New Grants for Environmental Research and High School Outreach Program

The College of Engineering received two significant grants recently that demonstrate the growing strength in two programs, one of which will help respond to the need for managing an important aspect of the water system, the other which will help develop the next generation of engineers.

Dr. Robert Traver, Director of the Villanova Urban Stormwater Partnership (VUSP) received a grant of $442,787 from Cooperative Institute for Coastal Estuarine Environmental Technology (CICEET). Partnering with University of Maryland and NC State, Villanova will monitor and investigate the effectiveness of low impact development (LID) bioretention Best Management Practises (BMPs). CICEET, which is a partnership of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of New Hampshire, develops tools for clean water and healthy coasts nationwide. The research is a response to the problem of stormwater run off in urban areas which unlike run off in undeveloped areas, which soaks into the grounds, washes over hard surfaces, picking up pollution on its way, and flows into rivers and coastal areas. LID approaches to stormwater attempt to mimic the hydrology of an undeveloped landscape through means such as bioretention systems, also known as “rain gardens,” that treat stormwater close to the source using designs that allow run off to infiltrate, filter, and evaporate. Dr. Traver’s research will help fill the knowledge gap about these sy