May 6, 1995 in City

Gu Students Gear Up For Work Force

By The Spokesman-Review

Gonzaga University engineering and computer science students are getting a taste of what it’s like to solve real world problems.

Each year, seniors spend several months working on projects with industry and government. The projects are required for graduation.

Christy Stellwagen and Barbara Stapp designed a computer program to help Westinghouse Hanford Co. monitor the condition of nuclear waste tanks.

“Creating this was a big challenge,” said Stellwagen.

She and other students said working with real problems will help them as they make the transition from college to the work force.

Senior Ed Smith teamed up with several other students to study potential downstream flooding should Upriver Dam fail.

Smith said homes and apartments near the Washington Water Power Co. headquarters would be flooded. The city of Spokane will use the information in its disaster planning, he said.

Another group of students did a preliminary design for a sewer and water system at Sacheen Lake north of Spokane.

Homes along the lake are mostly on septic tanks, and the lake may be getting polluted from seepage, said student Katy Allen.

The sewer and water systems would cost about $4.3 million combined, or about $10,000 for each of the 400 residential lots, Allen said.

Two groups of students worked for pharmaceutical companies.

Tiffany Clute and her group studied ways to improve energy efficiency at Miles Laboratory’s plant in northeast Spokane.

Eric Ryan and David Sunde designed a small machine to test for faults in plastic syringes made by Bayer Corp.

The syringes will go into emergency medical kits for people who are deathly allergic to bee stings.

Rob Schultz created a mathematical model for the U.S. Bureau of Mines to test cable bolt supports inside mine shafts. The supports protect against cave-ins.

Bicycle inventor Ernest Buckler of Spokane got help from the students designing an adjustable seat for his recumbent bike design.

He said he needs the improved seat to be able to put his unique bicycle into production.

Travis Mooney won a first place regional engineering award for a 10-band graphic equalizer to be used in home theaters.

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