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Utah News

USU engineering students design solutions to real-world problems and gain awards and jobs

USU Senior Design Night
Utah State University
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Utah State University
USU's Senior Design Night

The Taggart Student Center was bustling with people the night of May 4. Two hundred and fifty students presented their projects at booths and on poster boards across the center. Dozens of sponsors, mentors, teachers, and family members also joined 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 are taking a sustainable approach that includes lots of green space. a canal that recycles rainwater and one of their favorites - three retention ponds that resemble dams in Logan Canyon.

“So we are taking the aspects from Logan Canyon and nearby areas and integrating them into the buildings and make it feel a little more wild and natural instead of the sterile buildings that currently exist," said Young.

To aide 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 from the Rainworks Challenge, a national college and university green infrastructure design competition. He says teamwork and research were the biggest lessons learned. He plans to work as an environmental engineer to fix problems.

"A lot of people like to say that engineers are the people who cannot help fix problems, that is true for a lot of us. But for environmental engineers, it’s wanting to see nature grow and improve. I love going on hikes, being out in the wilderness and going through global warming, that is something I can fix and why I am here right now," said Young.

With the demand for STEM jobs in the US rising, Young has plenty of job security. In fact, many of these budding engineers said they already have jobs immediately after graduation.