Environmental Engineering Students Work to Address Flood and Runoff in White Township

Posted on 8/19/2019 10:50:24 AM

Three environmental engineering students worked with Engineering and Geosciences faculty members to study flood and runoff in White Township during summer 2019. 

The streams and creeks that flow through White Township and Indiana County, Pennsylvania, have been affected by an increase in high precipitation rainfall events. Heavy rains from storms normally trigger flash flooding in the region. White Township manages the retention ponds in the area to mitigate the flood peaks during the heavy storms, and this group of students studied the effectiveness of these retention ponds in flood control. 

Computer models were also developed by the students to predict the effect of different scenarios which could help guide modification of the ponds and outlets in the future.

This work is part of the Research Experiences for Summer Scholars (RESS) program. 

Hamidi's Runoff Study with students 1
Above: The project team visited the retention ponds and areas with higher risk of erosion and inundation.

Hamidi's Runoff Study with students 2
Above, from left: Savannah Mitchell, Abigail Cermak, and Sarah Smallwood (environmental engineering students) work on retention ponds maps, provided by the township, after a lecture on computer modeling by Professor Sajad Hamidi.

Kopchick College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics