This summer, the City of Madison Engineering Division has a Communications Public Information Officer intern, Alli Kohlstadt, a civil engineering student at University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Alli shares her perspective on the Engineering Division Blog, specifically about what she learns while working at her internship at the City of Madison Engineering Division. 

10 Things I learned in the First 2 Weeks at the City of Madison Engineering Division 

  1. Stormwater section covers a lot of different areas. From dealing with the actual stormwater pipes, and creating retention ponds, to restoration and greenway projects they kind of do it all. See what stormwater does

  2.  Two main focuses within stormwater are water quality and flood mitigation. To meet these goals, they do a lot with retention ponds and greenways. See more
  3. Stormwater engineers are learning about phosphorus in the waterways that causes green-blue algae. Learning about the impact of phosphorus is one reason they have begun implementing pilot studies of green infrastructure. You can learn about the pilot studies here.
  4. The Vactor crews do a lot. Crews clean debris like leaves and tree branches from both the stormwater and sewer systems. They do this using the hoses on the vactor that spray clean water at a very high pressure. If needed they then turn on the vacuum to vacuum up and collect the debris. They also have a TV truck that aids a lot in helping see the condition of the pipes.Learn about the Vactor and CCTV trucks. 
  5. Everything is somehow connected at the City. With street design projects, Utility, and storm and sewer are also involved to make sure everything lines up.
  6. The new Fleet building is really cool. Fleet fixes and maintains public/city vehicles. You can learn more about the Fleet service here.
  7. The GreenPower team is installing solar all across the City of Madison. It’s a really cool group because they teach people who haven’t necessarily gone to school to install solar. You can learn more about Green Power here.
  8. The importance of the stormwater and sewer system is immense. While on my trip with the vactor team, I learned about the importance of the two systems. It is very important that there are the right size pipes that can handle any amount of flooding, while still not costing an insane amount of money. 
  9. The process of how the City of Madison specifically runs and works is very complex, but interesting to learn about and see happen daily. It is a new perspective getting to see it run from the inside. There are always meetings with city workers, and talks with how the community is perceiving different projects. Alders also play a big role in communicating perspectives from a smaller area.

  10.  Importance of a public information officer for engineering. I never knew how important it was for there to be a person to relay information about engineering projects. The purpose of an information officer for engineering is to help facilitate interactions with the media and promote engineering projects and processes on as many platforms as possible!

This content is free for use with credit to the City of Madison - Engineering and a link back to the original post.