International Challenges in Water Resources

Location of Program: Europe      Year: 2015
Program Director(s): Dan Ames
Participating Major(s): Civil and Environmental Engineering, Geology


Students learned about water management in Europe. They studied water management projects from a wide range of time periods, including 200 year-old windmills.  Students then visited these windmills while they were in the Netherlands. This year the students researched “Room for the River” projects and designed, analyzed, and reported on solutions. They then toured these sites. 

Recap of the Year:

Leadership Development

As students with different backgrounds learned to work together, they developed abilities that will benefit them as they work in teams in the future. Each student was given an opportunity to be in charge of a part of their team project, and learned to determine the best way to share their findings and help others understand their work.

Global Agility

Students visited four universities in the Netherlands and also met with students and professors from a university in Belgium. During these visits, students learned about water management in the Netherlands and the western United States.  Students experienced Dutch culture, learned Dutch history, and saw a beautiful country. What stood out to the students was the wonderful interaction with the people they met and the importance of getting to know and trying to help others.

Technical Experience

Students worked together in designing and analyzing a solution for a “Room For the River” project, learned from leaders in water modeling research and saw world-renowned modeling facilities. Students visited Deltares, where they saw and learned about new modeling tools and scale water models. Students also performed individual research projects on water management projects and shared their knowledge with each other while visiting the site of the projects.

Student Experiences

"Seeing all the work that is being done to improve the quality of life inspired me to constantly improve myself and the situation of others around me.  
-Preston Merrell

"Seeing the results of the ingenuity and determination of so many people over centuries inspired me with greater vision for my own career goals."
-Mariah Chambers