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Master's Thesis and Final Capstone Report Lists

Master of Science in Civil Engineering Capstone Project Reports

Available for Checkout – AC805 .A426 2017
Full-Text Available Online
July 2017

Abstract: The purpose of this project was to determine whether there is a difference in the infiltration rates between new and established rain gardens. To test this, two rain gardens located in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, were utilized. The flow of water into the gardens and the depth of water present in the gardens were measured over the course of several weeks, and direct infiltration tests were conducted in order to calculate the infiltration rates for each garden. After these data were analyzed, it appeared that there was no change in the infiltration rates between the newer and established gardens that were analyzed. It was found, however, that the infiltration rates of rain gardens in general may be underestimated in technical design standards.
Available for Checkout – AC805 .B788 2017
Full-Text Available Online
May 2017

Abstract: This paper discusses the importance of coastal desalination plants, as well as their environmental impacts, specifically impacts to marine life. In this paper, the environmental impacts are explained with a focus on salinity increase in the discharge body of water, which can lead to adverse impacts on the marine life. The potential techniques for mitigation are explored using a case study on Tampa Bay's desalination plant. The method employed in this paper was a literature review. The main results show that the salinity in the brine reject will increase the salinity in the discharging body of water. The increased salinity can have a negative impact on the marine life in the discharging body of water; therefore, mitigation techniques need to be utilized to reduce the salinity increase. The environmental impacts of desalination plants need to be considered during the planning phase of a new desalination plant to try to eliminate potential impacts from actually occurring.
Available for Checkout – AC805 .F856 2017
May 2017

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to answer the following two-part question: For Wisconsin communities, how does the residential per customer water usage vary between communities with code-required conservation practices and those with additional practices? How can the difference, if any, be applied to public policy? In addition, the paper is intended to provide recommendations for further research on this topic. The methods employed to answer the research question were a literature review to gather background information and a statistical analysis of publicly available data on water usage. Researchers have published numerous case studies in which they have analyzed and judged the effect of conservation efforts in single cities; the varied results indicate that conservation efforts make a significant difference. Conversely, the Wisconsin statistical analysis discussed in this paper shows different results. On average, Wisconsin cities with additional conservation efforts exhibit similar water consumption statistics as cities solely meeting code. This paper recommends further research opportunities, in order to correlate changes in water consumption to the promulgation of federal or Wisconsin laws or statutes that impact residential water use.
Available for Checkout – AC805 .G89 2017
Full-Text Available Online
August 2017

Abstract: This paper presents an analysis of experimental data and compares it to two numerical analysis methods of light gage cold formed steel roof deck. The flexural capacity was determined upon the first failure mode of the light gage cold formed steel roof deck. A comparison of the experimental data was made to both the effective width method and the direct strength method. The objective of the comparison was to have a physical test provide the actual behavior of the light gage cold formed steel roof deck and grade how well the numerical analysis, effective width and direct strength methods, compare against the results. Material testing samples were taken from the steel roof deck and evaluated for the actual yield stress. This allowed for the most accurate comparison between the experimental results with the numerical analysis since the exact yield strength was used in calculation. It was found that the effective width method and the direct strength method vary in their prediction of the nominal moment capacity across material grades and deck thickness but tend to converge to a constant ratio, MnDSM/MnEWM, at higher deck gages. The effective width method was found to be more accurate for thinner gage steel roof deck, while the direct strength method was more found to be more accurate for thicker gage steel roof deck. The effective width method was great at extracting the most strength out of steel roof deck, particularly the thinner gage ones, while the direct strength method was a much quicker process to find the flexural capacity of the deck. Both methods can be used to determine the capacity of the deck and it is up to the end user to determine which method is appropriate for the given application.
Full-text Available Online
May 2018

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the fate, transportation, and transformation of nitrogen compounds through a microbial inoculator generator (MIG), which is a modification of an integrated fixed film activated sludge (IFAS) system. The research goal was to determine whether or not a MIG system in a commercial setting is capable of meeting the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) groundwater discharge total nitrogen (TN) permit level. The current permit level is less than 10 mg/L. The research methodology first entailed a review of relevant literature. The results include comparisons between activated sludge (AS), fixed film (FF), IFAS, and MIG systems. An IFAS system is similar to a MIG, except an IFAS does not require a bacteria stock to be added to the system to reach operational objectives. The research includes information in regard to nitrogen removal involving the ammonification, nitrification, and denitrification process. The research was used to create operation parameters for a MIG pilot system at the Oconomowoc Wastewater Treatment Facility (OWWTF). The parameters involved maintaining flow rate and dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations within the pilot system. To evaluate the performance of the MIG system, influent and effluent wastewater data samples were obtained during two collection periods. Data were analyzed using Composite Sampling techniques and Monte Carlo simulation. In this project, it was found that the system requires a lower flow rate and extreme zones for DO concentration to reach a lower total nitrogen (TN) concentration in the effluent. The current parameters feature TN concentrations between 25.4 and 26.7 mg/L TN.