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Interdisciplinary Approach to Address the Dynamics of Water Distribution Systems for Engineering Student Education

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Problem- and project-based learning in environmental engineering

Tagged Division

Environmental Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.799.1 - 23.799.9



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Paper Authors


Youngwoo Seo University of Toledo

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Dr. Youngwoo (Young) Seo is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Toledo. He is also jointly appointed to the Department of Chemical & Environmental Engineering.
He received my Ph.D. (2008) in environmental engineering at the University of Cincinnati. His research interests include the molecular scale analysis of bacteria adhesion and biofilm formation in water and wastewater systems. Also, he has been working with environmental sensors and sustainable bioremediation processes.
Since joining the University of Toledo in 2008, he have been teaching water resources engineering as well as water supply & treatment courses for both graduate and undergraduate students.

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Kimberly Mary Coburn University of Toledo

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Ms. Kimberly Coburn has recently completed her Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Toledo. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Toledo in the Summer of 2011 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering and a Minor in Astrophysics. Her academic career contains numerous awards for scholastic achievement, research, and teaching.

While completing her undergraduate, Ms. Coburn completed co-ops or internships with the City of Toledo, Detroit Edison, and Poggemeyer Design Group. Currently, she is working with Dr. Youngwoo Seo at the University of Toledo studying the inactivation of bacteria in water distributions systems. She has participated in several studies and manuscript preparations regarding the analysis of bacteria through the operation of annular reactors, microbial flow cells, and batch experiments. Ms. Coburn has also worked on projects for monitoring water quality using both analytical and computational techniques.

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Donald V. Chase University of Dayton

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Interdisciplinary Approach to Address the Dynamics of Water Distribution Systems for Engineering Student Education Water distribution systems are complex system, where biological and chemicalreactions occur during the hydraulic conveyance of water. However, there have not beencomprehensive and systematic approaches to educate undergraduate students towardunderstanding this complex system. Significantly integrated understandings of chemical,biological and hydraulic dynamics are required to understand, upgrade and design waterdistribution systems. In spite of the complexities in water distribution systems andincreased public health risks due to aged water distribution systems, hydraulic courses arecurrently taught to engineering students (civil, chemical, and environmental engineeringstudents) focus only on the physical dynamics of fluids. Furthermore, there is also a lackof commercially available educational materials that address both the theory andapplication of integrated water distribution system dynamics. In that sense, there aresignificant needs for engineering students to understand physical, chemical and biologicaldynamics in water distribution systems so that current demand for generating a trainedwork force and maintaining our aged water infrastructure can be met. Under the support of NSF TUES grant, we aim to address the current lack ofintegrated water distribution system education by providing laboratory modules and kitscoupled with a computational modeling tool for hydraulics and water quality simulationin water distribution systems. Seven function-adaptable modules (4 basic and 3 integratedmodules) and kits have been developed and tested at the University of Toledo and theUniversity of Dayton. Using modules and lab exercises, students have opportunity tosynthesize and interpret multiple information sources from lab exercises with the kits andto utilize them in model building and calibration.* “I am eligible for environmental engineering division early faculty grant”

Seo, Y., & Coburn, K. M., & Chase, D. V. (2013, June), Interdisciplinary Approach to Address the Dynamics of Water Distribution Systems for Engineering Student Education Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19813

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