Thursday, August 6, 2015

URSP Student Renee Nmair Evaluates the Suitability of the Micro-Deval Test to Estimate Durability of Base Aggregates of Northern Virginia

Dr. Maggioni and I discussed applying my knowledge of water quality from the Environmental Engineering class in a real world setting. This project is related to my long-term goals as I am currently pursuing an Accelerated Masters and this is very similar to the experience I will have in terms of the amount of dedication to research, relationships with other researchers and a relationship with a mentor who is a professional in the field I am studying.

On a daily basis I met up with my two other Civil Engineering students who assisted in collecting the data. We ventured out to the field twice a day. We typically went out at 10:30 am and again at 3:30/4:00 pm. My field campaign consists of nine different locations. Unfortunately, poison ivy was present at one of these sites so I decreased the field campaign eight. These locations are all over the Fairfax campus. For several weeks we would deal with the sweltering heat and humidity and walk the entire campus several times. However just recently we have been fortunate enough to communicate with facilities and they provided us with someone to drive us around in a golf cart for our morning run.

The sonde has six sensors: pH, temperature, turbidity, conductivity, HDO (dissolved oxygen), and concentration of nitrate. I analyze the data for accuracy and upload it to website. I spend my office time researching and analyzing the data and finding the best approach to setting up the telemetry system by communicating with the different corporations, professors and online sources.  This week I experienced the actual impacts of the rainstorm on the Outlet at Braddock Road. The Outlet reached its maximum capacity causing the excess water to overflow the concrete wall and surrounding area. In addition, I witnessed the impact of rainfall on the turbidity of the Outlet for after the large rainstorm the water became very clear the next couple of days.