Brian St Germain – contributed photo
Brian St Germain of Upton, Mass., a junior majoring in electrical and computer engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), recently completed an intense, hands-on research project in Denmark. The project was titled Green Space Design for a Daylighting Pilot Project.
“Our project was to develop a proposal on daylighting the Ladegårdsåen, working with Miljøpunkt Nørrebro. Daylighting is the process of raising a river (usually in a tunnel) to the surface.” said St Germain.
St Germain said the project focused on designing a pilot project in a small park where the river flows. “The park is currently under developed and will need to be redeveloped in order to accommodate the required amount of stormwater in Denmark’s flood water plan,” said St Germaine.
While there St Germain’s group researched previous daylighting projects and gathered public opinion. According to St Germain this allowed the group to gain a better understanding of what makes a park successful. St Germain said, “We worked with our sponsors architect in order to develop park designs we felt would be the most successful given the public’s feedback. We compiled our proposal into a final report and a pamphlet for our sponsors to use at the upcoming elections.”
“In my 8 weeks abroad I was able to experience and immerse myself in a very different culture than what I am used to back home. During the weekends, I was able to travel to other countries such as Germany and Scotland in order to get the a more complete European experience. This program enables students to gain real world working experience in an engineering field, with deadlines and meetings, while also participating in a new and different culture,” said St Germain.
“The WPI project-based curriculum’s focus on global studies brings students out of the classroom and their comfort zones and into the global community to apply their knowledge to solve real problems,” said Professor Richard Vaz, dean of the WPI Interdisciplinary and Global Studies Division. “Students are immersed in all aspects of a different culture, from the way people live and work to the values they hold to the foods they eat–all valuable perspectives for surviving and thriving in today’s global marketplace. They also learn the meaning and magic of teamwork; make a real and meaningful difference in their host community; and gain a competitive edge for any resume, or graduate or professional school application.”