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Board 107:Teaching Engineering, Teamwork, and Tolerance by Bringing Multi-discipline, Multicultural Students Together via a Project of Common Interest; Vertical, Hydroponic, Smart Garden With Global and Universal (Space) Applications (Student Poster-Paper

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

International Engineering Education Poster Session

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Miguel Rafael Ruiz-Carpio


Cyrus Safai Salt Lake Community College

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Cyrus is an undergraduate student majoring in Mechanical Engineering at Salt Lake Community College (SLCC).
Cyrus has teamed up and worked with a group of four other students from Mechanical, Civil, Electrical, and Computer engineering departments on the Vertical, Hydroponic, Smart Garden With Global and Universal (Space) Applications.
He has worked at the SLCC Slick Science Summer Camp for the past 7 years.

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Arafat Djobo

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Ivan Gaichuk


Nick M. Safai Salt Lake Community College

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Dr. Nick M. Safai is an ASEE Fellow. He has been an ASEE officer and member for the past 30 years. He has been the six-time elected as the Program Chair of the ASEE International Division for approximately the past 15 years. Three times as the Program Chair for the Graduate Studies Division of ASEE. Nick has had a major role in development and expansion of the ID division. Under his term as the International Division Program Chair the international division expanded, broadened in topics, and the number of sessions increased from a few technical sessions to over eighteen sessions in the recent years.
The ASEE International Division by votes, has recognized Nick’s years of service through several awards over the past years. Nick has been the recipient of multiple Service awards (examples: 2013, 2010, 2006, 2004, 1996), Global Engineering Educators award (example: 2007, 2005), Best Paper award (examples: 2016, 2010, 2005, 2004, 1995) and other awards from the International Division for exceptional contribution to the international division of the American Society for Engineering Education.
Examples of some Awards from other Professional Organizations:
• American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE): Engineering Educator of the Year Award 2004.
• Utah Engineers Council, UEC: Engineering Educator of the Year 2005 award, in recognition of outstanding achievements in the field of engineering and for service to society.
• SLC Foundation; Salt lake City, Utah: Teaching Excellence Award 2004 and 2012.
* SLCC Faculkty Exemplary Service Award April 2015 and 2016.
• American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE): Chapter faculty Advisor recognition award 2002.
• Computational Sciences and Education; recognition for outstanding contributions and for exemplary work in helping the division achieve its goals1998.
• Engineering Division; recognition for outstanding contributions and for exemplary work in helping the division achieves its goals 1995.
• Science and Humanities; recognition for outstanding contributions and for exemplary work in helping the fields achieve its May 1994.
• Math & Physical Sciences; appreciation for academic expertise February 1994.

Academics: Nick Safai received his PhD degree in engineering from the Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey in 1979. He also did a one year post-doctoral at Princeton University after receiving his degrees from Princeton University. His areas of interest, research topics, and some of the research studies have been;
• Multi-Phase Flow through Porous Media
• Wave propagation in Filamentary Composite Materials
• Vertical and Horizontal Land Deformation in a De-saturating Porous Medium
• Stress Concentration in Filamentary Composites with Broken Fibers
• Aviation; Developments of New Crashworthiness Evaluation Strategy for Advanced General Aviation
• Pattern Recognition of Biological Photomicrographs Using Coherent Optical Techniques
Nick also received his four masters; in Aerospace Engineering, Civil Engineering, Operation Research, and Mechanical Engineering all from Princeton University during the years from 1973 through 1976. He received his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical engineering, with minor in Mathematics from Michigan State. Nick has served and held positions in Administration (Civil, Chemical, Computer Engineering, Electrical, Environmental, Mechanical, Manufacturing, Bioengineering, Material Science), and as Faculty in the engineering department for the past twenty seven years.

Industry experience: Consulting; since 1987; Had major or partial role in: I) performing research for industry, DOE and NSF, and II) in several oil industry or government (DOE, DOD, and NSF) proposals.
Performed various consulting tasks from USA for several oil companies (Jawaby Oil Service Co., WAHA Oil and Oasis Co., London, England). The responsibilities included production planning, forecasting and reservoir maintenance. This production planning and forecasting consisted of history matching and prediction based on selected drilling. The reservoir maintenance included: water/gas injection and gas lift for selected wells to optimize reservoir production plateau and prolonging well’s economic life.

Terra Tek, Inc., Salt Lake City, UT, 1985-1987; Director of Reservoir Engineering; Responsible of conducting research for reservoir engineering projects, multiphase flow, well testing, in situ stress measurements, SCA, hydraulic fracturing and other assigned research programs. In addition, as a group director have been responsible for all management and administrative duties, budgeting, and marketing of the services, codes and products.

Standard oil Co. (Sohio Petroleum Company), San Francisco, California, 1983-85; Senior Reservoir Engineer; Performed various tasks related to Lisburne reservoir project; reservoir simulation (3 phase flow), budgeting, proposal review and recommendation, fund authorizations (AFE) and supporting documents, computer usage forecasting, equipment purchase/lease justification (PC, IBM-XT, Printer, etc.), selection/justification and award of contract to service companies, lease evaluation, economics, reservoir description and modeling, lift curves, pressure maintenance (gas injection analysis, micellar-flooding, and water-flooding), Special Core Analysis (SCA), PVT correlations, petrophysics and water saturation mapping.

Performed reservoir description and modeling, material balance analysis. Recovery factors for the reservoir. Administrative; coordination and organization of 2 and 6 week workplans, 1982 and 1983 annual specific objectives, monthly reports, recommendation of courses and training program for the group.
Chevron Oil Company, 1979- 1983;
Chevron Overseas Petroleum Inc. (COPI), San Francisco, California 1981-1983. Project Leader/Reservoir Engineer, Conducted reservoir and some production engineering work using the in-house multiphase model/simulators. Evaluation/development, budgeting and planning for international fields; Rio Zulia field – Columbia, Pennington Field – Offshore Nigeria, Valenginan, Grauliegend and Rothliegend Reservoir – Netherlands. Also represented COPI as appropriate when necessary.

Chevron Geo-Sciences Company, Houston, TX, 1979-1980 Reservoir Engineer Applications, Performed reservoir simulation studies, history matching and performance forecasting, water-flooding for additional recovery (Rangeley Field – Colorado, Windalia Field – Australia), steam-flooding performances (Kern River, Bakersfield, California), gas blowdown and injection (Eugene Island Offshore Louisiana) on domestic and foreign fields where Chevron had an interest, using Chevron’s CRS3D, SIS and Steam Tube simulator programs.

Chevron Oil Field Research Co. (COFRC), La Habra 1978-1979, California. Research Engineer, Worked with Three-Phase, Three-Dimensional Black Oil Reservoir Simulator, Steam Injection Simulator, Pipeflow #2. Also performed history matching and 20-year production forecast including gas lift and desalination plants for Hanifa Reservoir, Abu Hadriya Field (ARAMCO).

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Teaching Engineering, Teamwork & Tolerance by Bringing Multi-discipline, Multicultural Students Together via a Project of Common Interest; Vertical, Hydroponic, Smart Garden With Global and Universal (Space) Applications (Student Poster-Paper)

Motivating, promoting interest in teaching engineering subjects is always a challenge for undergraduate engineering students especially for junior and lower level students. This approach also brought social awareness to members of the group, as well as tolerance and responsibility. It also emphasized to the students a tolerant and an open-minded world, now and forevermore. A group of multinational, multicultural undergraduate students at XXXXXXXX college, majoring in Civil, Mechanical, Electrical and Computer engineering are working on a project involving vertical farming, hydroponic watering, and making the plant growing process smart.

Food and its availability is of major concern in all nations, especially the underdeveloped communities. Students get exposed to different engineering disciplines, and learn how to work in a multicultural team and become socially responsible in an ever increasing connected world. Each student also becomes a teacher to other students at times discussing his specialty and field of engineering. To grow a vertical farm sound structures hold multiple growing pots for plants one on top of another. A hydroponic method is utilized to water plants and provide plants with the necessary nutrients. That is; water is funneled through pipes in order to deliver water and nutrients directly to the plants, where the plants then utilize the water to obtain the nutrients to grow. Nutrients can also be provided via certain biological living organs and /or fish in the tank.

The growing process is digitized/made smart by incorporating multiple sensors to monitor every aspect of the plant’s growth, as well as control the entire environment under which the plant is growing. All of these techniques are implemented to battle the challenges that the world is currently facing. Less land becomes available to farms with a growing population, water scarcity, people moving to cities, and therefore more large/larger cities and increasing apartment living. This problem is solved by vertical farming. A lot of water is presently used to grow food, and not all soil, or environments are fit for growing certain crops, or in some cases any crops at all.

A hydroponic system solves / removes the need for a mass consumption of water, and or the need for a specific soil. An indoor smart system where the environment is controlled means that any crop can grow anywhere and is not constrained to a particular region for growing. Educating and teaching some of the population in third world communities would definitely have a positive impact on those people. In brief the study will address; 1. What: (Multinational Student Project, Vertical Garden, Hydroponic, Smart (Digital & Automated). 2. How: (Vertical structures, Water Tank, Irrigation System to each tank, Sensors and robots, Controlled environment) 3. Why: (Less land, Vertical), No soil (Hydroponic), Less water (Hydroponic), No pesticides (Smart), Higher food yield per crop (Smart), Year round food yield (Smart), Yield even outside of native environment (Smart), Global and Universal Applications, Faster food yield (Smart), Higher food quality (Smart).

Ruiz-Carpio, M. R., & Safai, C., & Djobo, A., & Gaichuk, I., & Safai, N. M. (2018, June), Board 107:Teaching Engineering, Teamwork, and Tolerance by Bringing Multi-discipline, Multicultural Students Together via a Project of Common Interest; Vertical, Hydroponic, Smart Garden With Global and Universal (Space) Applications (Student Poster-Paper Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--29870

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