2021 College News
The Villanova University community mourns the loss of Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering Edward V. McAssey Jr., who died peacefully in Lancaster, PA at the age of 86. In addition to his many professional and scholarly achievements over the course of forty years at Villanova, including serving as the Interim Dean of the College of Engineering and formal recognition for innovative research and excellence in teaching, Dr. McAssey was well-loved for his kindness and concern for students, good humor, and family-oriented nature.
Rain gardens are a key component of green infrastructure, capturing and filtering stormwater runoff that would otherwise contaminate local waterways. Now, a team of researchers from Villanova University’s Center for Resilient Water Systems have demonstrated that soil moisture sensors can be used to quantify evapotranspiration in rain gardens. Evapotranspiration, the natural process by which water returns to the air, is a key component to how rain gardens control stormwater; however, evapotranspiration is often difficult and expensive to measure. The work of Civil Engineering professors Drs. Andrea Welker, Bridget Wadzuk, and Amanda Hess on using soil moisture sensors to economically predict evapotranspiration was featured in November’s CSA News.
An E2SI 2021 student team that included Brandon Caridi ’23 EE and Gerremy Ferguson ’24 CLAS, used their passion for sustainability to develop a unique solution to the food waste problem in the restaurant industry. The five-person team devised their own version of an anaerobic digester called “Food Crew”, a smaller-scale, more personalized version than existing models. Their machine converts unusable food waste into biogas, enabling restaurants to efficiently manage their own food waste while reducing their carbon footprint in the process.
Villanova University Receives $87,000 Grant from the United Engineering Foundation to Launch the Career Compass Collaborative
The Career Compass Program was established in 2015 as a tool to help engineering students think critically about professional outcomes throughout their academic career. A recipient of the 2021 Innovation Award by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. (ABET), the program is now slated to continue its trajectory of success, thanks to an $87,000 grant from the United Engineering Foundation that will help pilot a new initiative called the Career Compass Collaborative. The enhanced program will include a collaborative workshop to be held on Villanova’s campus in summer 2022, and an increased focus on ethics and equity in the engineering profession.
A highlight of Villanova’s Chemical and Biological Engineering program is the department’s two-semester Senior Project Studio through which undergraduates can participate in an industry-sponsored or faculty-advised design or research project. This year, three teams are working with professors Dorothy Skaf and Vito Punzi to explore the use of natural materials to treat water for colloidal suspended solids removal.