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Undergraduate Environmental Engineering Research Experiences in a Predominantly Undergraduate Teaching Institute

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Hands-on Laboratory and Design Experiences in Environmental Engineering

Tagged Division

Environmental Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1388.1 - 25.1388.12

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Paper Authors


Sudarshan T. Kurwadkar Tarleton State University Orcid 16x16

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Sudarshan Kurwadkar is an Assistant Professor and a board-certified Environmental Engineer. He teaches environmental engineering and general engineering courses at the freshman, junior, and senior level. His research areas include fate and transport of micro-pollutants such as pharmaceuticals and neonicotinoid insecticides in soil and aquatic environment. He is a Co-faculty Advisor for the engineering club and French club at Tarleton State University. Kurwadkar is also a licensed Professional Engineer in the states of Texas, Ohio, and Missouri.

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Daniel K. Marble Tarleton State University

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Daniel Marble earned a B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Houston, with an M.S. and Ph.D. in accelerator-based nuclear physics from the University of North Texas. Marble began his academic career as an Assistant Professor of physics at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point in 1994. In 1998, he was hired to develop the first engineering program at Tarleton State University (engineering physics), where he presently serves as Head of the Department of Engineering and Physics. In addition to interests in ion solid interaction, physics of sports, accelerator technology, and materials characterization, Marble is actively involved in K-16 science and engineering education and teacher training. He has served as a physics content consultant for the Texas Center for Inquiry at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, President of the Texas Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers, and on the Texas High School Physics TEKS Committee.

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Undergraduate Environmental Engineering Research Experiences in a Predominantly Undergraduate Teaching InstituteAbstract Undergraduate research experience has a potential to broaden the educational experiencesof environmental engineering graduates by enabling them to utilize their class roomunderstanding to solve real world problems. It is also a very important issue for preparingstudents for industry as well as for graduate school. In environmental engineering programcriteria, ABET clearly emphasizes that the graduates should be able to conduct laboratoryexperiments, critically analyze and interpret data in more than one major environmentalengineering focus areas. Research experiences coupled with core environmental engineeringcurriculum seem to cover majority of the attributes outlined by ABET, than would be otherwisepossible. Often times, in a predominantly teaching institute, undergraduate research is promotedthrough internally funded research proposals. This paper discusses three environmentalengineering undergraduate research projects that were funded through internal grants andcompleted in between 2009-2011. The research experience, research methodology, problemformulation, difficulties encountered and lessons learned, along with the respective roles ofundergraduate researcher and faculty mentor are also presented. Students were allowed toindividually pursue their research under the mentorship of environmental engineering faculty. Atthe completion of their research projects, students were able to present their research workthrough poster presentation in symposium and conferences and through publication in a peerreviewed technical journal. Research experience in undergraduate environmental engineeringprogram has offered the students an invaluable opportunity to work on sophisticated analyticalinstruments, hands on experimental design, data analysis and interpretation, and also helpedthem hone their technical writing skills to meet the demands of the graduate school and also ofthe present day employer."I am eligible for the Environmental Engineering Division Early Faculty Grant."

Kurwadkar, S. T., & Marble, D. K. (2012, June), Undergraduate Environmental Engineering Research Experiences in a Predominantly Undergraduate Teaching Institute Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas.

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