The graduating seniors of Stevens Institute of Technology presented their final projects at the annual Stevens Innovation Expo on Wednesday, and while many of the projects dealt within the chemical, medical and computer science fields, three of them sought practical solutions for problems concerning the city of Hoboken.
Two of the the student teams worked alongside Hoboken's parking and transportation apparatus. The city has been building a partnership with the university, sponsoring students in exchange for the help of their technical expertise.
One of the teams created a program to help the city track and manage its parking and transportation statistics.
“The data is consolidated to generate reports on everything from employee data to when during the day tickets are being written,” said student Drew Michel. Michel worked on the project alongside Michael Lee, Piotr Lupinski, Jonathan Shoff and Orie Steele.
Another team created a program to help the city track its Hop shuttle bus program.
“We've designed a management dashboard that takes GPS data on all the Hop buses to make the program more efficient,” senior Alexander Thoma said. Students Daniel Killinger, Grace Min and Hosam Morsy joined Thoma on the project.
The expo also featured a student project that hopes to help the city convert the tops of buildings to green roofs, which add a layer of plants to the top. The students said green roofs bring many benefits, including potentially helping to alleviate a longstanding problem in Hoboken.
“We're looking for ways to alleviate flooding. These green roofs retain rain water, and that takes away water that would otherwise overwhelm the city's sewer system,” said project member Ryan Werner. Werner participated with fellow students Daniel Aleksandrowicz, Rebecca Dietrich, Michelle Galvez and Evan Wilson.
The team found that converting buildings to have green roofs would add insulation to the buildings and save energy, cool the surrounding air and reduce the “heat island” effect found in cities, capture carbon dioxide to help reduce climate change, and also extend the life of a roof for up to 40 years.
Werner estimated that renovating existing buildings to have green roofs should cost from $10-$20 dollars per square foot, with a total of 8.25 million square feet in Hoboken that could be converted. Werner said the team recommends that Hoboken follow the model of Berkeley, California, which loaned the initial costs of converting the roofs to property owners, who then paid back the city.
“The cost savings in the long-term are going to more than pay for that,” Werner said. Werner said he and his team have been working with the city's planning department, and that eventually the department might present the team's findings to the city council.