Civil and Environmental Engineering Department
Senior Design Projects Homepage

Historically the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department has offered students the option of doing individual senior design projects or of participating in a group senior design project in one of six possible disciplines -- structures, geotechnical engineering, environmental engineering, transportation engineering, water resources, or construction management. Because of  the current interest in multi-discipline engineering activities, it was decided this year that the group projects for all six disciplines would be combined into simulated "real world" projects, to be executed by full service Civil and Environmental Engineering design teams, with Construction Management students functioning as Project Managers, cost engineers, and schedulers. Four design teams were formed and organized into simulated engineering companies. Links to their home pages are shown below: Each team is responsible for siting an industrial plant in a make believe industrial park which includes about 4000 acres of undeveloped land, locating and designing highway and railway access to the plant, performing the necessary environmental impact analysis and selecting remediation methods and equipment, designing the foundations for the buildings in the plant and for the railroad and highway, and performing the structural design of the major industrial buildings.

Three Senior Design Project Teams are implementing complementary projects this term, with the common objective of "Green Construction", a conscious attempt to incorporate environmental awareness into the design process. The background for the projects is a hypothetical industrial/residential development in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

The topographic prototype for this development is a 4000-acre plot of land southwest of Bridgeville, bounded by I-79, Route 50, and a local road connecting Cecil and Hendersonville. A hypothetical development authority has elected to develop this area in an "environmentally positive" manner, with the objective of it being self sustaining, with enough surplus capability to permit neighboring communities to reduce their environmental problems. The development is targeted to house four industries based on environmental technologies, and 1000 residences.

One design team has the responsibility of providing the necessary engineering design for the environmental infrastructure for the development. Matt Rockacy, a Construction Management Major, is Project Manager for this team, which includes seven students specializing in Environmental Engineering -- Matt Cantano, Rob Cimarolli, Heather Dodson, Luan Tran, Dee McGivern, Dan Menicucci, and Carey Nagoda. They have selected the name "Envirodesign, Inc." for their team. Their responsibilities include design of a water supply and treatment system, design of a waste water treatment facility, design of a landfill for municipal and industrial solid waste, and remediation of two contaminant sites -- acid mine drainage in Coal Pit Run and an abandoned industrial dump for chemicals from the American Cyanamid plant north of the site.

Keith Yamatani, another Construction Management Major, heads up a multi-discipline Civil and Environmental Engineering team, which has adopted the name "Superior Engineering". This team includes Structural Engineers Brandon Chavel, Bill Dipner, Tim Gattie, and Eric Liebman; Environmental Engineers Anita Hairston and Elizabeth Rodriguez; Geotechnical Engineer Lance Martin, Transportation Engineer Kelley Potter; and Water Resources Engineer John Gulas. Their challenge is to provide the necessary Civil and Environmental Engineering for the preliminary siting and design of a glass recycling facility.

Construction Management Major David Plyler heads up another multi-discipline Civil and Environmental Engineering team, which  calls itself "TPM (Total Plastic Management)". This team includes Structural Engineers David Fedor, Gene Hendricks, Tim Kandra, and Lamar Kennedy; Environmental Engineer Christina Wormer; Geotechnical Engineer Stephen Sartori, Transportation Engineer Michelle Robison; and Water Resources Engineer George Anderson. Their challenge is to provide the necessary Civil and Environmental Engineering for the preliminary siting and design of a plastic recycling facility.

The initial task for each team was the determination of the optimum site for each facility. The overall area was subdivided into twenty-four building sites; each with acquisition costs appropriate for its location. Two dozen soil boring tests scattered over the development were provided, as well as information on constraints such as pipelines and overhead power lines. The design teams were required to provide for highway access from a new interchange on I-79 at the Allegheny/Washington County line and rail access from the (now defunct) Montour Railroad south of the property.

Because recycling glass and plastic is an immature technology, both teams have had to rely on literature/Internet research and their own innovative talents to conceive the process and plant layouts required to initiate design of the appropriate facilities. Their ability to accomplish this difficult achievement is an especially admirable trait in this particular group of students. They are well suited to function capably in the "real world" they will be joining soon.

Once the sites have been selected and the plant layouts determined, each discipline will proceed with its design. The structural engineers will design the buildings to house the process equipment and service cranes. The geotechnical engineers will evaluate subsurface conditions, select the appropriate foundation type, and design the foundations. The transportation engineers will route the highway and railroad spur to the sites and design them. The water resources engineers will work closely with the environmental engineers on their teams as well as with Envirodesign to produce a master plan for water management in the development. The primary responsibility of the environmental engineers on the Superior Engineering and TPM teams will be to prepare an environmental impact assessment for each plant, replicating the effort required in a "real world" situation. The efforts of all these specialists is coordinated by the Project Manager, who utilizes his construction management education to ensure his project is executed on time, within the budget, and to the required level of quality.

The Civil and Environmental Engineering Department faculty is convinced that the integrated multi-discipline experience available in the Senior Design Group Project provides an excellent opportunity for Seniors to "put the capstone" on their educational career and ease their transition into professional practice. The fact that this year’s project is dedicated to “Green Construction” is especially relevant.


 Envirodesign, Inc.
 Superior Engineering


 Fall term 1998

 Dr. Oyler's Page