Major Qualifying Project

WPI’s Major Qualifying Project (MQP) in the Environmental Engineering (EVE) program gives you a leg up on the competition when launching your career or gaining admission to the best graduate schools.

Designed so that you can experience the real-world interdisciplinary problem solving that will soon characterize your professional career, EVE MQPs involve faculty and students participating in projects at the Stantec and Panama City Project Centers, as well as in industry with firms and organizations like Upper Blackstone Water Pollution Abatement District, one of New England's largest wastewater treatment plants, and Koch Membrane, a leading manufacturer of membrane technology for water purification. In these projects, you’ll integrate theory from coursework into real-life projects, and often work with project sponsors to develop critical environmental solutions.

Location: Kaven Hall
Phone: 508-831-5294
Fax: 508-831-5808

Reducing Phosphorus Contamination in Stormwater Runoff

Robert Antoine, Michael Bowen, Grace Howard

Stormwater pollution from human activity and urbanization has caused phosphorus concentrations in the Charles River to rise dangerously. In the midst of new stormwater regulations, Stantec (a top global design firm with multiple offices in Greater Boston) needed to prepare for a growing demand for phosphorus mitigation projects. This MQP helped Stantec with the stormwater management plan at a redevelopment site along the Charles River. The design of a system dynamics model and cost-benefit analysis tool were key elements used to make recommendations for the stormwater plan.

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Reactivating Wastewater Treatment in Thessaloniki, Greece

Christopher Cerruti, Haley Morgan, Nikos Kalaitzidis, Matheus Pereira

A collaboration between students in civil engineering, environmental engineering, and international studies, this MQP looked at the on-site sludge wastewater treatment system (WWTS) of the American Farm School in Thessaloniki, Greece. Inoperative for several years, the system was originally designed to treat agricultural product processing wastewater on-site for irrigation reuse on the school’s crops. The students worked together to collect wastewater samples and suggest economically feasible design improvements that would enable the reactivation of the WWTS and once again allow the school to have an on-site irrigation system.

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Improving the Removal of Emulsified Oil from Wastewater

Chelsea Costa, Thomas Hoctor, Tatiana Huet de Bacellar, Casey Rota

Oil and grease are found in domestic and industrial waste, and cause not only environmental problems, but also problems in the wastewater treatment process. This MQP analyzed the effectiveness of powdered activated carbon (PAC) in removing oil from wastewater. Based on their findings, an on-site treatment process was designed for a typical car washing facility using PAC and a membrane filtration system in order to allow for the reuse of water at the facility.

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Alternative Carbon Sources for Biological Denitrification

Deanna Clark, Mikayla Filippone, Kelsey Ouellette, Hannah Reinertsen

Biological denitrification (BDN) is a technology often used to remove nitrate from wastewater by forming nitrogen gas. This MQP sought to determine alternative carbon sources for BDN at Upper Blackstone Water Pollution Abatement District (UBWPAD), testing various wastes like beverage waste, unrefined biodiesel production waste, sugar production waste, Dow Chemical waste, Elite Chemical waste, and deicer fluid. The carbon sources were evaluated in kinetic reactor tests, and based on the students’ findings, they recommended using biodiesel production waste as an alternative carbon source for biological denitrification at UBWPAD.

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Stormwater Quality and Management Plan for Treasure Valley Scout Reservation

Brittany Colcord, Samantha Foote, Alexandra MacLaren

The goal of this MQP was to identify areas affected by stormwater control issues at Treasure Valley Scout Reservation in Rutland, MA, and to design solutions to address these problems. This was accomplished through site visits, GIS mapping, water sampling and testing, and a hydrologic analysis of the contributing area. Using that information, a rain garden was designed to address the erosion of campsites, and a replacement culvert was designed to reduce flooding of the overpassing road.

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