Asee peer logo

Experiences in Implementing an NSF/REU Site on Interdisciplinary Water Sciences and Engineering during 2007-13

Download Paper |


2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Research Experience in Stormwater Management

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.571.1 - 24.571.14



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Vinod K. Lohani Virginia Tech

visit author page

Dr. Vinod K. Lohani is a professor in the engineering education department and an adjunct faculty member in the civil and environmental engineering department at Virginia Tech. His research interests are in the areas of sustainability, computer-supported research and learning systems, hydrology, and water resources. In a major ($1M+, NSF) curriculum reform and engineering education research project from 2004 to 2009, he led a team of engineering and education faculty to reform the engineering curriculum of an engineering department (Biological Systems Engineering) using Jerome Bruner’s spiral curriculum theory. Currently, Dr. Lohani leads an NSF/REU Site on ”interdisciplinary water sciences and engineering” that has graduated 56 excellent undergraduate researchers since 2007. This Site is renewed for the third cycle, which will be implemented during 2014-16. He also leads an NSF/TUES type I project in which a real-time environmental monitoring lab is being integrated into a freshman engineering course, a senior-level hydrology course at Virginia Tech, and a couple of courses at Virginia Western Community College, Roanoke, for enhancing water-sustainability education. A member of ASCE and ASEE, he has published 70+ refereed publications.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Experiences in Implementing an NSF/REU Site on Interdisciplinary Water Sciences and Engineering during 2007-13This paper will summarize the experiences of the author in implementing a successful NSF/REUSite on Interdisciplinary Water Sciences and Engineering for 6 years at this large publicuniversity. The goal of the Site is to train future professionals in water research usinginterdisciplinary projects. Site activities included: 1) 10-week long research projects supervisedby faculty and graduate student mentors, 2) professional development activities includingseminars and field trips, 3) training to communicate scientific information through researchpapers, YouTube videos and oral presentations, and 4) social and cultural activities forprofessional growth and bonding of REU fellows. Eleven faculty (6 women and 5 men) and theirgraduate students from diverse academic disciplines including engineering education, civil andenvironmental engineering, biological sciences, geosciences, and crop and soil environmentalsciences directed REU fellows’ research and two external experts assisted in program assessment.Fifty-six excellent REU fellows, including 59% from minorities including women, from 40+academic institutions all over the country graduated from this Site during the summers of 2007,08, 09, 11, 12, and 13. Six Research Proceedings and about 40 publications document researchfindings of the Site. The paper will also include a summary of Site assessment activities andfindings, tracking results of REU fellows’ academic/professional career, and examples ofundergraduate research projects directed by the author. Finally, the author will share tips toimplement a successful REU Site involving an interdisciplinary group of researchers..

Lohani, V. K. (2014, June), Experiences in Implementing an NSF/REU Site on Interdisciplinary Water Sciences and Engineering during 2007-13 Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20462

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2014 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015