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Monroe Weber-Shirk edited this page Nov 2, 2021 · 18 revisions

Safe Water on Tap

Safe Water on Tap is a design course that emphasizes next generation drinking water treatment technologies that are robust, inexpensive, and reliable. This course develops parametric design processes that hydraulic and process calculations, sizing and modeling of 3-D geometry, and bill of materials using Onshape. In the design project we emphasize opportunities to invent new technologies and practice design thinking to explore constraints and failure modes.

Our goal is to develop technologies that can provide safe drinking water to the 2-4 billion who don't have safe water on tap. Students will work in teams to design sustainable supply and treatment systems. This will require an understanding of the major threats to public health as well as the constraints of implementing technologies that will be resilient in communities with a range of resource constraints.

One of my goals in this course is to encourage creative thinking about solutions to the enormous challenge of providing everyone on the planet with safe drinking water. We will challenge the myth that this task can be accomplished by applying traditional technologies and we will identify major technology gaps where better solutions are needed. My thesis is that engineers are needed to challenge existing assumptions and to create and document new sustainable solutions.

The teaching assistants for the course have taken the course previously and are available to help you learn. If you would like to meet with Monroe find an open spot in his calendar and set up an appointment. However, when possible work with the teaching assistants first.

Course Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:

  • Design resource and energy efficient municipal water treatment processes over a wide range of flow rates
  • Describe the fundamental mechanisms that control the performance of each unit process
  • Describe the limitations and applications of each unit process
  • Use Onshape for design, documentation, and collaboration

Catalog Description

This problem-centered design course focuses on major water quality challenges both nationally and internationally. Human and context driven design principles are applied to drinking water contaminants with global public health impact. We develop design algorithms from first principles whenever possible and explore novel solutions. Students work in teams to design water treatment systems using Onshape and open source design tools.