R11007: Open Source / Open Architecture Sustainable Water Systems

Mission Statement

Table of Contents

Family Mission

"The mission of this family of projects is to provide compelling solutions to the problem of sufficient, accessible, economical, and sustainable potable water supplies for the world's population."

The subsequent RIT MSD teams will develop projects with these specifications:
Each student team contributing to this project family is to:

"No individual team is expected to solve the Sustainable Water System project alone. Rather, the cumulative impact of this family of projects will be felt over time, and there should be no doubt within the international community that this family of students projects was the key contributor to solving this compelling problem."

Roadmapping Team Mission




Context of This Project Family

By carefully dissecting the broad mission statement of the entire project family, the DPM roadmapping team should develop a multi-year series of projects that will have a profound impact on society.

The ME faculty have adopted the goal of establishing our department as one of the top 25 ME programs first in the nation, and then in the world. Based on a strategic planning retreat in May 2008, the faculty agreed that we, collectively as a department and in collaboration with others, should accomplish three tasks, in pursuit of our goal:

This family of MSD projects addresses all three of these tasks, either directly, or indirectly. First, by engaging KGCOE students in this problem of significant need, they will experience a novel approach to engineering education. Second, the problems chosen as the subject of each family are each compelling problems of national and global significance. Collectively, our students will make a real difference in the world. Third, as we demonstrate the ability of engineering students to positively shape the world for the better, while they are still students, we anticipate other schools emulating what we do.

To give some sense of scale to this project, consider that we will have at least 3 families projects growing out of this DPM plan. Each family will have about 8 projects, composed of nominally 6 students. Each student will contribute in excess of 250 engineering-hours per project. This represents, conservatively, 36,000 engineering-hours of effort that will be dedicated to the project over the next decade. That's about 18 engineer-years of effort, and does not include DPM planning efforts, faculty guides, volunteers, industry panelists, or leveraged partner efforts.

You are solid engineers. You have an opportunity to make a profound impact on this global need. Let's show the world that, as engineers, WE DESIGN THE FUTURE.

Starting Points

Ms. Sarah Brownell will serve as your primary stakeholder group representative. She has lots of experience in this application domain. You will work with her through Mr. Garavuso this fall. She has a great deal of personal experience, and professional knowledge of this field.

Keep in mind that we have a cohort of second year Chemical Engineering students in the KGCOE this fall. They will be fifth year students in MSD during the Fall Semester of 2013. Dr. Weinstein is the ChemE Program Chair. We also have a cohort of first year Biomedical Engineering students int eh KGCOE this fall. They will be fifth year students in MSD during the Fall Semester of 2014.

We have one faculty member, Dr. Ghoneim, in Dubai at our campus this year, and another full-time faculty member in Mech E, Dr. Friess in Dubai. We will have about a dozen Mech E students studying abroad in Dubai for Winter quarter. We are planning an excursion to a water desalinization plant in Dubai for them. Dr. Ghoneim is interested in the particular aspect of sustainable water systems based on desalinization technologies, since a large fraction of the world's population lives within walking distance of the ocean.

We believe that there is an opportunity to provide sponsorship for this entire family of projects for the next decade, and that we may be able to use the preliminary efforts of the DPM and MSD teams to turn this effort into a major focus area for many faculty members in the KGCOE.

When we talk about scalable systems, please consider the following 'scales" of sustainable water systems. We will start at the small end of the scale, and work our way up. It may take two or three decades to get to the top of the scale. I hope we will be there when you return to RIT upon retirement from your professional career!

  1. Water supply for one adult
  2. Water supply for one family, consisting of two adults and two children
  3. Water supply for one small village, consisting of nominally 10 families
  4. Water supply for one small town, consisting of nominally 10 villages
  5. Water supply for one small city, supporting a population of more than 20,000

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