After recently receiving the Faculty Early Career Development Program Award from the National Science Foundation, Matthew R. Hallowell, assistant professor of construction engineering and management, plans to offer his students a more engaging, valuable academic experience. With the NSF CAREER Award, Hallowell is conducting a large research project in which students will also have the chance to participate.
Hallowell’s groundbreaking research, “Predictive Modeling of Construction Injuries in Complex Environments,” examines how injury prevention can be improved at construction sites. Rather than quantifying individual risks, this research looks to complete a content analysis on previous injury reports to identify fundamental attributes that could contribute to injuries. From there, Hallowell is using multivariate statistics to forecast the probability of specific injuries.
As part of the educational experience, Hallowell plans to teach students how to incorporate these models within an augmented reality system. Most universities teach construction safety based on OSHA standards, but this is often not enough to prevent injuries. While OSHA standards must be followed, even OSHA-compliant companies are experiencing injuries and fatalities. By students working with this augmented reality system, they will be better prepared to respond to the dynamics and complexities of construction environments once they begin their careers.
“Instead of having a checkbox or list of rules that must be followed, students learn how to be more proactive and redesign a worksite,” Hallowell says. “For example, you can get to the site and find an exposed edge, or you can design the facility so that it never had an exposed edge in the first place.”
With this educational approach, students can expect to receive a more valuable learning experience, Hallowell says. Students are not spending their time listening to lectures. Instead, they are using classroom time to experience this innovative research firsthand.
“It’s not lecture based by any means,” Hallowell says. “It’s more experiential learning, and it’s certainly more engaging. This will encourage active learning instead of passive learning, so the students don’t just sit and listen. They do and talk.”
Students from the spring 2012 CVEN 4434/5434 Environmental Engineering Design class won the Water Environment Federation (WEF) 2012 Student Design Competition. The project “Broadmoor Park Properties Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade” won in the wastewater design category. The competition took place in October as part of WEF’s 85th Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference in New Orleans, La.
The student competition promotes real world design experience for students interested in pursuing an education and/or career in water/wastewater engineering and sciences. It tasks individuals or teams of students within a WEF student chapter to prepare a design to help solve a local water quality issue. Teams evaluate alternatives, perform calculations, and recommend the most feasible solution based on experience, economics, and feasibility. The University of Colorado Boulder is a student chapter of the Rocky Mountain Water Environment Foundation.
Team members included Kristen Johansen, Maria Cabeza, Matthew Huntze, Bailey Leppek, Alexandra Murray, and faculty advisor Angela Bielefeldt. The team received certificates and a $2500 award.
A CU-Boulder team recently won a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for its proposal to develop a solar-biochar toilet for use in developing countries throughout the world. The grant is part of the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge, or RTTC, initiated by the Gates Foundation to address a sanitation challenge affecting nearly 40 percent of the world’s population.
The team includes CEAE faculty Karl Linden and R. Scott Summers and civil engineering graduate students Joshua Kearns, Kyle Shimabuku, and Sara Beck.
Three civil engineering students were among a group that traveled to an isolated region of Bolivia to help construct a 50 meter long suspended cable pedestrian bridge this summer. Civil engineering students Mickey Chianese, Shelby Buescher, and Mike Brennecke were joined by Nikki Mayer and Austin Cerny through the CU student chapter of Bridges to Prosperity.
The community of Toreni, consisting of 30 families and 200 people, is located about a 30 minute drive from the local river. Just beyond is the community of Entre Rios, with18 families and approximately 100 people. The river not only separated these two communities but was inhibiting all the communities farther along this road, about 5 communities and approximately 700 people, from connecting with other communities and with the town of Tiquipaya. This bridge will have a huge impact on all the communities surrounding the river and beyond.
Team members who assisted with the project but were unable to travel for the build were Anna Casady, Tate Fairbanks, Michael Gartman, Riley Gelatt, Daryn Hobbs, Michael Kania, Chris Williams, and Michael Wussow.
More pictures can be seen on the Bridges to Prosperity website.
Three student teams from CVEN 4434 Environmental Engineering Design placed in the 2011-2012 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) University Competition, in the “Airport Environmental Interactions” category. All three teams were advised by CEAE professor Angela Bielefeldt.
Second Place: “LED Runway Lighting for Denver International Airport” – Jeff Sogge, Natalie Bixler, Evan Coffey, Dan Jones, Jon Mandel, Emily Merchant
Third Place (tie): “Aerated Gravel Beds for De-Icing Waste Treatment” - Damien Allen, Andrew DuComb, Patrick Nilan, Brad Eades, Tyler Stevens
and “Improvements to Deicing Environmental Management System at Denver International Airport” – Doug Winter, Nick Dummer, Ethan Boor, Kelley Hestmark, Angela Molli