Factfile12 - Title

National Science Foundation Grant
Lab1 - Fluid Mechanics
Lab2 - Fluid Mechanics

Research and classroom learning opportunities in environmental engineering at Lafayette College, Easton PA, have received a tremendous boost from equipment, some from Armfield, purchased through a $366,354 National Science Foundation grant and $123,131 in college funding.

About half of the funding made possible a new integrated environmental research laboratory being shared by the civil and environmental engineering and chemical engineering departments. The rest purchased civil engineering equipment for work with Geographical Information System software, soil resistivity testing, fluid mechanics and hydrology instruction.

"This is a big step forward for the engineering program" says Dr Roger Ruggles, associate professor and head of civil and environmental engineering. "Faculty members will use the equipment to expand their environmental research programs, most of which are conducted with Lafayette students. The equipment will also benefit at least 20 courses offered by seven faculty. About 200 undergraduates are enrolled in these courses each year, and 12 to 18 will carry the skills learned in them into independent studies, honors theses, or EXCEL Scholars projects. Most of these students will continue their research in graduate programs."

The new equipment includes a gas chromatograph mass spectrometer, electrolytic respirometer, de-ionizing water system, atomic absorption flame, total carbon and surface area analyzers, zeta potentiometer, magnetic susceptibility balance, advanced hydrology system, laminar flow table, fluid properties and hydrostatics bench, rainfall hydrograph unit, sedimentation studies unit, groundwater flow unit, earth resistivity unit, large format plotter and scanner, and six-unit personal computer network.

In addition to Dr Ruggles, principal investigators for the grant were civil and environmental engineering professors Art Kney, David Brandes, and Mary Roth, as well as Javad Tavakoli, associate professor and head of chemical engineering. Faculty and students from geology, chemistry and the environmental sciences program also will benefit from these new opportunities funded by NSF and Lafayette.

The equipment is being incorporated into a massive renovation and modernization of Lafayette's engineering facilities. Building upon its national reputation for academic excellence in engineering education, Lafayette will upgrade its entire 90,000 square-foot engineering complex by August. The new complex will be named Acopian Engineering Center in recognition of a major gift from Easton, Pa., businessman Sarkis Acopian, a 1951 Lafayette graduate, and his wife, Bobbye. Acopian is the founder of Acopian Technical Company, Palmer Township, Pa.

Armfield equipment in the new laboratories include: F1-10-B Basic Hydraulics Bench with accessories such as F1-15 Bernoulli's Theorem Demonstration, F1-20 Osborne Reynold's Device, F1-22 Energy Loss in Bends and F1-26-B Serial and Parallel Pumps; a C10 Laminar Flow Table, F9092 Fluid Properties and Hydrostatic Bench, S10-B Rainfall Hydrographs, S11 Ground Water Flow Unit, W2-B Sedimentation Studies Apparatus and S1-B Drainage and Seepage Tank.

Armfield equipment will also be used to improve the fluid mechanics laboratories as well as providing hands on exercises for upper level elective courses in surface and groundwater hydrology. The equipment may also be used for undergraduate research projects in hydraulics and hydrology.


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Contact the editor: Iain Sutherland @ info@armfieldinc.com

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