Christian Meyer's Design Projects class at Columbia University
is working on proposals to ready Baker Field for the New
York 2012 Olympic games.
While most college
seniors are battling senioritis, those in civil engineering
professor Christian Meyers Design Projects class at
Columbia University in New York City hardly have time for
that. They are preparing a proposal to modify Columbia's Baker
Field, a stadium that will become the venue for Olympic field
hockey if the Big Apple wins its bid for the 2012 Summer Games.
While the university owns
the stadium, located at the far north end of Manhattan, it
also falls under the city's jurisdiction. The venue, which
currently holds 17,000 fans, would need to be upgraded to
handle a crowd of 25,000. The project was designed to meet
the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)s
engineering credential evaluation. "Everything that is
civil engineering is addressed by this project, and we need
to be very conscious of the limitations, " Meyer says.
The goal of this project isnt to do the job of a consulting
firm that would be paid hundreds of thousands of dollars,
This capstone design course is
supposed to integrate everything the students have learned
in the past three and a half years, according to Meyer. Student
Eytan Solomon is confident he and other class members are
prepared for the challenge. "Weve taken Structural
Analysis and Structural design, and last semester, we took
Structural Design Projects, which consisted of three smaller
projects." Solomon says coursework in construction management
and Auto-Cad is also beneficial. Students are also responsible
for surveying the site, managing underground utilities, transportation,
environmental and regulatory issues, and studying the possibility
of adding a roof to the complex, he says.
Field, Columbia University's stadium, would need to be
enlarged from 17,000 seats to 25,000.
But Solomons involvement
in civil engineering goes beyond the classroom. For the past
year, he has been president of the universitys chapter
of the American Society of Civil Engineers and is also involved
with the American Institute of Steel Construction's steel
bridge competition. "This year, the bridge is 21 feet
long," Solomon says. After graduating this spring, he
plans to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
for a master's degree in Structural Engineering and is currently
working part-time for the Structural Engineers Association
of New York. The graduating senior also finds time to serve
as a hiking leader for one of Columbias freshman orientation
programs and to compete nationally on the universitys
Ultimate Frisbee team.
Growing up in the Philadelphia
suburbs, Solomon, 21, says hes always had engineering
in his blood. "Going back, I was fond of Legos, and building
cities and structures and bridges," he says. But the
decision to become a civil engineering major came during his
sophomore year at Columbia when he saw what two of his roommates
were doing within the major. "They influenced me."
Solomon says. "They were doing good stuff, and great
The seniors' project is due this
month during the class final exam period. Although it
is not an official proposal, students hope it will open doors
for them in the industry job market or at lease give them
taste of the structural engineering field. Solomon, a member
of the class' roof design group, already has big plans for
the structure. "The professor wants something that can
be recognized as part of the New York City skyline," he says.