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Experience Developing and Implementing an NSF REU Site on Sustainable Management and Beneficial Reuse of Residual Wastes and Byproducts

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

NSF Grantees’ Poster Session

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.570.1 - 24.570.14



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Paper Authors


Gregg L. Fiegel California Polytechnic State University

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Gregg L. Fiegel is a Professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly), San Luis Obispo. He is a registered Professional Engineer in California. Dr. Fiegel received his B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from Cal Poly in 1990. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of California, Davis in 1992 and 1995, respectively.

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James L. Hanson California Polytechnic State University

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Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, California Polytechnic State University

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Nazli Yesiller

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Dr. Yesiller is the Director of the Global Waste Research Institute (GWRI) at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

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Experience Developing and Implementing an NSF REU Site on Sustainable Management and Beneficial Reuse of Residual Wastes and ByproductsAbstractThe authors describe recent experiences in designing and implementing a Research Experiencesfor Undergradutes (REU) site sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Faculty at_____________ recently established the _____________ Institute, which provides a uniqueopportunity for undergraduate students to participate in the advancement of fundamentalengineering and scientific research. This institute represents the focal point of the REU program.Goals of this organization are to advance current practices in resource management and toconduct research on and provide anticipatory solutions to the entire lifecycle of large quantitiesand wide varieties of wastes and byproducts.The REU program, currently in its second year, supports ten students over a 10-week periodduring the summer. Faculty and graduate students serve as research mentors. The principalobjectives of the program are: (1) to engage undergraduate participants on projects that provideopportunities for discovering new knowledge; (2) to mentor a diverse team of undergraduates;(3) to promote graduate study as a future professional goal; and (4) to provide instructive andappealing learning components. Undergraduates in the program must achieve three learningoutcomes: design, conduct, and document a research experiment; function effectively on amultidisciplinary research team; and summarize both the technical and experiential aspects of theresearch experience. The authors discuss the program assessment plan (and initial programresults) in this paper. The research team assessed and evaluated specific performance metricsdefined under each outcome, where a performance metric represents a skill or ability that theundergraduate participant is expected to demonstrate by the end of the research appointment.Included in the paper are short discussions on undergraduate student recruitment, schedule andprogramming, professional development activities, student tasks/submittals, mentoring, mentortraining, and project evaluation. In addition, the authors describe specific research projectsundertaken during the first year of the program. The _____________ fosters collaborationamong participants from the colleges of Engineering, Science, Agriculture, and Business.Faculty from complementary disciplines within these colleges work together to develop solutionsto existing and emerging problems associated with waste and byproduct management. The threeprimary research areas addressed under this research program include pollution prevention andwaste management; waste to energy conversion; and beneficial reuse of wastes and byproducts.

Fiegel, G. L., & Hanson, J. L., & Yesiller, N. (2014, June), Experience Developing and Implementing an NSF REU Site on Sustainable Management and Beneficial Reuse of Residual Wastes and Byproducts Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20461

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