Undergraduate Research: A Glove That Helps Teach Sign Language

Senior Maggie Cross was one of 28 Norwich University undergraduates awarded Summer Research Fellowships to explore diverse topics across the arts, sciences and professional fields. Developed by the university’s Office of Academic Research, the competitive, six- and ten-week fellowships are funded by university endowments dedicated to supporting student academic investigation.
Norwich University Office of Communications

August 31, 2015

Overlapping worlds often spark innovation. Engineering major Maggie Cross knew she wanted to pursue an NU Summer Research Fellowship. Her advisor Prof. Michael Prairie suggested she explore haptics, the use of tactile feedback to speed learning.

Cross proposed that she develop a glove that could help wearers learn the sign language alphabet more quickly. Her inspiration: a sign language interpreter she observed while volunteering at a Vermont state LEGO robotics competition last fall.

Ideally, the glove would analyze and respond to the hand movements of wearers, activating embedded buzzers when students bent individual fingers incorrectly.

Such haptic feedback has been used to cue surgeons when they slice the wrong tissue during surgeries with obstructed views. More recently, engineers at Georgia Tech developed a “piano glove” that helps wearers learn the first 45 notes of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” more quickly.

Cross emailed the PhD student involved in that project to float ideas about her own project.

In June Cross began work in the lab. Early experiments involved attaching bend resistors, accelerometers and gyroscopes to a white cotton glove to track hand motions.

She soon abandoned that approach after discovering the Leap motion controller, an off-the-shelf device that senses and plots natural hand motions in real time. Think Wii game station controller or the Matrix sci-fi film.

Cross then moved on to increasingly complex challenges of programming, wireless integration, database comparison, and sensor feedback.

For each sign letter attempt, her glove needed to capture the wearer’s gestures; compare them against a database of proper letter signs; and send, receive and activate the correct tactile feedback between the computer-based database and the glove.

Never a strong coder, Cross says the project forced her to dive deep into a number of programming languages, including C++, Objective C, JavaScript and Xcode, the coding language behind Apple iPhone aps.

The rising senior observes that there are nearly 70 million deaf people in the world and that sign language is important not only to the heard of hearing, but to their friends and family.

“Mastering sign language takes dedication and, above all, time. Using haptic feedback to learn sign language would reduce the amount of time required,” Cross notes.

“It could make bridging the gap between the hearing and hearing impaired communities more accessible.”

Cross says she was inspired to apply for her 10-week summer research fellowship by a friend, Ryan Fecteau ’15, who conducted social science research on binge drinking at military colleges as a Norwich University undergraduate summer research fellow last year.

“He said it was a good experience and he learned a lot—not just learned technically, but learned how to do research,” Cross says.

Cross has had a similar experience this summer. “I’ve worked all weekend before on a lab project. But at the end of the weekend, it’s always finished,” Cross says.

“Whereas with this, you’ll work five [or] six … seven or eight hour days and then get nothing. So you have to take a step back and realize that you’re learning how not to do it. So you are still learning, even though you don’t have anything to show for it.”

Cross had made significant progress on her glove over the course of her fellowship.

“In a way our engineers are working with the languages of machines—but many machines, many languages,” says Norwich University Professor of Electrical Engineering Ronald Lessard. “They’re trying to find out [how] to communicate with these machines so that they can get them, the machines, to work together to do what they need.”

Cross says she may continue her work as a senior thesis project, expanding the scope of her initial summer research fellowship. “Instead of just being the hands and the alphabet, you could make a sleeve out of it [to promote haptic learning of the] full sign language alphabet with all the gestures.”

Related Articles on Undergraduate Summer Research Fellows:

NU Wins Grant for Interdisciplinary, Environmental Service-Learning Projects

By David Westerman, PhD
Norwich University Office of Academic Research

 
May 28, 2015

Norwich University has been selected to receive a sub-grant of up to $4,000 from a four-state Campus Compact consortium and the Davis Educational Foundation to create institutional change by embedding environmental service-learning projects into courses, thereby strengthening teaching and curriculum, student learning outcomes, and interdisciplinary approaches to education.

Management of the grant program in Vermont is by the Vermont Campus Compact.

The approved proposal, submitted by Profs. Tara Kulkarni, Matthew Lutz, Tom Roberge and Dave Westerman, calls for offering an “integrated, interdisciplinary set of curriculum modifications built around geology, environmental engineering, sustainable architecture, and outdoor education, all in collaboration with the Town of Northfield and its many partners.”

Northfield zoning administrator Michele Braun will manage the project, which aims to develop an education park about flood zones along the banks of the Dog River. Sited near Northfield’s village green, the park will also include a community garden and a playground.

In their proposal, the four Norwich faculty stated: “We do this because one of the founding principles almost 200 years ago [of Norwich] was to promote experiential learning, cast in the framework of ‘service before self.’ The University’s original concept of developing the citizen soldier has evolved to match the changing nature of our nation, now striving to develop leaders to implement change for the good, from the global stage to the local neighborhood.”

The overarching issue being addressed in this integrated project was presented as follows:

“The largest overriding issue regarding the future of Earth’s habitability is climate change, with the myriad repercussions that stem from the current warming trend. We want to focus on this tremendous issue, while carrying out a project that highlights the need for interdisciplinary solutions. Our specific project addresses living with flooding, and we seek to use this as a means of helping our students, members of the local community, and ultimately the world at large as they face the process of designing solutions to global environmental change.”

Members of the grant team will receive training in June in Portland, Me., as well as ongoing support in the development and delivery of courses that will partner with community organizations to address environmental challenges.

About the Author: David S. Westerman, PhD, is the Charles A. Dana Professor of Geology at Norwich University and the Associate Vice President for Research in the university’s Office of Academic Research.

Norwich University’s Award-Winning Solar House Earns Recognition in Regional EPA Earth Day Awards

Norwich University Office of Communications

Updated May 1, 2015

NORTHFIELD, Vt. – A team of Norwich University students was recognized by the New England Office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at this year’s Earth Day ceremony in Boston with a 2015 Environmental Merit Award.

The four alumni and two professors present to receive the award helped design and build Norwich’s Delta T-90, the 2013 solar house that won the affordability category at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon in Irvine, Calif.

The team’s latest accolade from the EPA was bestowed in “recognition of exceptional work and commitment to the environment” at a special ceremony held at Faneuil Hall in Boston, Mass., on Wednesday, April 22, 2015.

The annual Earth Day ceremony has recognized the environmental achievements of New Englanders for more than three decades.

“Our students tasked themselves with addressing a real and immediate problem in their community—providing a compelling housing solution that is both affordable and sustainable,” said Aron Temkin, an architect, professor and dean of the College of Professional Schools at Norwich University. “We are very pleased to see them recognized this way, because it reinforces the viability and impact of their work.”

Temkin adds that it also speaks to the impact of the “Norwich educational experience of a cross disciplinary collaboration of designer, engineer and constructor that they will be practicing throughout their careers.”

Today’s EPA merit award is the latest in a string of awards and honors the Delta T-90 solar house has garnered since its inception.

More than a year after successfully competing in the 2013 Solar Decathlon, Norwich University’s Delta T-90 House won the Vermont Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIAVT) 2014 People’s Choice Award.

The Delta T-90 House models how high performance solar-powered dwellings can be made affordably. At the 2013 US Solar Decathlon event in California, the home earned first-place awards for affordability and energy balance. The team also earned the Byron Stafford Award of Distinction for their character and sportsmanship.

Since the competition’s close, the Delta T-90 house has delivered on its mission to educate the public about residential-scale renewable energy and green-design by becoming part of the Westcott Center for Architecture and Design in Springfield, Ohio. The center boasts a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed prairie-style house and seeks to involve and promote architecture and design practices as a medium for educating K-12 students in social studies, math, science, and the arts.

Since moving to Springfield, the Delta T-90 house has graced the cover of Green Energy Ohio magazine and been the subject of many articles. The house has also helped the Westcott Center earn grants from the Ohio Arts Council and the Institute of Museum and Library Services by evidencing strong public outreach capabilities.

Through features like its integrated, digital energy-monitoring dashboard, the Delta T-90 house shows students real-time, measurable evidence of the value of design thinking. It does this by comparing real-time energy use to real-time energy production by the Delta T-90’s 5.84KW solar panel system.

Norwich University Associate Professor Matt Lutz, the faculty leader of the Delta T-90 project, praised the Wescott partnership and the role the Norwich solar house plays today to serve the nonprofit’s central mission.

“The Norwich team couldn’t be more proud of the partnership that the Delta T-90 has helped form with the Westcott Center for Architecture and Design. There, the house is really doing what we intended it to do, to become a living laboratory that will educate the public for years.”

Students and faculty in Norwich University’s College of Professional Schools have now embarked on a plan to design sustainable, micro-houses for low-income Vermonters. Read about the project here.

About Norwich University

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation’s six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). www.norwich.edu

In fulfillment of Norwich’s mission to train and educate today’s students to be tomorrow’s global leaders and captains of industry, the Forging the Future campaign is committed to creating the best possible learning environment through state-of-the-art academics and world-class facilities. Learn more about the campaign and how to participate in the “Year of Service” here: bicentennial.norwich.edu    

Media Contact:
Daphne Larkin
Assistant Director of Communications
(802) 485-2886; 595-3613
dlarkin@norwich.edu

Two Norwich Student Projects Showcase Research, Start-up Savvy

Norwich student-led research projects and start-ups showcase their ideas at competitions in Washington, DC, and Texas this weekend
Daphne Larkin
Norwich University Office of Communications

April 9, 2015

As the final weeks of the 2014-2015 academic year wind down, Norwich students are packing in as much experiential learning and service as humanly possible.

This Friday six students plus faculty mentor Tara Kulkarni, PhD, will travel to a national research competition in Washington, DC.

A civil and environmental engineering professor, Kulkarni received an EPA pilot grant in September that funds her collaboration on a student research project led by senior civil engineering student Susan Limberg.

Serving as faculty advisor, Kulkarni wrote a proposal based on Limberg’s idea of developing pervious concrete filters to control stormwater runoff. One compelling component of their project is a filtration process aimed at transforming rainwater into drinkable water.

They received a Phase I, $14,957 grant from the P3: People, Prosperity and the Planet Student Design Competition for Sustainability, a national-level competition organized by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

On April 11-12 the team will participate in Phase II at the National Sustainable Design Expo (NSDE) in Washington to compete for the P3 Award and a grant of up to $75,000 to take their design to real world application.

Business Start-up Competition

At the same time, Norwich student entrepreneurs are heading to Texas to showcase their idea for a business startup aimed at the maker movement. Team YETi designed a project board to simplify the electronics of maker applications and will pitch their business start-up at a Texas Christian University competition.

James Whitlock and Josh Coleman, electrical and computer engineering juniors at Norwich, and Joe Poulima, a former Norwich undergrad and current electrical engineering technology major at Vermont Technical College, designed a device to “bridge the gap between conceptual model design and finished product” for the ever-growing maker market.

Norwich faculty helped the team hone their pitch, which won the recent NU Launch! entrepreneurial business competition. Team YETi will now pitch their idea at the 5th Annual TCU Richards Barrentine Values and Ventures student business plan competition to be held at Texas Christian University’s Neeley Entrepreneurship Center on April 10 – 11.

This marks the first time Norwich University will participate in the annual competition in which undergraduate students around the world pitch plans for for-profit values-centered enterprises that impact society in meaningful ways.

 Media Contact:
Daphne Larkin
Assistant Director of Communications
(802) 485-2886, (m) 595-3613
dlarkin@norwich.edu

Climate Change Increasing Security Threat, Former Army Chief Says

In a Todd Lecture Series speech at Norwich, GEN Gordon R. Sullivan said global warming is spurring a spate of growing risks to US interests
Office of Communications

February 6, 2015

Former US Army Chief of Staff Gordon R. Sullivan NU ’59 said climate change is spurring more instability around the world and that the security risks from global warming are advancing faster than expected.

“We are not prepared for the pace of climate change,” Sullivan said, noting that it will impact US military readiness and national power, particularly domestic infrastructure.

Already the US has been caught flat-footed by the speed of melting sea ice in the Arctic. Russia, Canada and Denmark are posturing for control of oil reserves beneath the North Pole. But the US lacks sufficient ice-hardened ships and communications and navigation gear to respond to crises there, Sullivan said.

Elsewhere, shifting weather patterns will stress the world’s ability to meet regional demand for food and fresh water, leading to further political unrest and potential mass transnational migrations. Sullivan said this is particularly true in Africa and Asia, where the human population is exploding.

Climate change will place more demand on the US military to respond to national and international crises, challenge readiness and send troops into harsher operating environments, Sullivan said.

The retired four-star general made the remarks yesterday during a speech focused on climate change and national security at his alma mater, kicking off the first Todd Lecture Series event of 2015.

Established in 2008, the free public lecture series aims to bring thought-provoking speakers to inform and inspire the Norwich campus and central Vermont communities.

Sullivan served as the 32nd Army Chief of Staff under Presidents Bush and Clinton, where he helped reengineer and downsize the US Army in the wake of the Cold War, leading it into the Information Age while facing a 40 percent budget cut.

Since 2006, Sullivan has served on the Military Advisory Board of the CNA Corp., a government-funded nonprofit military research organization.

In 2007, the panel of 16 retired generals and admirals identified climate change as a “threat multiplier,” particularly in fragile areas of the globe.

The board issued a second report last year, concluding that climate change poses an accelerating risk to national security.

For example, it linked the devastating drought of 2010 in the US, Russia and China to a steep decline in world wheat production that sparked a series of cascading effects. Bread prices spiked in Tunisia, Egypt and other wheat-importing countries in Northern Africa. The shortages and massive price increases led to food riots and unrest that precipitated the Arab Spring revolutions.

“While there were deep underlying causes for overthrow of several of the governments, the catalyst that set this off can be directly linked to weather and climate change,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan’s speech outlined the effects climate change is having on four major areas related to US national security: global instability, melting Arctic sea ice, US military readiness and US power.

Sullivan gave a synopsis of recent climate change trends and how they might destabilize regimes or regions in the future.

He noted that in January, both NASA and NOAA reported that 2014 was the warmest year on record since 1880, that the ten warmest years on record have occurred since 2000, and that eight of the ten costliest US storms have occurred in the past decade.

“Globally, we have seen recent prolonged drought act as a factor driving both spikes in food prices and mass displacement of populations, each contributing to instability and eventual conflict,” he said.

“For example, five years of drought in Syria decimated farmers’ crops and forced millions to migrate to urban areas. These drought refugees found little in the way of jobs and were quickly disenfranchised with the government,” Sullivan said.

“The result is civil war in Syria.”

Sullivan said additional impacts can be seen in unprecedented wildfires and the effect of rising sea levels on low-lying island nations, some of which are planning whole-sale evacuation.

“Over the coming decades, I think those areas already stressed by water and food shortage and poor governance—these span the globe—will present the greatest near term threat for conflict,” he said.

“In the longer term, many of these areas will be threatened by rising sea level.”

Sullivan, who serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Norwich, closed his presentation by challenging Norwich students to lead the nation in tackling the complex problems associated with climate change.

Norwich to Design Sustainable “Tiny Houses” for Vermonters

Norwich University’s College of Professional Schools has received a $20,000 grant from the TD Bank Charitable Foundation to design affordable, green micro-houses for low-income residents
Daphne Larkin | Office of Communications

 
February 3, 2015

NORTHFIELD, Vt.–Norwich University has been awarded a $20,000 grant from the TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, to fund the development of affordable solar houses by students and faculty in the School of Architecture + Art and the David Crawford School of Engineering.

The grant will support the Creating Affordable Sustainable Architecture (CASA) Initiative, a new program within the College of Professional Schools that will focus on research and development of affordable alternative-energy housing for low-income families in Vermont.

“In the true Norwich traditions of experiential learning and service to others, we are offering students credit to research, develop and produce a micro-solar house that offers a solution to the housing crisis in Vermont, and this generous gift from the TD Charitable Foundation is helping to make that possible,” said Aron Temkin, an architect, professor and dean of the College of Professional Schools at Norwich University.

The effort builds on lessons Norwich University architecture students and faculty learned over the course of their 2013 competition in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon. Norwich’s Delta T-90 house won for affordability.

The immediate and long-term objective of Norwich’s new CASA affordable micro-house program is to develop a regionally derived, solar-powered, affordable housing model. Norwich architects and engineers ultimately aim to develop a modular system of “micro houses,” units that can stand alone or be combined to create larger, cohesive structures depending on the needs of the occupant.

“Over half of all Vermonters cannot afford a house that meets the target construction costs of the 2013 Decathlon’s Affordability Contest, regardless of energy costs,” said Cara Armstrong, director of Norwich University’s School of Architecture + Art.

“Consequently, we have committed to continuing our work with students and faculty across disciplines to design and build adaptable and sustainable housing to be affordable by a family living at 80% of Vermont’s median income level and below.”

Through seminars and a design/build studio, a team of Engineering and Architecture + Art students and faculty will design and build one “Micro House” of approximately 200 square feet, including a bathroom and kitchen, by the end of the next academic year.

“TD is a strong advocate for environmental sustainability, so we are extremely excited to support this program,” said Phil Daniels, President, TD Bank, Maine. “This initiative will greatly benefit the residents of Vermont and provide students with the opportunity to give back to their community and contribute to its improvement.”

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation’s six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). www.norwich.edu

In fulfillment of Norwich’s mission to train and educate today’s students to be tomorrow’s global leaders and captains of industry, the Forging the Future campaign is committed to creating the best possible learning environment through state-of-the-art academics and world-class facilities. Learn more about the campaign and how to participate in the “Year of Service” here: bicentennial.norwich.edu

A staunch commitment to active involvement in the local community is a vital element of the TD Bank philosophy. TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank® and the TD Charitable Foundation provide support to affordable housing, financial literacy and education, and environmental initiatives, many of which focus on improving the welfare of children and families.

About the TD Charitable Foundation

The TD Charitable Foundation is the charitable giving arm of TD Bank N.A., which operates as TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, and is one of the 10 largest commercial banking organizations in the United States. The Foundation’s mission is to serve the individuals, families and businesses in all the communities where TD Bank operates, having made more than $133.2 million in charitable donations since its inception in 2002. The Foundation’s areas of focus are affordable housing, financial literacy and education, and the environment. More information on the TD Charitable Foundation, including an online grant application, is available at www.TDBank.com.

About TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®

TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, is one of the 10 largest banks in the U.S., providing more than 8 million customers with a full range of retail, small business and commercial banking products and services at approximately 1,300 convenient locations throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Metro D.C., the Carolinas and Florida. In addition, TD Bank and its subsidiaries offer customized private banking and wealth management services through TD Wealth®, and vehicle financing and dealer commercial services through TD Auto Finance. TD Bank is headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J. To learn more, visit www.tdbank.com. Find TD Bank on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TDBank and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TDBank_US.

TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, is a member of TD Bank Group and a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank of Toronto, Canada, a top 10 financial services company in North America. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges under the ticker symbol “TD”. To learn more, visit www.td.com.

Norwich Students Join NASA Competitions, Internships

From space launches to telerobotic challenges, Norwich engineering students pushed their skills at a number of NASA summer programs.
David Crawford School of Engineering

 
October 22, 2014

Norwich engineering students participated in a variety of challenging NASA competitions, internships and space launches over the summer. Here’s a brief roundup of their endeavors:

RASC-AL Competition

A team of mechanical engineering students was selected as one of fourteen finalists in the 2014 NASA/NIA Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts Academic Linkage (RASC-AL) competition. The contest provides a unique opportunity for undergraduate and graduate engineering students to tackle challenges tied to NASA’s vision for human space exploration. Invited to participate in the RASC-AL forum in June at Coca Beach, Fla., the Norwich team comprised recent graduates Peter Gill, Savanah Medlar, Matthew Roberts and Ethan Hanks. Gill and Medlar along with faculty advisor Danner Friend represented the Norwich team in Florida at the RASC-AL forum. The group selected the tele-operated robot challenge, producing a creative design concept for a free-flying robotic inspection and repair vehicle that could repair torn solar panels. “The Norwich team stood out among all other teams with their detailed physical prototype that was built using 3D printing technology,” Friend said.

LARSS Program Internship

Mechanical engineering senior Spencer Nath worked over the summer as a NASA intern for the Langley Aerospace Research Student Scholars (LARSS) Program in Hampton, Va. He was assigned to the Advanced Sensing and Optical Measurement Branch, where he worked on a project to precisely measure the sound created by the undercarriage of an aircraft in landing configuration. The ultimate goal was to compare measurements before and after noise-reduction modifications were implemented. He worked with a team of engineers using optics and additive manufacturing technologies to create a custom array of super-powered LEDs capable of highlighting the aircraft (equipped with reflective materials) flying some 400 feet in the air.

RockOn Workshop

Sounding rocket launch during RockOn Workshop at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility
Electrical and computer engineering senior Nathan Tong attended the RockOn Workshop sponsored by the Colorado Space Grant Consortium and hosted at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility. The workshop allows student teams to build rocket payloads from a kit that is later mounted and launched on a sounding rocket. The payload kit included an Arduino microcontroller acting as the central processor, a Geiger counter and an assortment of accelerometers and environmental sensors. The data collected during the launch allowed the students to study the physical effects of the launch, the rotation of the rocket, the radiation levels (which spiked when the rocket cleared the atmosphere) and the length of time the rocket was in space. “Although we were one of many teams with similar payloads on the rocket,” Tong said, “it was a great experience and a good program for Norwich students to consider in the future.”

Both Nath and Tong received support from the Vermont Space Grant Consortium and presented the results of their experiences at a consortium awards ceremony and reception held on October 8 at the University of Vermont.

State space grant consortiums like Vermont and Colorado’s are part of a national space grant program funded by NASA linking 850 colleges and universities. The program promotes STEM education and provides avenues for students to participate in NASA-related aeronautical and space program research.

Digital Design Course Gets Microprocessor Boards Thanks to Alumnus Gift

The boards enable students to learn and experiment with digital logic and computer organization.
David Crawford School of Engineering

October 22, 2014

A generous donation from Don Shaw ‘51 supported the purchase of 10 new Altera development boards to support Electrical and Computer Engineering’s Fundamentals of Digital Design course.

Students in that sophomore-level class use Altera’s Quartus software to design digital circuits in the lab using various techniques to produce VHDL (VHSIC Hardware Description Language) code. Student designs are compiled in the software and downloaded to the target field programmable gate arrays on the new development boards.

The boards facilitate a wide range of laboratory exercises for teaching digital logic and computer organization. The boards feature numerous toggle and pushbutton switches to provide inputs LEDs, an LCD to provide outputs and a variety of industry-standard input/output interfaces, including audio, video, USB and Ethernet. As Prof. Ronald Lessard notes: “These new boards enable us to stay current with industry-standard features used in modern digital systems design.”

Grants to Fund Pervious Concrete, Green Stormwater Solutions Research

NORTHFIELD, Vt. – A way to turn stormwater runoff into drinking water will be investigated in one of two recently awarded research grants to the David Crawford School of Engineering at Norwich University.

Both grant projects are overseen by Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering Tara Kulkarni.

Kulkarni earned a pilot grant that funds her collaboration with a student research project led by senior civil engineering student Susan Limberg. Kulkarni, as the faculty adviser, wrote a proposal based on Limberg’s idea of developing pervious concrete filters to control stormwater runoff. One compelling component to their project is a filtration process aimed at transforming rainwater into drinkable water.

They received a Phase I, $14,957 grant from the P3: People, Prosperity and the Planet Student Design Competition for Sustainability, a national-level competition offered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Limberg serves as a cadet first lieutenant, executive officer of Drill Company in the Norwich University Corps of Cadets and as president of the NU Society of Women Engineers. Working with Prof. Kulkarni as her advisor, Limberg will study the filtration component of the stormwater runoff project as part of her senior honors thesis. Norwich faculty who study economics and sociology are also supporting her research.

Meanwhile, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering Kulkarni has received a $9,917 pilot project grant of her own via the University of Vermont’s National Science Foundation EPSCoR program.

The Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) is designed to fulfill the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) mandate to promote scientific progress nationwide.

Last month Kulkarni began work on her project, which aims to design a suitable model for Green Infrastructure/Low Impact Development (GI/LID) projects to manage stormwater in Vermont watersheds.

Her research is investigating stormwater issues across the Winooski River watershed with a special focus on Montpelier.

The research will involve undergraduate students at Norwich and engage two undergraduate classrooms in stormwater quality assessment and modeling related activities. In addition, K-12 students in four Vermont schools in Montpelier, Burlington, St. Johnsbury, and Williamstown as well as local area Girl Scouts groups will participate in water resource management and green infrastructure related activities as part of a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) educational outreach effort.

˜˜˜

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation’s six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). www.norwich.edu

In fulfillment of Norwich’s mission to train and educate today’s students to be tomorrow’s global leaders and captains of industry, the Forging the Future campaign is committed to creating the best possible learning environment through state-of-the-art academics and world-class facilities. Learn more about the campaign and how to participate in the “Year of Service” here: bicentennial.norwich.edu.