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University of Notre Dame Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences 2010 Junior Class Field Trip

Harnessing the Mississippi River and Delta: The Natural System, Infrastructure, Risks and Impact

September 29 – October 3, 2010

PURPOSE OF THIS TRIP: To understand the Mississippi River and its deltaic system; the major transportation and water supply system it represents; the major hub of the system (New Orleans where ocean going vessels transfer their goods to/from river barges); how to maintain the navigability of the system; how to maintain the fresh water supply, the fisheries, and the wetlands; and the flooding risks involved (both from the river and the ocean). Man's influence on the system has evolved over the past 300 years, but the Katrina failures and devastation of five years ago spurred on one of the largest and most intensive infrastructure rebuilds in US history: in particular, the 15 billion dollar redesign and construction of the flood mitigation and risk reduction system around New Orleans.

To expose students to some of the biggest and most innovative infrastructure design and construction efforts going on in the United States; to see first hand that the need to rebuild our often failing infrastructure is huge; to see first hand the complexity of these structural, transportation, water resources, and environmental projects that keep our nation productive, efficient and healthy; and to interact one on one with project and design engineers. These trips help students see the wide range of opportunities for them to be innovative leaders and also help them connect the classroom to the real world.

Sponsors:  This field trip was made possible by the generous support of the Murphy Travel Fund, the University of Notre Dame College of Engineering and Department of Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences

Hosts: USACE Engineer Research and Development Center, US Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans District, Kiewit, Gulf IntraCoastal Constructors, Inc., Massman Construction Co., MTI (Massman Construction Co., Traylor Bros., Inc. and IHI Inc.), University of New Orleans

Organizers: Diane Westerink, Joannes Westerink


Field Trip Questions, Contact: Diane Westerink, Coordinator, Computational Hydraulics Laboratory, Department of Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences, University of Notre Dame,, (574)631-4005