Engineering Students Construct Award-Winning Dam Model

12/16/2020

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Dec. 16, 2020 — A team of College of Engineering undergraduates turned idea into reality this semester by building a scale model of their award-winning dam design. A concept for the model was presented late last year at a collegiate design competition organized by the Association of State Dam Safety Officials known as ASDSO.

From left, Kathryn Margetts, Braiden Amata, Kyler Olsen and Jack Tousley recently completed a physical model of their award-winning dam design.

From left, Kathryn Margetts, Braiden Amata, Kyler Olsen and Jack Tousley recently completed a physical model of their award-winning dam design.

In January, the students learned they won the competition. Their next step would have been to show off their winning design and a working model at the organization’s national conference, but the pandemic made that event impossible.

Students Kyler Olsen, Kathryn Margetts, Jack Tousley and Braiden Amata recently completed their tabletop model of the design they submitted to the competition.

“I saw the competition as an opportunity to promote safety surrounding low-head dams beyond my own friends and family,” said Margetts. “The finished model will be donated to a local school and used to educate students on hydraulics, safety and civil engineering.”

The students took home an award from the Association of State Dam Safety Officials for their design.

The students took home an award from the Association of State Dam Safety Officials for their design.

ASDSO’s annual competition requires students to create a proposal for a dam model to be used for educational purposes. Models are judged on the uniqueness and technical merit of their design, and winners receive a cash award to create a physical model of their design.

The team now has the opportunity to write an article for an ASDSO journal. They’re also exploring new opportunities to share the model at future events.

ASDSO is an organization dedicated to a future in which all dams are safe. The organization provides information about dam safety and support for state dam safety programs. It also advocates for laws and policies that improve safety and reduce risks associated with dams.

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Writer: Kelsie Holman, eng.marketing@usu.edu

Contact: Dr. Brian Crookston, 435-797-0247, brian.crookston@usu.edu