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Civil Engineering Senior Design Project

Senior civil engineering majors at Mount Union participate in a year-long senior design capstone project. Projects are hands-on and give students an opportunity to see real world application of all areas of civil engineering including structures, geotechnical, environmental, hydraulics, transportation and construction. Students are introduced to a real-world project, which is taken from conception to finalization during the senior year.

The capstone senior design project consists of five parts which include sediment and erosion control, haul route design, well pad access drive design, well pad design, and an alternative haul route design. For sediment and erosion control, students took several courses on how to manage rain water runoff post-development. The team understands that the amount of runoff post-development must not exceed the amount of runoff pre-development to the surrounding environment. It is also known for this design that all contaminated sediments and pollutants must not enter into the environment. The main aspect of having an erosion and sediment control basin is to have the smallest impact on the environment as possible.

The haul route and well pad access drive have similar components from a design perspective. Engineering codes regulate the size and strength of the roads to allow for heavy trucks carrying drilling equipment to access the well pad. The team utilized civil engineering standards and codes to design the roads, road subgrades, compaction and cut and fill calculations. For the haul route, the main concern was widening the road in areas that do not meet standards and upgrading the road with stronger materials.

As for the access road, the senior design team worked on laying out the geometric path to access the well pad and determine the amount of soil to be removed or added to obtain a flat surface to drive on. To reduce the amount of cuts and fills, the access road was designed to follow the contour of the area. To perform these calculations, AutoCAD Civil 3D was used to generate an access road and haul route using a topographic map of the projected location.

As for the well pad, it was designed to meet the client demands pertaining to size and material. The well pad was designed with a slope to allow rain water to run off and to have the strength to sustain the drilling equipment. The last aspect of the project was the alternative haul route which consisted of a bridge design that crosses over Friday Creek and accesses the well pad from the north. The bridge was designed to have the necessary width to allow two way traffic of heavy duty trucks, strong enough to support these trucks and meet ACI standards.