UE Receives 2014 NCEES Engineering Award

Posted: Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The University of Evansville was presented with a 2014 NCEES Engineering Award for Connecting Professional Practice and Education during a ceremony on UE’s campus on Tuesday, September 9. The event took place in the Bernhardt Atrium of the Schroeder Family School of Business Administration Building. 

The University was only one of only six colleges receiving this award from the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES.) UE’s Civil Engineering Program in the College of Engineering and Computer Science will receive $7,500 as a winner of the competition.

For their entry, UE’s civil engineering senior design team worked with faculty, residents of Fairfield, Illinois, and licensed professional engineers on the Fairfield Reservoir and Dam project in Fairfield. Lakeside Park, in Fairfield, included a 100-year-old lake constructed on a 454 acre watershed. The lake was used for recreational purposes by local residents, but the deteriorating earth dam was declared unsafe in 2007 and ordered breached by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Successful collaboration between a ten-member student team, five licensed engineers, four faculty members, the Fairfield Park District, and the Fairfield Mayor’s office resulted in a design for constructing a new dam and spillway, reestablishing a 12-acre lake, and providing flood protection for residents of the city of Fairfield. Find more information about the project at http://cdn1.ncees.co/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Univ-Evansville.pdf

“It is quite an honor to receive this prestigious award,” said UE President Thomas A. Kazee. “We are extremely proud of our civil engineering student team.”

The student team members were: Chris Kuester and James Gabe, project managers, Matt Blythe, Jamie Johnson, Alex Loehrlein, Hieronymus Mitchell, Zach Neukam, Heather Passey, Alex Schwingerhamer and Kilian Sweet.

“These students did an outstanding job, and their design meets state and federal dam safety requirements,” said Brian Swenty, chair of UE’s Mechanical and Civil Engineering Department.

The NCEES Engineering Award recognizes engineering programs that encourage collaboration between students and professional engineers. EAC-ABET-accredited programs from all engineering disciplines were invited to submit projects that integrate professional practice and education. The winners were selected by a jury of NCEES members and representatives from academic institutions and professional engineering organizations.

Philip Gerhart, dean of UE’s College of Engineering and Computer Science, said competitions such as this one are invaluable to students.

“This competition added a degree of realism and significance to the students’ projects that is not present in ‘textbook’ assignments,” explained Gerhart. “We are grateful for NCEES providing this opportunity and for selecting our students’ project for an award.”

The grand prize winner of the competition was Seattle University. Other winners were The Citadel, North Carolina State University, and University of Notre Dame. Profiles of the winning submissions are available online at http://ncees.org/award.

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