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VCASE Research Symposium Addresses Resilience in Engineering

Rob Traver moderates the VCASE symposium’s panel discussion.
Rob Traver moderates the VCASE symposium’s panel discussion.

On September 9, 2016, the Villanova Center for the Advancement of Sustainability in Engineering (VCASE) hosted its second annual research symposium. Nearly 100 people from industry, government, and academia registered for the half-day event, which included a panel discussion and breakout sessions on the topic “Resilience in Engineering Design or Practice.”

The morning began with an introduction and VCASE overview by Director Robert Traver, PhD, PE, D.WRE, F.EWRI, F.ASCE, the Edward A. Daylor Chair in Civil Engineering and director of the Villanova Urban Stormwater Partnership. He was followed by Christine Knapp, director of the Office of Sustainability, City of Philadelphia, who presented on “Views of Resilience from the City’s Perspective.”  Dr. Traver noted that attendees were impressed by the city’s leadership in sustainability.

Participating in the symposium’s panel discussion on the day’s topic were representatives of the Federal Highway Administration, Aqua America, Comcast Corporation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Breakout sessions were hosted by Villanova College of Engineering faculty who spoke on alternative and renewable energy, biomass utilization, stormwater control measures, contaminant remediation, and sustainability research in structural engineering. “We received many comments that the attendees enjoyed the synergy across the diverse engineering areas,” said Dr. Traver.

The day concluded with a networking reception and student poster session.  Dr. Traver appreciated the students’ participation: “I enjoyed seeing the high level of research being conducted across the engineering departments, especially the student posters.”

Sponsors for this year’s event were O'Brien & Gere (OBG) and Urban Engineers. The next VCASE research symposium is planned for fall 2017.