Skip to content

VBEE Project

This webpage has been made possible by the USEPA P3 Grant No. SU836012, but the VBEE team at Ohio University is responsible for the content of the page and authorship.

VBEE Team on March 27, 2012


Project Title: Virtual Boat for Environmental Education (VBEE)
Virtual Boat Demonstration Video

Team member responsibility

VBEE Summary

VBEE Poster for DC EPA Expo

Faculty Advisors:

  • Tiao J. Chang – Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, Ohio University
  • Chang Liu – Associate Professor, School of EECS, Ohio University

Student Team Members:

  • Yanhui Fang – Department of Civil Engineering, Ohio University
  • Sertac Ozercan – School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Ohio University
  • Justin Wiseman – Department of Civil Engineering, Oho University
  • Xin Ye – School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Ohio University
  • John Bentz – Department of Civil Engineering, Oho University
  • Nathan Andre – School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Ohio University
  • Andrew Copley – Department of Civil Engineering, Ohio University
  • Qing Zhu – School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Ohio University
  • Andy Long – Department of Civil Engineering, Oho University
  • Alex Doksa – Department of Civil Engineering, Oho University

Institution: Ohio University, Athens, Ohio 45701

Description and Objective of Research:
Objective. The proposed project aims to design a virtual boat that has the capability for sampling water temperature, dissolved oxygen, E. coli, pH, total phosphate, nitrate, and turbidity to estimate the water quality index to gauge the health of Ohio River water. The virtual boat will be designed using the Unity 3D multi-platform and the data obtained from the Boat of Knowledge in Science Classroom (BooKS) and the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO). It will be tested and evaluated in science classes of the local high schools in the economically depressed Appalachian region of Ohio River.

Description. The design of the virtual boat based on the available environmental data collected by varied organizations and projects and the immersive computer technology of 3D Unity is highly sustainable in terms of people, prosperity and the planet. Indeed, it will provide opportunities for a group of civil engineering and computer science students at Ohio University to collaboratively develop an innovative tool to increase awareness of protecting Ohio River water for the public in general and high school students in particular.

Summary of Outcomes:

Results. The design, a functional virtual boat, has provided high school students and the general public with a tool to review the water quality index at varied locations of the Ohio River and trace sources of pollution in simulated cases of fish kill and pollutant spill. The virtual boat has been designed to patrol along the shoreline of actual chemical and power plants from Marietta to Gallipolis of the Ohio River. The product will be tested, evaluated, and demonstrated in science classes of the local high schools along the Ohio River.

Contributions to Pollution Prevention: The proposed design has been tested for increasing awareness of the most precious natural resource in the region, Ohio River water, to enhance water protection and prevent potential pollution from the river through the public education of P3.