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July 17, 2019 - Dr. Tabitha Sprau Coulter, assistant professor of civil engineering at King’s College, has been collaborating with Dave Hohol, campus sustainability coordinator, and engineering students on research to identify and implement sustainability initiatives across campus. The goal of the research is to help the College identify strategically feasible sustainability initiatives and to institutionalize sustainability efforts.

To date, the research has assisted with improved recycling signage, the addition of water bottle refilling stations, an “end food waste” campaign, improvements for an on-campus community garden, and an overall increase in sustainability awareness and education efforts. 

In April, engineering students Robert Wachter and Rene Sousa, presented “Identifying Value Added Campus Sustainability Initiatives,” at an Engineering Sustainability Conference in Pittsburgh. The research presented focused on using decision support tools to identify and implement sustainability measures that will have maximum added value to the college.

“The conference was an incredible experience because we not only had an opportunity to learn from people with a variety of backgrounds ranging from industry to academia, but people actually wanted to help us further our own research, and gave us helpful insight as to how we can better implement our sustainability initiatives,” said Watcher.

“Future research plans include a longitudinal study that will concentrate on the social aspect of sustainability,” according to Sprau Colter.  “The study will center around understanding the impact of educational programs that focus on end-user engagement.”

Watcher will further his engineering education at Notre Dame in the fall, and Sousa graduated with his bachelor’s of science in environmental science this past May. The research and sustainability initiatives will continue with new students this fall.

Pictured are Robert Watcher (left) and Rene Sousa (right)