Engineering Student Wins Prestigious Marr Technical Paper Competition

Gerald A. Rowe, II, a senior in Marshall’s Bachelor of Science in Engineering program, has won the Robert A. Marr, Jr., Technical Paper competition at the 2013 “Virginias Conference” sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers.  The annual Marr paper competition – which includes submissions from universities throughout Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. – features written descriptions of student research related to various aspects of civil engineering practice.

Gerald’s paper was entitled “Huntington Sanitary Board:  Combined Sewer Overflow Mitigation,” and was based on a project completed under the supervision of engineering faculty member Dr. Isaac Wait.  The project addressed a problem that plagues many U.S. cities, caused when outdated wastewater collection systems cause storm water runoff to be mixed with sanitary sewer flows prior to treatment.  Cities struggle to balance the often prohibitively expensive cost of repair with the mitigation of adverse human health, aquatic environment, and aesthetic effects of the combined flows.

The research project involved an analysis of the impact of roof drain connections in Huntington to the sanitary sewer system.  Data was collected in the field, and digital and GIS tools were used to determine topographical and run-off area information.  Gerald then used Storm CAD to analysis the data, and determined the mitigation potential and associated benefits of disconnecting all or a portion of the roof drains from the system and taking related actions.  His paper was judged against other entries on the basis of originality, status of the project, technical content, benefits and significance, and paper quality.