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Shiley School of Engineering
The University of Portland believes students are best prepared by using real-world projects mentored by both industry sponsors and faculty. Every engineering student must complete a senior design project before graduating from the Donald P. Shiley School of Engineering.
As part of their final exam, five senior civil engineering students presented their designs for an elevated light rail structure for Tri-Met that will span Kellogg Creek in Milwaukie. Although their design will not be used, the students used the specific criteria used by engineering professionals who have already designed the 260' wide structure.
“This project allowed us to fully apply our engineering knowledge in a real world situation,” senior group member Andrew Salmeri said. “My education here at the University of Portland and this project will give me the foundation required to work as an engineer as well as the ability to create opportunities and network throughout my future career.”
David Evans and Associates, a premiere engineering and planning company in the Pacific Northwest, served as a sponsor to the University of Portland students. The firm has completed a partial design for the elevated structure, but advised the students on a separate design.
“We gathered all the information about the light rail system from David Evans and Associates,” Salmeri said. “With the help of the firm, we put together our own unique design for the light rail project.”
University of Portland alumnus and David Evans and Associates vice president Greg Weston worked directly with students as the industry sponsor.
A University of Portland faculty member also advised the students with the light rail project. Civil engineering professor Matthew Kuhn met with the five students weekly for discussion and to track their progress with industry professionals.
“The students are able to use their talents and they made their own unique contributions to an important problem,” Kuhn said. “The students came up with a creative design and solution to moving people around Portland area while preserving the surrounding environment.”
Other projects that civil engineering students are working on include designing a parking structure for campus, a highway in the Eugene area, and a wastewater pump station in Gresham. All projects include a local professional engineering firm as a project sponsor.
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