Volume 92, Issue 88

Tuesday, March 16, 1999


Safety knifed again

Pot set to blow back onto shelves

VP wants another year

Future of Ontario's universities indicated

Project gives concrete lesson to engineers

Recycling services to rise not reduce

Wine brings cheap health


Caught on campus

Project gives concrete lesson to engineers

By Paul-Mark Rendon
Gazette Staff

Western's engineers are building bridges for a better London, as a joint project between the city and the civil and environmental engineering department is set to be unveiled.

For the third consecutive year, London City Council has requested Western's engineers come up with a design project to revamp London. This year's project includes a new grandstand in Labatt Memorial Park and a drainage facility for the Dingman Creek area just south of Highway 401.

All of Western's fourth-year civil and environmental engineers are teaming up to create the designs which will be presented to a panel of judges on March 30. The winners will split over $2,500 in cash prizes from the city.

Although the prize is attractive, David Harman, industry internship coordinator for the faculty of engineering sciences, said it is not their only motivation. "This will really give the students a leg up on practical experience."

Harman added the students will be extremely busy in the coming weeks finalizing the designs.

"People are putting in 80 hour weeks trying to get things done," said Mike Bartlett, one of the project's coordinators.

He agreed the project is giving students their most valuable work experience. "The experience they're getting is very similar to what they'll get in training as professional engineers.

"What we're able to do is simulate a realistic environment for students. They're going to have to come up with all the answers," he added.

John Fitzgerald, an environmental services engineer for the City of London, said part of why the city keeps coming back to the students for input is their original ideas. "We're bringing in different people to look at it from a different mindset. They have no preconceived ideas of what they should be doing," he said.

Harman explained in the past, engineers have undertaken projects such as designing footbridges for Springbank Park and Gibbons Park.

Mark D'Andrea, a fourth-year civil and environmental engineering student and design team member, reiterated the project's valuable practical aspect. "It's a great opportunity because with the city, we're given a real life experience," he said.

D'Andrea added his team's efforts in designing the new grandstand have already won $3,500 in a national corporate design competition in Montreal.

"The students have shown a keen, energetic approach in trying to solve this real life problem," said Fitzgerald, who added the City of London is pleased to be a partner in the project.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999