For the projects, the students divided into four teams and worked with faculty advisers to design a sustainable way to manage stormwater at a campus site. Each team included a civil engineering student who was advised by Ryan McGrath, instructor of civil engineering. Graduate students from biology, agronomy and environmental design served as consultants to the four university teams that entered the competition.
In addition to the winning projects, other course projects focused on Call Hall and the Chester E. Peters Recreation Complex. While the projects are recommendations for improvements on campus, they had to be approved by the Division of Facilities as being realistic and not too idealistic, McGrath said.
Each stormwater management project was a coordinated effort and team members worked together to develop the project idea and vision. Team members brought their specialties to the project: engineering students surveyed the proposed campus sites to obtain measurements and develop construction cost estimates while landscape architecture students created graphics and visual displays to explain project concepts.
The interdisciplinary groups were important because they encouraged students to think outside their disciplines and to learn to find middle ground, McGrath said.
"It is good for the students to see that other people have priorities that might be completely different from their own," McGrath said. "Between communication and being able to compromise, the students learned to find common ground to move toward the solution."
|Contact: Lee Skabelund|
Kansas State University