CBU Launches Surface Water Institute
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CBU Launches Surface Water Institute

Unique Partnership with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, City of Memphis and Others Will Focus on Researching and Solving Complex Water Challenges


Pictured above at the launch of the Surface Water Institute (l-r): Dick GadomskiDr. John Smarrelli (CBU President), Manny Belen (City of Memphis, Chief Engineer), Mayor Jim StricklandDr. Louie LinSteve Dunavant (CBU Board Chairman), Dr. Siripong Malasri (CBU Dean of Engineering), Robert Knecht (City of Memphis, Public Works Director), David Berretta (US Army Corps of Engineers), and Hugh Teaford (City of Memphis, City Civil Design Engineer)


MEMPHIS — Christian Brothers University (CBU), under the umbrella of the regional Science and Water Resource Board, has launched the Surface Water Institute (SWI), an inter-agency research center addressing complex surface water challenges in the Memphis Metro Area through collaboration, research, and project development.

SWI Partners include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Malasri Engineering, ABES Engineering, and Thomas Lawrence, a consulting engineer specializing in water quality protection and restoration. The Institute has initial funding from the City of Memphis and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) —  $375,200 for the City’s QA/QC Drainage Plan Study and $113,300 for the USAACE’s Arlington Floodplain Mapping, Response, and Education Effort.

Directing the SWI will be CBU Civil & Environmental Engineering professor Dr. L. Yu (Louie) Lin. “It is a privilege to work with a group of strong partners as we focus on identifying and prioritizing critical water issues in the region. Our interdisciplinary expertise will allow us to develop the basic knowledge, practical experience, and infrastructure required to successfully respond to stakeholders’ emerging water concerns,” Lin said.

According to Lin, the SWI will perform several functions, including:

  • Improving basic knowledge of the environmental processes in aquatic systems;
  • Enhancing understanding of the interactions and interrelationships among human attitudes, activities and aquatic systems; and,
  • Developing and promoting the adoption of improved methodologies for water management and policy based on a foundation of science, engineering, management and law.

Other featured speakers at the launch announcement were CBU President Dr. John Smarrelli, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland; Dave Berretta, Memphis District Chief of Hydraulics and Hydrology for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Steve Dunavant, CBU Board of Trustees Chair; and Richard Gadomski, Chair, Gadomski School of Engineering Advisory Board at CBU.

““Working with CBU’s Surface Water Institute will allow us to give needed attention to flooding issues in our city,” said Mayor Strickland in his remarks at the event. “I’m proud of the leadership CBU has taken on this issue in Memphis, and look forward to finding solutions that will benefit our citizens.”

Earlier in the afternoon, the Gadomski School of Engineering hosted more than 40 guests at an information session about SWI. Speakers included representatives from the Public Works division of both Shelby County and the City of Memphis, the USACE, and CBU’s Engineering School.

"The Surface Water Institute (SWI) is a partnership of an academic institution, government agencies, and the private sector, working together for the good of the community.  Its activities will provide unique experiences to our engineering students.  SWI fits very well with the Gadomski School of Engineering's strategic mission,” noted Dr. Pong Malasri, CBU Engineering School Dean.

Posted by Cory Dugan at 10:23 AM