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DRMP Intern Takes Home 1st Place in FWEA Student Competition

July 6th, 2020

Tampa, Fla. – To say it has been a busy year for DRMP Intern Elliott Tegan-Tawney would be an understatement. Between balancing college course work during his senior year and holding down an internship at DRMP’s Tampa office, the transportation design intern managed to lead an environmental water project that won first place at the Florida Water Environment Association (FWEA) Student Competition. The project came from Tegan-Tawney’s capstone design course at the University of South Florida (USF), where he and teammates Jasmine Wood and Daniel Eagan chose from environmental water challenges happening in nearby communities. They had the semester to come up with a design solution.

“This had to be a problem-based project where we came up with a solution that could be incorporated," Tegan-Tawney said. "I like that this project is really diverse because there’s so many aspects to it, including hydraulics and renewable energy.” 

The Winning Project

The project is for the City of Lakeland, Florida’s SE7EN Wetlands Nature Park where there are seven wetlands with 11 control structures that prevent water flow from one wetland cell to the next until the water has been thoroughly treated. Four of the most used control structures are manual, where park staff have to physically stop the flow of water with stop logs. The project’s design aims to help the park better control the flow by redesigning automating those control structures,  allowing park staff to easily control the water flow from a remote location away from inclement weather. The designed control structures run on renewable energy. The project also required that the group provide the City of Lakeland a preliminary design and cost estimate for a future educational plan and informational kiosks that serve to inform park visitors of the mechanics and benefits behind the newly installed renewable energy infrastructure.

The heavy lifting of the project’s design may be completed, but the competition isn’t over. The team has until October to “polish” the design, the written report and presentation for the national competition hosted through Water and Environment Federation’s Annual Conference.

Tegan-Tawney said the wetland project helps his goal of continuing to do drainage and stormwater engineering work in his career.

“Part of the reason I chose to go into engineering is because I want to build in areas that don’t have access to clean water or don’t have good resources," Tegan-Tawney said. "Projects like these will give me the experience I need to fulfill that goal.”


About DRMP
DRMP is a multi-discipline firm serving clients in the public, private and industrial sectors in the development of infrastructure and has been in business since 1977.  DRMP currently employs 500 professionals in 17 office locations spread strategically across our service area.  Today, DRMP is ranked among Engineering News-Record’s “Top 500 Design Firms” in the United States.  For more information, please visit www.drmp.com.

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