Striving for ZERO Wastes Emissions: Integrating Classroom Teaching and Research Initiatives
Rong LaiPeng1, APSC3413X2 Class of 20051 and Dr. Martin Tango2
1CAS/BASc Students, School of Engineering/Environmental Science
2Assistant Professor, School of Engineering
Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada, B4P 2R6
Telephone: 1-902-585-1149;  Fax: 1-902-585-1067 
E-mail: 056456r@acadiau.ca; martin.tango@acadiau.ca
In recent years, the focus of post-secondary institutions is to prepare students for job market as well as leaders of tomorrow. One approach to address this challenge is to expose students to critical thinking or problem-based learning process. This work reflects the knowledge and experiences gained during January-April, 2005 by the APSC3413X2 (Introduction to Environmental Engineering) class of 2005. About 10 projects related to environmental challenges in our society were proposed, each group (or an individual), then identified the specific objectives and subsequently formulated solution strategies for the problems. Over the time, groups worked independently, applying critical thinking approach, with progressive intermediate in class peer review sessions as well as mini presentations. Ultimately, at the end of the semester, final written reports were submitted and formal presentations made by member(s) of the project team. Overall, the content and quality of information gathered from each project is indispensable and forms a synergistic econometric relationship. Our group poster illustrates how each project becomes a microscopic component at domestic or family scale level.


The research topics explored include; the role of biodegradable plastics, techniques towards smoke stacks emissions, solutions to oil spill mitigation, smog pollution, bio-diesel as neat fuels, effective removal of excess nutrients using vegetation, geothermal systems for heating and ventilation, management of reuse and recovery of domestic grey water, heavy metals removal using natural materials, and sequencing batch reactors (SBR’s) compact systems. The benefits from these projects include; save energy and utilization of biocompatible materials, control and reduction of environmental emissions, better management and preservation of fresh water resources, liquid and solid wastes resource re-use for production of value-added commodities, mitigate toxic compounds from natural ecosystems, and promote human health and safety.

 Our experiences from this exercise created opportunities for critical application of scientific fundamentals and become familiar with problem-based learning compatible with future real time needs of the society. The ultimate goal of integrating in-class teaching and research initiatives dwells on understanding the evolving human needs and propose suitable technological solutions to meet the continuously changing societal needs.


All Submissions
7:00 AM-5:00 PM, Thursday, 20 October 2005, Oral

The Nova Scotia, Canada 2005 Meeting