UB Grads Win National Award for Project to Improve Water-Supply System at Letchworth State Park

Release Date: October 26, 2002

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A team of environmental-engineering graduates from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the University at Buffalo won first place at a student-design competition held by the Water Environment Federation at its annual meeting in Chicago.

Jean Balent of Sanborn, Samuela Franceschini of Vincenza, Italy, and Howard Kellick of Amherst -- 2002 graduates of UB's undergraduate environmental-engineering program -- won the award for their work on a senior project that focused on improving the water-supply system at Letchworth State Park in Castile. They were chosen from among teams from the University of Arkansas, University of Florida, and University of Wisconsin-Platteville.

UB's winning project was supported and partially funded by the New York State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, according to Alan J. Rabideau, UB associate professor of civil, structural and environmental engineering.

UB environmental- and civil-engineering students Chris Angier, Erika Bleyle, Dan Brown, Jeff Carpenter, Valarie Ellis, Heather Humphrey, Erik Magboo, Meaghan Partelow, Natalie Sauer and Brian Szalda contributed to the project.

"An innovative component of the project was the use of automated data loggers to provide continuous readings of water quality in several of the park's remotely located spring water systems," said Rabideau, who served as the project's faculty advisor. "The installation of a custom-designed, solar-powered telemetry system, funded by UB's Environment and Society Institute, enabled some of the water-quality sensors to communicate daily with computers located at UB."

Letchworth State Park -- often referred to as "the Grand Canyon of the East" -- is implementing some of the students' recommendations to improve the design and maintenance of its water system. UB researchers will continue to monitor water quality in the park using the system of automated data loggers.

UB's winning team was from the program's first class of graduates. Their participation in the contest was sponsored by local representatives of the New York State Water Environment Association.

Established in 2000, UB's undergraduate environmental-engineering program is the only one of its kind in the SUNY system. It prepares students to apply engineering principles to the protection of human health and ecosystems. For more information about the program and the winning UB project, go to www.eng.buffalo.edu/ees .

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