Meet David Watson, an integral member of the Civil Engineering team!
Q- How did you get involved with Solar Decathlon?
DW- The civil team formed from our Design 6 group, after Alex Lee and Zoe Elliott brought up the project to the rest of our group. Since the meetings for Solar D last spring were during the same time as our Design 6 lecture, we had to coordinate who would be attending meetings for Solar D and who stayed for D6, so it worked out for us to have the same group for both classes.
Q- Are you excited for the Xpo in Irvine, California?
DW- Well, since I will be graduating in May, I will most likely not be able to attend the expo in Irvine. Hopefully, I will have a job lined up by then, and will be working after graduation, so although I would like to attend the expo, I’m not sure it’s a possibility.
Q- How are you contributing your civil engineering skills to the project?
DW- As a part of the Civil Site/Water team, I have worked with team members Erin and Colleen to coordinate a rainwater harvesting system to attach to the house for competition, since we are not allowed to have any rainwater runoff during competition. I have contributed mostly through researching design ideas, adjusting design as new constraints or ideas come up, and currently, with some modeling in Revit.
Q- What is your specific role in the project? What innovations have you personally made to the house?
DW- My main contribution to the house has been selecting the green wall system. Since the rainwater harvesting system is essentially a 3-part system, each of the three team members has taken on part of the system as their own. I have also been working on the Revit model to make sure our system is accurately designed and detailed.
Q- What skills have you acquired throughout the preparation for Solar D? How will you use these skills in your future career in industry or academia?
DW- I have definitely learned a lot from the experience, especially with respect to coordination of the project. A challenge I’ve faced is understanding everyone’s individual role, and coordinating and communicating ideas or changes effectively, which are all major aspects of working on large projects in industry. I have also learned a bit more about the overall design and construction process, which has helped me to develop a better understanding of what I will be doing in the industry.
Q- What keeps you motivated to stay on the team and continue to work on the house?
DW- I really enjoy the concept of the competition. I have been interested in green engineering and sustainable ideas, especially related to buildings and construction, for a long time, and getting to be involved in a project with this as the main goal is definitely rewarding.