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CCEL announces 2018 Dr. Alex Hills Engineering and Civic Engagement Award recipient

by Michelle Saport  |   

The Center for Community Engagement and Learning (CCEL) is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2018 Dr. Alex Hills Engineering and Civic Engagement Award. This year's award goes to Canyon Lewis, a UAA Civil Engineering undergraduate student, who along with Biological Sciences student Claire Lubke submitted a successful proposal for the project, "Autonomous Aeroponic Garden." The students will be working with faculty advisor Todd Petersen, associate professor of electrical engineering.

The focus of this project is the design of an autonomous aeroponic garden system that could potentially be integrated into Alaskan communities to promote local subsistence and decrease dependence upon food shipped into Alaska. The prototype will track the nutrients, pH and ppm levels, as well as the root chamber's humidity, temperature and oxygen levels, using sensors and a microcontroller. This information will be used to optimize the system's efficiency relative to nutrient absorption and water consumption during the growth stages of plants.

The Dr. Alex Hills Engineering and Civic Engagement Award encourages UAA Engineering undergraduates to use their engineering knowledge and practice for the benefit of society. For this $2,500 award, student(s) conduct a community-engaged learning project that solves engineering and technology-based problems in partnership with a local organization, under the supervision of an engineering faculty member.

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