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  • 1.  Civil Engineering Project

    Posted 11-07-2019 11:23 AM
    Edited by Tirza Austin 11-07-2019 11:22 AM

    Hi All,

    If I want to make an affordable project related to environmental engineering that can benefit communities in towns or small cities what type of project would you recommend?

    If you have any ideas about another topic other than environmental engineering (ex: transportation, ...), it will be highly appreciated.

    Any feedback is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    Kind Regards,

    Asaad Biqai, S.M.ASCE-BAU

    Asaad Biqai S.M.ASCE

  • 2.  RE: Civil Engineering Project

    Posted 11-08-2019 07:42 AM
    Is this a senior project? or graduate project?  What I found through the years is that a safe water supply is very important for quality of life.  I would recommend that you explore different system types and select one that suits your needs.  Another choice could be intelligent transportation systems that would assist the municipality to prepare for future transportation modes and reduce traffic accidents.

    What is more important though is to select a project that you are most interested in or maybe most needed where you are from.  That way you will already have some knowledge and understanding of the project needs and the complexities.

    John Wood P.E., M.ASCE
    Project Engineer
    Pittsburgh PA

  • 3.  RE: Civil Engineering Project

    Posted 11-08-2019 04:56 PM
    Edited by Tirza Austin 11-08-2019 04:56 PM
    I would also suggest to contact your Public Works Department or Regional Planning Agency to see if they have any suggestions. Speaking from experience, they always have an idea of something that needs to be fixed & would love someone else to investigate & possibly engineer a fix.  They are also probably accustomed to that type of inquiry.  

    City of Chattanooga often works with a local university's Civil Engineering senior design class on possible locations/scenarios & then may serve in an advisory capacity (mainly as to what would be allowed by the City, what regulations to follow and required permitting).

    Maria Price P.E., M.ASCE
    Engineering Manager
    City of Chattanooga
    Chattanooga TN

  • 4.  RE: Civil Engineering Project

    Posted 11-08-2019 01:17 PM
    There are a lot of issues with water treatment in small rural communities/villages in Alaska. If you didn't know, Alaska is the largest state in the US but has one of the smallest populations. Most of the populace lives in a couple "large cities" while the Alaska Natives who were here before us live scattered throughout the state in remote areas. These are very small communities that a lot of the time don't have access to running or clean water. The environmental professors were working on projects to combat this while I attended the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) in the form of automated treatments within homes. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation is also running a research and development effort called Alaska Water and Sewer Challenge (AWSC). This includes tribal, state, and federal agencies working with private sector teams from around the world to develop and test prototypes. I am not sure what your goals are (what is this for? i.e. is this a graduate level project, undergraduate research, or something else?) but this might point you in the direction of a project on the subject you are asking for.

    As for projects on other topics, you can literally do anything as civil engineering is such a broad subject. I think if you want to do a project for school you need to nail down the area of study that you enjoy and pursue that. I would assume this project is either extra curricular or graduate type work so it should be something you enjoy and want to do. There are too many other topics to just ask for ideas in any subject area, but you may find some good ideas from a quick search in google scholar. Your professor should also give you some good ideas if you ask. I know my institution had an internal library where you could look at past projects so maybe that is also something you have access to. Or if you can find institutions that give outside sources access to their internal libraries you could go that route.

    But it sounds to me you already found your niche in environmental engineering and enjoy it, so if that is the case I would stick with that.

    Good luck!

    Grant Warnke EIT, A.M.ASCE
    Waterfront EIT
    Moffatt and Nichol
    Anchorage AK

  • 5.  RE: Civil Engineering Project

    Posted 11-08-2019 02:59 PM
    Edited by Tirza Austin 11-08-2019 02:58 PM
    Thank you, I appreciate your help.

    The project is not powered by the university, its funded from private organization, and it should solve a problem in my country or city ( n Lebanon), so this is the reason why I choose the the environmental or transportation sector, in those two sectors I am trying to find an affordable project


    Asaad Biqai S.M.ASCE

  • 6.  RE: Civil Engineering Project

    Posted 11-08-2019 04:30 PM
    Hi Asaad, as John mentioned above, I think first you need to find the type of project or technical area that you are interested in.  That will help to provide the motivation that drives you to follow through with the project and help the community.  Second, the needs of each community are different and the approach to solving some of their problems are going to be different for each community.  You should look around your area, and talk to community officials in these small communities, explain to them what you are trying to do, and see what they think that their problems are, or help them to see problems that they may not recognize.  Then try to tailor a solution to a specific problem that is in synch with that specific communities ability to operate and maintain the project.

    Given your available budget, you may not be able to provide a full solution to a problem, but you can provide a component that moves the community towards a more complete solution.  Water supply and treatment issues are common problems for small communities.  Providing a solar electric system to a community that has electricity reliability problems for their water well pumps, assist with drainage issues if flooding or ponded water are health issues, provide educational training to farming communities on the hazards, benefits, and best practices of using pesticides and herbicides.  There are many areas where you can help, but don't develop a solution in search of a community, go to a community, get to know them, and find out what they need.  Then see if providing a solution to that communities problem is something that excites you.

    Going around to several different communities and talking to community officials about their problems can be very educational in itself.

    Thomas Burke P.E., M.ASCE
    Hydrologic Systems
    Placerville CA