Waternomics at NUI Galway Civil Engineering TY Week

On the 26th of April 2016, the Waternomics Team took part in the first Civil Engineering Transition Year (TY*) Programme at NUI Galway. The goal of the programme is to give senior post primary students who are interested in Civil Engineering first-hand experience of the diverse and exciting opportunities this career has to offer.

TY is an optional year offered at many post primary schools in Ireland at the beginning of the senior cycle.

30 students (aged 15 – 17 years) from schools in Galway, Mayo and Clare are attending the week-long Civil Engineering TY Programme at NUIG which is taking place in the NUIG Engineering Building; a Waternomics Pilot Site.

The NUIG Waternomics Team held two sessions of two separate workshops for programme attendees, both of which showcased the work of Waternomics; A Water and Water Conservation Workshop and an Application Development Workshop.

The NUIG Waternomics Team taking part in the Civil Engineering TY Programme were Eoghan, Louise, Niall and Joanne from the Department of Civil Engineering NUIG and Wassim from the Insight Centre for Data Analytics NUIG. The Water and Water Conservation Workshop focused on the importance of clean water to society and the role of the Civil Engineers in providing it. Also, the increased challenges that the modern world has brought to Civil Engineers in the context of water, with ever increasing demands on this increasingly vulnerable resource.

The themes of water as a resource, the effort and energy required to produce potable energy, the role of the individual in responsible water usage and school water audits were examined.  The Practical Workshop Task set for attendees in smaller groups of simulating the water treatment process proved to be an excellent visual aid for students as well as a good opportunity for engagement. The School Water Audit Workshop Task provided an opportunity for attendees to really consider the nature of their individual water usage and that of a typical post primary school.

Holding the workshops in the Engineering Building was a great opportunity to showcase the physical meter installations carried as part of the Waternomics Project and the application of ICT hardware and software innovations to capture and display this meter data in real-time.

The Application Development Workshop introduced the students to the design and development of Android Mobile application using MIT App Inventor 2. The workshop started by developing simple apps until a full water footprint calculator using the Water Flavour App. Attendees were encouraged to build on this experience to further develop and innovate using the Waternomics Data.

Students had the chance to see and interact with applications using the continuously updated water sensor data being sent to the Waternomics platform from the Engineering Building Pilot Site. This gave them an idea of how to build complex applications starting from sensor data to stimulate further their creativity towards other types of applications.

This news article is collaboratively written by Wassim, Louise, Eoghan, Joanne and Niall