OMAHA – Aviation students from the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) are one of just nine groups earning recognition from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for their part in this year’s FAA Design Competition for Universities.
Under the advisement of Dave Byers, associate professor of aviation, UNO students Matt Hunt, Craig Murphy, Zane Smith, Arlene Steier and Derek Warneke earned second place alongside two other teams for their project, which examined stormwater runoff and collection at airports.
The UNO Design Team looked at ways and means to mitigate the problem of surface runoff and groundwater saturation damage and drainage system failures on airports through an active monitoring system. Called the “Airport Stormwater Data Observation and Collection System” (ASDOC), the approach involved a low-cost network of sensors that could provide real-time monitoring of stormwater streamflow by measuring drainage pressure and volume.
“I am very proud of our design team, particularly with their willingness to devote their efforts researching a real-world problem that involved disciplines that were outside their academic programs,” Byers said. “I received several compliments from reviewers including one who offered that the Design Team’s submittal was one of the best he’s seen.”
Now in its eighth year, the FAA Design Competition for Universities seeks to engage students at U.S. colleges and universities in addressing issues facing airports while providing quality educational experiences and exposure to aviation and airport-related careers.
Students were invited to propose projects in four technical challenge areas: airport operations and maintenance; runway safety; airport environmental interactions; and airport management and planning. UNO students competed in the airport environmental interactions category, finishing a close second behind the University of Colorado-Boulder. Students from Binghamton University – State University of New York took third place.
“This is a tremendous accomplishment for the students involved as well as our program," said Scott Vlasek, director of UNO’s Aviation Institute. "These students did an amazing job and their success speaks highly to their educational experience at UNO and the Aviation Institute."
Byers explained that, this year, there were eight total teams competing for either first, second or third place in their category. This is the fourth time that a UNO team has been awarded prizes for their entries into the FAA University Design Competition.
“Our success in this competition illustrates that our Aviation Institute students’ have the ability to successfully compete against other aviation programs in the nation,” Byers added.
Panels of FAA, industry and academic experts selected the winning proposals.
The prize for winning second place is $1,500, which will be split among the winning members. The first place prize consisted of $2,500 and an opportunity to present the project at FAA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
A full list of winners and project descriptions can be found at http://FAADesignCompetition.odu.edu.
For additional information, please contact Charley Reed, UNO media relations coordinator, at 402.554.2129 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the UNO Aviation Institute
The UNO Aviation Institute was founded in 1990 and, for the past 25 years, has been a beacon of excellence for the city of Omaha and state of Nebraska. The UNO Aviation Institute offers a Bachelor of Science degree in aviation with specializations in air transport administration and professional flight. The Institute also offers specializations within the UNO School of Public Administration’s graduate degree programs.
In May of 2012 UNO’s Aviation Institute was named top program in the nation at the national NIFA competition and awarded the Loening Trophy, which was first awarded in 1929 with the first judges including Charles Lindberg and Amelia Earhart.
For more information on the UNO Aviation Institute, please visit http://www.unomaha.edu/ai.
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.
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