News Feed

February 2015_                    

Construction Site Runoff

2015 01 23

Developing case studies is not an easy job. Water quality and quantity are affected by rain events which calls for immediate action by team members. This picture was taken late one evening by Todd Aronhalt.


January 2015_                    

Oil Sheen 

Oil Sheen 2014 12 05

A few oil sheens were found in the stream just this past week. The LEWAS site is located downstream from mostly impervious development and road pavement. These oil sheens could be from motor oil runoff after rain events.


December 2014                     

Happy Holidays!

Christmas 2014

This week's meeting was a little different with a White Elephant gift exchange. Happy Holidays from the LEWAS team!


Oil Sheen 

Oil Sheen 2014 12 05

A few oil sheens were found in the stream just this past week. The LEWAS site is located downstream from mostly impervious development and road pavement. These oil sheens could be from motor oil runoff after rain events.


November 2014                     

Coal in the Stream

IMG 5457IMG 5459

Virginia Tech has a coal power plant within the LEWAS Lab’s site watershed. We can only speculate where the coal came from, but the pictures resemble what we found.

October 2014                     

Maintaining a Clean Field Site

news 2014 09 05

There have been great amounts of sediment and debris at the LEWAS field site from storm water this week. With only a few leaves left on the Sonde rack, regular site maintenance is in full force as the fall semester begins.

August 2014                          

121st ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition in Indianapolis 

20140617 d1 

Daniel Brogan's research poster on Platform Independent Remote Monitoring System (PIRMS) aids senior level Hydrology students by providing real-time data collected from the LEWAS Lab. 


July 2014                          

NSF/REU Week 2 site visit

20140606 2

Interdisciplinary Water Science and Engineering students went to the National Weather Service located here in Blacksburg. We got a tour of the facility by a Senior Service Hydrologist Peter Corrigan! 


May 2014                           


Daniel Brogan (PhD Engineering Education), Walter McDonald (PhD Civil Engineering), John Purviance (Undergraduate Computer Science) have fun working together to install new wire connections for the Rain Gauge and other instruments.

outside rainguage 

To find out more about what Daniel, Walter, or John do within the Lab, click here.


April 2014                              

Raspberry Pi

A look inside the lab this week as Undergraduate John Purviance is researching and testing a Raspberry Pi's capability of collecting Flowtracker data.  

john rasberry

The LEWAS Lab currently uses LabVIEW  as the interface to run instruments, but we are always researching more efficient, better ways to run equipment and collect data.



March 2014                              

CEE 4304 - Hydrology

The civil and environmental engineering hydrology class uses LEWAS Lab to collect and interpret data. They have an on going blog where students post pictures and conditions of the site. 

Take a look inside the class:

A detailed description of the class can be found under Education.



Grant supports undergraduate research in Interdisciplinary Water Sciences and Engineering

BLACKSBURG, Va., March 13, 2014 – The National Science Foundation has awarded Virginia Tech funding to continue undergraduate research experiences in interdisciplinary aspects of water research.

The $382,296 grant will allow the faculty and graduate student mentors, representing Virginia Tech's colleges of Engineering, Science, Agriculture and Life Sciences, and Architecture and Urban Studies, to engage 30 undergraduates from various engineering and science disciplines in the interdisciplinary aspects of water research over three years, starting this summer.

This specific research program for undergraduates at Virginia Tech was established in 2007. Since then, 56 undergraduate researchers representing more than 40 institutions from all over the country have graduated.

Altogether, this program at Virginia Tech has secured more than $1 million in funding from NSF to promote undergraduate research related to water.

Participants spend 10 weeks in the summer working on a research project supervised by faculty and graduate student mentors. They are provided professional development activities including seminars and weekly field trips.

Other activities are targeted at improving communication skills through research papers, weekly reflection papers, YouTube videos, and oral presentations. Social and cultural activities for professional growth and bonding are offered.

Vinod K. Lohani, a professor of engineering education and an adjunct faculty in civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech, is the principle investigator on this project.

His colleagues from various departments are: Marc Edwards, Amy Pruden, Andrea Dietrich, Erich Hester, and Jennifer Irish, all of civil and environmental engineering; Madeline Schreiber, of geoscience; Cayelan Carey of biological sciences; Kang Xia of crop and soil environmental sciences; and Brook Kennedy and Akshay Sharma of industrial design.

John Muffo, former director of academic assessment at Virginia Tech, will serve as an external expert for the site evaluation.

"The interdisciplinary focus in water research is the most exciting part of this undergraduate research experience," Lohani, site director, said. "Implementation of this interdisciplinary study has enabled us to develop other collaborative activities and proposals that are targeted at improving interdisciplinary research and education in water sciences and engineering," he added.

In a survey of past student participants, 68 percent of the graduates of this site plan said they planned to obtain a graduate degree in water sciences and engineering.

The site is housed within a lab known as the LabVIEW Enabled Watershed Assessment System, a teaching and research lab in the engineering education department. The undergraduate research experience program dates are May 25 through Aug. 2 for this summer.

All selected fellows will receive a stipend of $4,500, travel reimbursement, and housing and meals on campus. Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the U.S.

Lynn A Nystrom
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Full Article:


February 2014                           

Walter McDonald and Debarati Basu presented a poster on their research in the LEWAS lab at the Interdisciplinary Research (IDR) Day on February 27th, 2014. Their poster focused on the integration of multiple disciplines to create a real-time, high-frequency watershed monitoring lab that is used for engineering education and civil engineering research.

walter poster


September 2013                           

Earlier this month the LEWAS team removed SonTek’s Argonaunt Flow Meter from the bottom of Stroubles Creek. For the past month the flow meter has been not been providing accurate data for the LEWAS team. The picture bellow depicts the Argonaunt installed on the bottom of the creek.

img 0190-1

When the electrical and computer engineering (ECE) team opened the Argonaunt to perform a general investigation and hardware debugging they found a leaking seal and corrosion of parts inside of the flow meter. The white internal connection bellow has extensive corrosion inside of it. The ECE team is deterring if these parts can be replaced.

image 5-1

Further information about SonTek’s Argonaunt Flow Meter can be found Here. More exciting news about LEWAS Lab can be found on our Facebook page!