Civil 11 - Benin Research & Modeling of Groundwater


Student Team: Jessica Bladow, Connor McGregor
Advisor: Steve Silliman
Sponsoring Organization: Gonzaga University
Liaison:  Steve Silliman


Center for Engineering Design and Entrepreneurship

Civil Engineering Department Student Project


Project Title


Due Wednesday, October 2, 2013

CEDE - Civil Engineering requests a student project proposal for the following project:





Due October 2, 2013, before 4:00 PM PST


One digital copy in pdf format and one hard copy of proposal must be submitted.


Location for Proposal Delivery:      


Toni Boggan,

Academic Director of CEDE

Gonzaga University School of Engineering and Applied Science,

PACCAR 214, Spokane, WA 99258.




Project Sponsor

The sponsor of this project is Gonzaga University


The liaison for the project is:

Steve Silliman, Ph.D.

School of Engineering and Applied Science

Gonzaga University

Spokane, WA 99258



Project Description:

The CEDE - Civil Engineering Department is requiring a proposal from the group of student engineers to provide comprehensive engineering efforts related to the development of a calibrated 3-d groundwater flow model of the Godomey well field. Engineering activities will include the implementation of a MODFLOW flow simulation and the calibration of the 3-D model using data on pressure an chemical constituent concentrations  The student team is expected to research existing literature to determine the most effective way to implement the flow simulation and calibration. 


Tasks will include, but are not limited to the following:


1.         Stove Design:

Improve the existing stove design to ensure a pot placed on the stove heats quickly, has a stable surface on which to rest, and that the stove can accommodate a variety of pot sizes. The project team should initially look into the support screws or change the design such that it more closely resembles the braziers currently used by the community. Alternatively, the project team could look to a design that provides a burner such that a pot is placed directly on a heated surface.


2.         Charging components:

Improve upon existing charging system design such that the device is able to seamlessly provide charging for multiple devices including mobile phones, batteries, radios, lights etc.. The team will need to investigate the range of voltages and a way to adjust the voltage output of the TEG cell.


3.         Stove materials and value engineering:

Investigate alternative materials to be used in the stove manufacture including low-strength concrete and clay. The materials used should be easily obtained in the Zambezi area, leading to an ease of manufacturing, a sustainable product, and lowered cost. The project team should endeavor to make the rocket stove and charging components modular and determine if the design is better served by locating the TEG on the pot itself rather than the stove.


4.         Water Filters:

Develop and test performance of a porous, inverted bowl-shaped water filters made out of pervious concrete. Modify the existing mold to construct and determine the efficacy of the pervious concrete filters.


5.         Business development and implementation:

Work with the wider group membership and Zambian partners to organize an on-the-ground effort in summer of 2014 to provide a culturally-appropriate training and education program for local workers, and to produce several stove and water filter prototypes in-country using only locally available labor, materials and tools.


The project will also require the implementation of project management techniques in the completion of the engineering efforts, including interaction the project sponsor, liaisons, project advisors, monitoring project efforts and progress towards project goals, updating the project schedule, and preparing status reports.


The project will produce a final draft of conference or journal publication and a final report to submit to the sponsor and CEDE.


Students will be responsible to make required presentations of the project activities and may also attend an appropriate conference.



The proposal evaluation process will be determined by the project advisor in conjunction with the CEDE, the project sponsor, and the CEDE Design Advisory Board.  It will be based on the organization of the project efforts reflected in the proposal and the educational goals achieved in the completion of the proposal.  Note that some efforts in the project are oriented to achieve educational goals that are not required to achieve the project sponsors goals.



Increasing levels of salinity (salts) have been found in certain wells in the Godomey well field region of Benin, Africa.  This is a worrisome find, and as such, this project will work towards determining the possible sources of this salinity. 


More specifically, this project will focus on analyzing previously collected pressure response and chemical data which will be used to calibrate the current subsurface conceptual models.  In order to analyze this data, team members will receive training in GMS (Groundwater Modeling System) and MATLAB.


This project is a continuation of prior efforts in the area.  Prior publications about the water supply from the Godomey well field are available for the project team to review.



This project is a continuation of prior efforts in the area.  Prior publications about the water supply from the Godomey well field are available for the project team to review.


The project team must familiarize themselves with the existing condition of the project in order to properly prepare the project proposal. 



The student project group will, at a minimum, provide the following efforts and deliverables in the completion of the project addressed in this proposal:





Scope of Activities Required to Meet Project Goals


Task 100                                Project Management and Coordination

The student group shall organize, manage and coordinate the efforts required to accomplish the project using standard project management and contract administration techniques. Key management activities are identified below:


            Sub-Task 110                        Kick-off Meeting

The Student Team will conduct a kickoff meeting with their project advisor and sponsor liaison’s to gain familiarity for the project and to solicit input, gather available data and information.


            Sub-Task 120                        Routine progress-review meetings

Routine progress-review meetings will be conducted on a regular basis as follows:

a.      Weekly progress reports are required and are to be submitted electronically to the advisor by 5:00 pm each Thursday. Weekly progress reports must include, at a minimum, activities completed by each team member for the current week, expected work for the upcoming week, and updates to the project design budget and schedule.

b.      In addition, a complete hardcopy record of the project reports and files must be maintained by the student team and be made readily available during consultations with the advisor. Typical method would be a project notebook. The advisor and liaison will ask to review this notebook periodically to discover the status of the work being completed. 


            Sub-Task 130                        Regular Advisor and Liaison Meetings

After the kick-off meeting, the Student Team will meet weekly with the project advisor, and will also meet when needed with the project liaisons.  All meetings with advisor and liaison’s MUST be arranged by members of the Student Team in advance (at least 2 days prior) and include a proposed meeting agenda sent to the advisor or liaison prior (at least 2 days) to the meeting.  All meetings must be documented by the Student Team in the form of meeting minutes with copies distributed within 3 days of the meeting to all team members and the project advisor and liaison’s, as above.


      Sub-Task 140            Quality Assurance/Quality Control

The Student Team will perform a methodical QA/QC effort in a manner suitable to the project advisor and liaison, to prevent incorrect, sub-standard or dangerous results from being included in the end of semester project reports.


      Sub-Task 150            Project Schedule / WBS /Gantt Chart and Budget


Task 100 Deliverables

  • Electronic copy of agenda for team meetings.
  • Electronic updates to project design budget and schedule that includes budget and personnel hours for each sub-task in the entire project.
  • Electronic copy of resolutions and action items for each meeting.
  • Statement on the QA/QC activities for reports submitted at the end of each semester to describe the review and checking procedure employed.


Task 200                                Project Data Collection

Work collaboratively with project staff and other reliable sources to develop the summary of project data required for analysis.  Data may include geology, site survey, water use, chemical analysis, climate, and other data.  Proposal submitted is to identify data needs and collection methods for project.


            Sub-Task 210                        Literature Review

The Student Team will perform a thorough literature review to form the basis of the analysis and modification to the existing 2-D model.


            Sub-Task 220                        Local Project Information

The Student Team will work with existing project data to make it suitable for calibration of the 3-D model.


Task 200 Deliverables

  • Electronic copy of literature, data and mapping, reports or surveys completed for the project and to be included in the project report.
  • Bibliographic references and annotations for significant literature used, suitable for use in publication.
  • Summary of safety and legal issues addressed in data.


Task 300                                Project Analysis Efforts

The student team will develop plans, drawings, analysis, comparisons, and other design work required to successfully achieve the project goals. The specific project approach will be determined by the team in the project proposal.


            Sub-Task 310                        Review and Examination of Existing 2-D Model

Develop understanding of well field using existing model.


            Sub-Task 320                        Implementation of 3-D model

Provide a correctly operating 3-D MODFLOW model. 


            Sub-Task 330                        Calibration of 3-D Model

Develop appropriate aquifer properties and geometry to calibrate 3-D model.


            Sub-Task 340                        Operate Calibrated Model to Examine water Supply

Develop an analysis of the water supply using calibrated 3-D model.




Task 300 Deliverables

  • Electronic copy of drawings, calculations, data, reports or calculations completed for the project design and to be included in the project report.


Task 400                                Project Sustainability Evaluation  

Based on the model results needs, and the understanding of the safety and regulatory requirements, evaluate the finding from the model operation on the  overall sustainability of the water supply system and identify other opportunities for increasing sustainability that are potentially achievable.


Task 400 Deliverables

  • Provide appropriate written presentation that:

a)              Describe the environmental benefits/costs of the project. 

b)              Describe the social benefits/costs of the project. 

c)              Describe the economic/costs benefits of the project. 

d)              Summarize how sustainable the methods used to meet the project goals are. 


Task 500                                Project Reports, Publications and Presentations  

The project team is required to prepare a final report suitable for the CEDE and a journal publication. Prepare and present findings of the project to groups which could include travel and presentation at a national conference. 


Task 500 Deliverables

  •  Reports, publications and presentations in electronic format in a timely manner.




Timeliness of project completion is critical. The project schedule contains some specific milestones and also must accommodate the academic calendar.


The student group will use the general dates below to develop the comprehensive schedule required for the proposal.


Information on Proposals Available:                                   September 4, 2013

Teams Selected:                                                                   September 6, 2013

Sponsor Workshop                                                               September 11, 2013

Civil CEDE Mandatory All Student/Advisor Meeting        September 18, 2013

Labor Day                                                                              September 27, 2013

Proposals Due                                                                      October 2, 2013

Founder’s Day Holiday / Midterms                         October 21, 2013

Roundtable Project 30 % Progress Meeting                     October 30, 2013

Thanksgiving Holiday                                                           November 27 – 29, 2013

Project Status Presentation 50% Progress                       December 11, 2013

Project Status Report Due                                                   December 13, 2013

Reading Days                                                                       December 14 – 16, 2013

Classes Begin                                                                       January 14, 2014

Martin Luther King, Jr., Holiday                                           January 20, 2014

President's Day Holiday                                                       February 17, 2014

Roundtable 60% Progress Meeting / Social                     February 19, 2014

Spring Vacation                                                                    March 10 – 14, 2014

Good Friday – Easter Holiday                                             April 18 – April 21, 2014

Final Reports Due                                                                 April 25, 2014

Final Design Presentation                                                   April 30, 2014



The student group will include a budget that details the costs of completing the project analysis tasks. This budget is not the “engineers estimate” to complete the implementation of the design; it is the costs to perform the engineering tasks and does not include the value of project team personnel hours. This requirement is contained in Task 100, but is highlighted here.

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Contact Information

Academic Director:
Toni Boggan
Phone: 509-313-3913

Faculty Director:
Steven Zemke
Phone: 509-313-3554

502 E. Boone Avenue
Spokane, WA 99258-0026
Phone: (509) 313-3523
Fax: (509) 313-5871