SUU Rural Stormwater Recovery Innovators Excel in National Challenge

Published: February 23, 2024 | Author: Jaydan Kemp | Read Time: 2 minutes

Student carrying bucket at flood site clean-upSouthern Utah University’s Student Innovators successfully earned the Community Energy Innovation CONCEPT Phase prize. This $15,000 reward was granted on behalf of the United States Department of Energy (US-DOE) Alliance for Sustainable Energy. The team earned this merit in an American-made challenge for their Smart Stormwater Infrastructure and Clean Energy project.

In recent years, severe rain storms have caused devastating flooding in Iron County, Utah. Weather conditions forced Cedar City and Enoch City residents to walk through deep waters forcing many to evacuate their homes due to insufficient storm drain systems. Student engineers Jeremy Matney, Andrew Larsen and Edwin Cansaya Sanchez, advised by Dr. Mohamed Askar, set out to work with Sunrise Engineering to establish a solution for a need in the community. By recognizing the dangers posed by the emergency, they made it their objective to implement mitigation strategies to protect the community while producing cleaner water and energy.

“Our main objective is to help decision-makers deal effectively with long-term control measures of the budget-limited, ambiguous, and inconsistently applied operation and maintenance of stormwater infrastructures,” said Dr. Askar.

Through the collaborative support of industry professionals, the team was able to apply the skills they had acquired in the classroom to create sustainable stormwater management alternatives. The effort sheds light on current flood drainage problems and seeks new practices to help vulnerable populations within economically disadvantaged rural communities.

The SUU team will continue competing along the collegiate track as one of five schools advancing in the competition. The teams involved will use the reward to fund their progress phase. This portion of the competition focuses on the execution of the project and a report on its effectiveness. Winners of the $20,000 prize will be announced in March 2024.

Through its dedication to innovation, SUU remains firmly established as a prominent institution for students specializing in the engineering field. The Engineering and Technology Department strives to administer important expertise in every student’s desired field of interest and career. Learn more about the civil engineering and construction management programs offered at SUU.

Tags: Cedar City College of Engineering and Computational Sciences

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Nikki Koontz