Engineering Earns Honors

Seattle U projects score major recognition and cash reward
By Stacy Howard

Two of Seattle University’s Civil and Environmental Engineering projects received a 2011 NCEES Engineering Award that recognizes engineering programs that encourage collaboration between students and licensed professional engineers.  

Only six awards were handed out nationally, and the two Seattle U winners will each nab $7,500 as their prize. The projects honored were, “Flood Control Channel Design for a River in Northwest Haiti,” and Structural Design of Dam Sluice Gate Walkway Slabs: Retrofit and Replacement Options.” 

For theFlood Control Channel Design for a River in Northwest Haiti,” project, a team of four civil engineering seniors designed a flood control channel for a river innorthwest Haiti under the supervision of three liaison engineers and a faculty advisor. The diversion channel will provide relief and economicstability to a farming community devastated by recent storm events. Through the project, the students were exposed to various design software, design manuals and oralpresentations tools. They developed project management skills, leadership andcommunication skills an understanding of consultant-client relationships and anappreciation for global issues. 

The “Structural Design of Dam Sluice Gate Walkway Slabs: Retrofit and Replacement Options,” project involved a localutility company’s request for a senior design team at Seattle U to design structural repair and replacement options for maintenance walkways at their dam facility. The walkways were severely deteriorated due to overloading, exhibiting excessive deflections and cracking. Throughout the course of the year, the students conducted a site visit, met weekly with the company liaisons, one of whom is a licensed professional engineer, and gave presentations to  their class. Two design options were produced by the team: a steel retrofit and reinforced concrete slab demolition and replacement. Both designs included structural  calculations, engineering drawings, construction specifications, construction sequences and cost  estimates. Students developed many important technical, communication and project  management skills for their future careers as practicing engineers. 

The winners were selected by a jury of NCEES members and representatives from academic institutions and professional engineering organizations. 

“NCEES is committed to educating the next generation about the importance of technical competency and ethical practice in the engineering profession,” said NCEES President Joseph Timms, P.E. “We hope this award will inspire other colleges to introduce similar collaborative projects that bring professional engineers and students together.” 

Profiles of the winning submissions are available at: 


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