Saturday, January 18, 2014

New Year, Same Water

Happy new year to all. 

It feels so good to be back on campus with a whole fresh semester just beginning. As the snow continues to fall outside my window I am reminded of how intriguing water is. While skydiving over break I was able to witness water in several different forms, as snow on the ground, as water in lakes and ponds scattered far below me, and as ice for all the ice skaters out there. I was also reminded of the power of water when the water main broke in Marianist Hall this christmas break.

Last semester was the start of my Junior year at UD as a mechanical engineering major. As for most majors … Junior year is one of those most dreaded times in college. This past semester helped me grow in brilliant ways and offered many opportunities across different areas. I learned about myself, grew as a leader, and had some great experiences this past semester. Some of my courses finally had direct connections to the pillars of the Rivers Institute … including my Fluid Dynamics class (the first day we talked about rivers and water flow through pipes for a quarter of the class! and we designed and analyzed pipe flow for our capstone project at the end of the semester) and the ASI 345 River Leadership Curriculum course. I really enjoyed the RLC course, learning about the 1913 Flood, exploring and investigating Cincinnati’s River Front and Combined sewer systems, and developing a proposal related to river leadership.

This semester has only just begun and I’ve already made connections to the Rivers Institute in some of my classes including Environmental Geology and my Engineering Ethics class. In our first reading for the Engineering Ethics class we’ve already started talking about rivers in relation to the design process. How the language of the design process flows and drifts just as a river changes courses over time.

While spending a lovely few weeks at home in New York I found out Buffalo, like Cincinnati, has a combined sewer system. It’s crazy how many connections we can make between cities and see how rivers really do connect us all. Over break I was also able to spend a day touring Cincinnati with some friends and even exploring the beautiful river front development:

River Love of course,
Abigail Spohn
Mechanical Engineering

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