The winning civil and environmental engineering project at this fall 2017 Capstone Design Expo doesn’t sound especially groundbreaking on paper. But in reality, it’s the kind of work that demonstrates the power engineers have to shape — and in this case, protect — communities.
As if singlehandedly leading a dozen undergraduates at a time in the realm of real-world research isn’t enough of a challenge, Joe Brown ups the ante, carrying his undergrads to conduct fieldwork overseas — in a foreign-language country.
A dozen School of Civil and Environmental Engineering students will travel to New York this weekend to present their findings from a recent research trip to Bolivia. We’re not talking graduate students who’ve been doing research for months or years. No, this is a group of undergrads who spent just over a week abroad as part of a course they’ve been taking with Joe Brown called Environmental Technology in the Developing World.
They climbed the Great Wall of China and explored the Forbidden City. They visited a town destroyed by an earthquake then preserved as a monument to the lives lost. They saw baby pandas and flood control systems, Japanese towns devastated by a tsunami and the Hiroshima memorial. But in the end, it was the relationships they built and an overnight summit of Mt. Fuji in Japan that etched this trip into the memories of four engineering students who traveled to China and Japan in early August.