Taggart Student Center was very busy the night of May 4th. Two hundred and fifty students presented their projects at booths and on display boards throughout the center. Dozens of sponsors, mentors, teachers and family members also joined in the celebration of innovation, where seniors work together in teams to research, design and develop solutions to real-world engineering problems.
Senior Michael Young is working with several team members to redesign Aggie Village, USU’s married student housing buildings that were built in the 1950s. For their theoretical model, they take a sustainable approach that includes many Green spaces. a channel that recycles rainwater and one of their favorites – three retention ponds that look like dams in Logan Canyon.
“So we’re taking the aspects of Logan Canyon and the surrounding areas and integrating them into the buildings and making it a little bit more wild and natural instead of the sterile buildings that exist now,” Young said.
To aid in their design, Young says they used drones to take aerial photographs and create 3D models, and developed maps using Autocad, a commercial computer-aided design and drafting software application. .
And they won an honorable mention for their project in the Rainworks Challenge, a national green infrastructure design competition for colleges and universities. He says teamwork and research were the biggest lessons learned. He plans to work as an environmental engineer to solve the problems.
“A lot of people like to say that engineers are the people who can’t help solve problems, that’s true for a lot of us. But for environmental engineers, it’s wanting to see nature grow and s I love hiking, getting out in nature and going through global warming, it’s something I can fix and that’s why I’m here right now,” Young said.
With the growing demand for STEM jobs in the United States, Young has plenty of job security. In fact, many of these budding engineers said they already had jobs immediately after graduation.