A group of students from Missouri University of Science and Technology has earned second place in an EPA competition to create an innovative, “green” infrastructure design for managing stormwater. The students earned $1,500 for their team and $8,000 in green infrastructure research funds for their institution.
The “Campus RainWorks Challenge” competition, held by the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Water, invited both graduate and undergraduate students to design theoretical infrastructure projects for multiple sites on their campus. The projects had to show how managing stormwater at its source could benefit the campus community and the environment as a whole.
The S&T group of 22 students designed stormwater storage, a green roof, a wetland, rain gardens and permeable pavers to hypothetically be implemented on the S&T campus. The team explained its project in a submission package that included design boards, a project narrative and a video presentation.
“This project gave our students the opportunity to re-imagine campus and actively plan how to improve our current infrastructure,” says Grace Harper, a 2012 S&T graduate in geological engineering who is currently pursuing a master’s degree in environmental engineering at S&T.
“We had a lot of help and guidance from the campus landscaping staff as well as physical facilities to be able to design realistic projects,” explains Harper. “Participating in the EPA RainWorks Challenge also fostered collaboration between the environmental engineering department and the MBA program, as the team worked to finish this design challenge.”
The faculty advisors for the project were Dr. Joel Burken, associate department chair and professor of civil, architectural and environmental engineering at S&T, and Dr. Bonnie Bachman, a professor of economics at S&T. The multidisciplinary project was supported with assistance and financial support from physical facilities, the Video Communications Center, the Student Design and Experiential Learning Center, the civil, architectural and environmental engineering department, and the Environmental Research Center.