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Sustainability Project Wins National Environmental Design Contest
May 10, 2012
||Prize-Winning Project: Earning the Judge's Choice Award at
this year's IEE/WERC Environmental Design Contest was the team of
(front row, from left) Hannah Chapin-Eppert and Morgan Lopez. In
the back row (from left) are Robert Cartwright and Keith Kelley II.
Patsy Brackin (front, right), professor of mechanical engineering,
was the project's faculty mentor.
A team of four environmentally conscious senior mechanical
engineering students received the Judge's Choice Award for best
design paper in the 22nd IEE/WERC Environmental Design Contest this
spring at New Mexico State University. Team member Hannah
Chapin-Eppert earned the Terry McManus Memorial Award for
demonstrating a personal drive for environmental excellence.
The students took on the challenge of designing a system that
utilizes running industrial wastewater to create between 10 and 18
kilowatts through hydroelectric power. Use of a large water storage
tank maximizes ideal head pressures and a storm water interceptor
tank prevents solid waste particles from interfering with power
generation. The system has a payback period of 4.6 years. A design
model allowed the team to showcase concepts involving the turbine
wheel and generator.
A scale model showcased the viability of the power generation
system, and a 22-page report provided a complete economic and
health analysis, along with a project audit and review by
professional sustainability engineers.
|Sustainable Engineer: Senior mechanical engineering
student Hannah Chapin-Eppert (right) earned the Terry McManus
Memorial Award for demonstrating a personal drive for environmental
excellence. Patsy Brackin (front, right), professor of mechanical
engineering, nominated Chapin-Eppert for the honor
"We were clearly focused on developing a sustainable project,"
stated team member Morgan Lopez. "There wasn't a single question
posed by the judges that we hadn't thoroughly considered. We were
Chapin-Eppert is ready for a career in sustainable engineering
after tailoring her course electives in areas of sustainable energy
systems, renewable energy, and wind turbines. She urged Rose-Hulman
to implement high-efficiency front-load washers for its residence
halls, and proposed using geothermal energy to improve the quality
of life in the Solomon Islands.
"Hannah sees the possibilities for conserving energy and
producing sustainable, clean energy. She wants to be a part of this
development," said Patsy Brackin, Ph.D., co-instructor for the
senior mechanical engineering design sequence.
Chapin-Eppert stated: "Leaving behind a better place make sense.
I have always been fascinated about renewable energy
Other members of the award-winning team were Robert Cartwright
and Keith Kelley II.