Undergraduate Blog

To submit an item for the undergraduate blog, email Greg Coughlin.

September 26, 2017

Modeling the Water Quality Impacts of the Ecological Separation of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Basins at Chicago for Invasive Species Control

Tuesday, October 3, 2:00 pm
1225 Newmark Civil Engineering Building
Charles S. Melching, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE, BCEE
Melching Water Solutions LLC
Greenfield, WI 53221

In 1900, the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal (CSSC) was opened to reverse the flow of the Chicago River diverting the wastewater from Chicago away from Chicago’s water source, Lake Michigan, and toward the Mississippi River. This project has been a great public health success for Chicago, but in the later 20th Century the CSSC and other waterways of the Chicago Area Waterways System (CAWS) became a conduit for invasive species to move between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers evaluated methods to prevent the migration of invasive species between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins particularly in the Chicago metropolitan area in the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study (GLMRIS). The DUFLOW modeling system developed in the Netherlands has been adapted to simulate water quality in the CAWS. This model was applied to consider Current (actual inflows in the test water years), Baseline (inflows changed to reflect facilities expected to be operational in 2017), and Future (inflows changed to reflect facilities expected to be operational in 2029) in the CAWS for no separation, lakefront separation, or mid-system separation project conditions. This presentation discusses the changes in dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations and in compliance with DO standards in the CAWS resulting for the various projects and flow conditions. Three representative water years, a wet year (2008), dry year (2003), and medium year (2001), are considered to compare the DO results from no project and those resulting for the various ecological separation scenarios.


Charles S. “Steve” Melching, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE, D.WRE, BCEE is an environmental consultant from Greenfield, Wis. He graduated with his Masters (1982) and Ph.D. (1987) from the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). He received the 1988 Chester P. Seiss Civil Engineering Graduate Student Award from the UIUC for his thesis research. In his 30 year career he has been a professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Marquette University and Rutgers University and a hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Urbana. He has worked on a wide variety of hydrologic and water quality studies in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, New Jersey, Kentucky, Florida, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Arizona, Belgium, and China. He has received the 2001 ASCE Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize and the 2008 Researcher of the Year Award from Marquette University. He is the co-author of two books and nearly 100 scientific technical papers and reports, and he is a registered professional engineer in Illinois, Arizona, and Wisconsin. He is a former Associate Editor of the Journal of Hydraulic Research (2002-2006) and Journal of Hydrologic Engineering (2007-2014), and he currently is an Associate Editor (2002-present) and the Executive Editor (2016-present) of the International Journal of Sediment Research.


September 25, 2017

Please see the following message from the MATH department regarding dropdown information and deadlines:

Most deadlines to switch have either passed (no more honors 241 to regular 241; no more Math 221 switch to Math 220) or are Oct. 3 or 4.

Students who are struggling because they started in a math class that was too advanced (possibly cheating on placement exam, possibly their high school class didn't prepare them well for college math) should make the switch AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. They've already missed nearly a month of class! Students who are struggling because of poor study skills need to work on those, because moving down one level of math is far from a guaranteed A or B!!

To make the switch, students must

1. Visit with a math advisor in 313 Altgeld Hall, weekdays between 9-11:30 or 1-4:30pm, before the deadline for the switch.

2. Bring the blue dropdown form from the advisors to the lecturer of the NEW dropdown class. Students need to know how they will be graded for missed work, whether they will need to make up any of that work, and where to find a general course information sheet for the class they're adding (paper copy or link to class website).

3. Instructor of the new class needs to sign the form saying they allow the add; that they have informed the student about grading and make-up work; and that they believe the student should still have a reasonable chance of passing the class. (Students who add these classes late do NOT get an extended drop deadline!!)

4. Student brings the form back to the math advisors to have the class switch completed.


Information and deadlines for each course:

Math 220: 2pm, October 4 deadline for dropdowns from Math 231. Math 221 students may dropdown to 115 only (not 220). (BioCalculus section, XL1, not available for dropdowns.)

Math 221: 2pm, October 4 deadline for sections CL1/CL2/CL3; 2pm Sept. 29 deadline for section AL1, for students dropping from Math 231.

Math 231: 2pm, October 4 deadline for dropdowns from Math 241 (regular or honors). The AL1/AL2/AL3 lectures are available to all students; freshmen in Engineering (or Engineering-tuition majors) may select EL1/EL2.

September 22, 2017

As you may know, each undergrad is assigned a faculty advisor who you may contact and meet with for answers to questions you may have and sign off on Academic Program Plans. This is in addition to Becky Stillwell, Prof. James LaFave, and Prof. Liang Liu who provide advising to every undergrad in the department. I've attached a spreadsheet containing faculty advisee assignments. It is sorted alphabetically by student's last name. You should also be able to look up your faculty advisor in your DARS Audit and in Enterprise UI.


September 22, 2017

Please see the following message from the organizers of this year's EPA Campus RainWorks Challenge:

"The Campus RainWorks Challenge seeks to engage with undergraduate and graduate students to foster a dialogue about responsible stormwater management and showcase the environmental, economic, and social benefits of green infrastructure practices.

We have a interdisciplinary team of faculty advisers. Our primary faculty adviser will be  Professor Arthur Schmidt from Environmental Hydrology and Hydraulic Engineering. 

Teams will be finalized on September 30th. If you're interested in joining or have any questions, please contact Jessica Wiegand at jmwiega2@illinois.edu or Cindy Chen at cchen161@illinois.edu."

September 21, 2017

The United States Geological Survey (USGS), Illinois-Iowa Water Science Center will soon be filling a Hydrologist position at the GS-07/09/11 level. This position will be open to all eligible applicants who qualify for the series and grade.

Some duties of the position include:

Manage hydraulic/model data and models inputs and results. Manage, visualize, and analyze hydrologic data. Prepare model simulations for sensitivity analysis and verification Draft sections of reports and author data products including web pages and databases. Communicating data and model analyses Coordinate and instruct technicians on data retrieval. QA/QC and routine analysis

Please see the attached document for a detailed job description and details on applying.