportunities for more than 200 undergraduates annually. SPEED projects involve engineering design and analysis, project fabrication, and the enhancement of professional competencies such as budget management, effective teamwork and communication skills. SPEED receives financial support from General Electric, Eastman Kodak, Corning and Alcoa.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or aharrison@clarkson.edu.]

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