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n e w s l e t t e r o f B o y e r S c h o o l o f N at u r a l S c i e n c e s , M at h e m at i c s , a n d C o m p u t i n g


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Alex Weiss, C’13, interned with Sis and Herman Dupré Science Pavilion contractor Jendoco this past summer.

a p u b l i c at i o n o f s a i n t v i n c e n t c o l l e g e

INSIDE Dean’s Message Geothermal Heating, Cooling System Provides State-of-theArt Efficiency, Safety

Student Helps With Green Documentation Science Pavilion Project Funding Update

dean’s MESSAGE

The Herbert W. Boyer School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Computing Advisory Council Members Mr. James F. Will, L.H.D., C’60, D’94 Chair President Emeritus Saint Vincent College Dr. William E. Amatucci, C’86 Section Head, Space Experiments Section/Plasma Physics Naval Research Laboratory Mr. Thomas Anderson Chief Technology Officer Tower Systems, Inc. Dr. Herbert W. Boyer, Sc.D., C’58, D’81 Co-Founder Genentech, Inc. Dr. Umberto A. DeRienzo, C’88 Physician Dr. William A. DiCuccio, C’70 Physician Dr. David A. Dzombak, C’79 Walter J. Blenko, Sr. Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University Dr. Thomas P. Gessner, C’64 Physician Mr. Donald A. Haile, C’63 Venture Partner/Site General Manager Fidelity Investments Ms. Cheryl A. Harper, C’88 Physics and Mathematics Teacher Greensburg Salem High School Mr. Michael L. Keslar, C’80 Executive Vice President The Bank of New York Mellon Mr. Francis A. Marasco, C’64 Former President Eckerd Pharmacy Services Mr. Mark J. Pincus, C’96 Scientist/Biochemistry/Cell Biology Internal Medicine Therapeutic Dept. sanofi-aventis Pharmaceuticals Dr. Fred L. Soisson, Jr., L.H.D., P’47, C’51, D’82 Former Physician Dr. Philip E. Stukus, C’64 Former Chair of Biology Denison University Ms. Shelley D. Sturdevant, C’88 Manager, Color Services PPG Industries, Inc. Mr. Stephen P. Yanek, C’68 Program Manager Applied Physics Laboratory The Johns Hopkins University Dr. Daniel J. Yaniro, C’79 Senior Technical Director VolP and TDM Operations Planning AT&T

Dear Friends,


he semester began with students travelling through the newly-constructed plaza and archway into the Sis and Herman Dupré Science Pavilion. While the final work is being completed, students have been able to preview the state-of-the-art laboratories and beautiful common areas that will provide learning spaces for collaborative work with fellow students and faculty. This December we will begin renovation of the Biology building, the next phase of the project. In this edition of the Boyer Bulletin we have articles on the geothermal heating and cooling system and a student spotlight on Alex Weiss who interned with our general contractor for the Science Pavilion construction this summer. Alex collected data to support our application for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification at the Gold level for the Science Pavilion. On October 11, Br. Norman Hipps, O.S.B., the first Dean of the Boyer School, will be inaugurated as the seventeenth president of Saint Vincent College. In addition to his commitment to Saint Vincent College and to mathematics and science education regionally and nationally, Br. Norman has been devoted to the stewardship of the environment and environmental education. The painting on the right is titled “The Vision of Br. Norman” and depicts him in the wetlands below campus. Br. Norman chaired the Steering Committee for the Monastery Run Improvement Project, a project that not only mitigated the impact to streams of mine-drainage around Saint Vincent, turning them from orange to clear, but also paved the way for the environmental science program at the College. Under the direction of Dr. Caryl Fish and supported by Angela Belli, Director of the Environmental Education Center at the Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve, and faculty from a variety of departments, the environmental science program at Saint Vincent College is thriving. We welcomed 13 new first-year students to the program, our largest incoming class of environmental majors. Please come back and visit. I would be delighted to show you the new building.


Dr. John J. Smetanka

Vice President for Academic Affairs and Academic Dean Acting Dean, Herbert W. Boyer School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Computing


Geothermal Heating, Cooling System Provides State-of-the-Art Efficiency for Sis and Herman Dupré Science Pavilion Opening This Fall by D O N O R L A N D O


ne of the most interesting aspects of the new Sis and Herman Dupré Science Pavilion opening this fall at Saint Vincent College is the custom-designed geothermal heating and cooling system which will never be seen by faculty, students and visitors who enjoy its environmentally comfortable and responsible energy efficiencies. Designed by the H. F. Lenz Company of Johnstown, the first phase of the extensive Joel Shumaker and John Weiland overlook the field where 227 geothermal system utilizes a series of wells have been drilled to supply heating and air conditioning for 227 wells to provide natural the first phase of the Sis and Herman Dupré Science Pavilion. heating and cooling to the 105,000 square feet structure. “The well field is either a heat on the design of the system. The geothermal system source or a heat sink for the is capable of pumping 1,800 gallons per minute and building depending on whether it is in heating or recovering approximately nine million BTU per hour cooling mode,” explained John M. Weiland, a project from the earth. engineer with H.F. Lenz Company. “The efficiency The individual wells were drilled in a field about 100 comes from the fact that when you are in a heating yards behind the Science Pavilion. Each well is 225 mode, the typical building would require the burning feet deep, a depth that was determined based on the of fossil fuel. But, here we will be using the natural known existence of deep underground mines in that heat of the earth as a heat source or, in the summer, area. “The contractor wanted to stay above the mines as a heat sink. Heat is either drawn from the ground so that it wouldn’t be necessary to insert metal casing or injected back into it.” Another 100 wells will be all the way down through the mine void,” Mr. Weiland drilled later to supply the rest of the structure after explained. “But because they are more shallow and construction and renovation is completed on the more wells were required, we had to locate them physics, biology and chemistry buildings. further from the building to achieve the required site “The goal is to withdraw as much heat as is returned space. Each well is six inches in diameter and has on an annual basis,” added Joel C. Shumaker, another two 1 1/4” polyethylene pipes running its entire depth. project engineer with H.F. Lenz Company who worked

Each is surrounded by a grout which helps to hold them in place and aids in the heat transfer. A water and glycol mixture is pumped down the wells and returns to a vault at the edge of the field. The wells are piped in groups of approximately 10 back to the vault where each circuit is valved and piped into the main 10” headers. If there is a leak, an individual circuit can be valved off without affecting the operation of the rest of the system.” The heated or cooled liquid is then pumped from the well field through ten inch piping to the mechanical room of the Science Pavilion where it is then distributed to the building air handlers. “Each air handler has its own refrigeration system, ”Mr. Weiland said, “that is essentially a large scale heat pump. One of the efficiencies of the system is that in a laboratory building it is necessary to introduce a lot of outside air. To keep building humidity under control a conventional system would cool the air to dehumidify it and then reheat the air by burning fossil fuels. The geothermal system, however, allows the heat that is rejected in cooling to be used as “free” reheat. There are two main units for the first phase of the project, one for the glass-walled atrium and one for the rest of the building. Each space has its own air damper that modulates the air coming in to regulate the temperature and humidity.” The fact that the system would be heating and cooling a building containing laboratories presented special challenges to the engineers. “One thing that was unique to this project is that it is a laboratory space that needs to maintain air pressure control so that the air is not intermixed among the labs,” Mr. Weiland noted. “This required larger, custom-built units.” The engineers estimate that the geothermal system will result in a savings of at least 30% over a conventional heating/cooling system. “While the investment payback in savings is almost ten years

due to the custom nature of the system, it is still an important part of the project’s goal of being a green building that will earn LEED gold certification— Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design— for its building design for energy efficiency and responsibility,” Mr. Weiland said. Other aspects of the system will add to the system savings such as pumps and fans which are able to run at variable speeds depending on need, and an energy recovery system which captures heat from the air that is being exhausted from the building,” he noted. The building will also employ many other energysaving devices such as occupancy sensors that automatically turn lights on and off, water conserving plumbing fixtures in the restrooms and supplemental solar power panels that will generate electricity from sunshine. The extensive use of glass in the atrium will also provide energy savings by utilizing the sun to provide heat and natural light. The initial phase of the science pavilion project, expected to be in full operation by the end of the year, consists of nearly 45,000 square feet of new construction that replaces the former amphitheatre and commons building with an ultramodern educational center featuring laboratories, classroom and support facilities. A three-story all-glass atrium serves as a window to the natural world and a welcoming gateway into the building, reflecting the Benedictine tradition of hospitality. Special features include an 80-seat lecture hall with a 3-D digital projector, a planetarium and a digital imaging laboratory. General architect for the project is MacLachlan, Cornelius and Filoni of Pittsburgh. The laboratories were designed by Research Facilities Design Laboratory Consultants of San Diego. H. F. Lenz designed the heating and cooling system as well as the electrical and plumbing systems. The general contractor is Jendoco.

student spotlight

Alex Weiss, C’13, Interned with Science Pavilion Contractor, Helped with Green Documentation by D O N O R L A N D O


lex Weiss, a junior mathematics/engineering major at Saint Vincent College, had a unique opportunity to work on campus as an intern this past summer with Jendoco, the general contractor for the Sis and Herman Dupré Science Pavilion. “This is just an incredible project and I have loved working on it,” Alex said. “I have learned so much that will really help me in the future.” Alex credits Dr. Paul Follansbee, the James F. Will Professor of Engineering Science, with connecting him to the paid internship. “I started out doing updates on supplemental drawings, checking to ensure that worker safety requirements were done, and helping to collect data for the documentation needed to certify the pavilion as a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building at the prestigious gold level,” he explained. “There are a lot of details that need to be documented such as how far suppliers are located from the job site, the percentage of pre- and postconsumer waste materials contain, and the percentage of recycled material in each piece of steel. While the larger structural steel doesn’t contain as much recycled material to ensure strength and integrity, the steel wall studs are all made from recycled materials at a level of 80 to 90 percent.” Alex Weiss stands in front of the Jendoco construction trailer Alex said he was amazed at how green the building on campus. is. “For today’s world, this is so important,” he offered, “because of limited natural resources. Trying to conserve energy use during construction is a huge thing. Having a geothermal heating and cooling system and solar panels are also significant to conserve energy usage over the long term. The students and faculty who already understand what it means to build a green building are really excited about it.” While Alex says that he liked the engineering work in the office, he especially enjoyed the opportunity to get inside the pavilion to do a variety of construction tasks. “I loved seeing first-hand how everything was coming together,” he noted. “The most exciting aspects of the core building are the view looking up at the glass atrium from the mezzanine level and the Angelo J. Taiani Planetarium and Astronaut Exhibit at the front of the pavilion.” The three-story atrium is 32 feet high and 150 feet wide and is composed of 354 individual panels of two pane, ¼” insulated glass—more than 10,000 square feet of glass cladding. Thick glass panels also line the stairwells, adding a complimentary and dramatic architectural feature. After his junior year at Saint Vincent, he will transfer to the University of Pittsburgh on the 3/2 program where he will study engineering for two years before earning both an engineering degree and a bachelor’s degree. “I will probably study civil engineering since there are currently better opportunities to begin a career after graduation,” continued on back page

Mailed from Zip Code 15650 Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage Paid Permit No. 110

The Herbert W. Boyer School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Computing 300 Fraser Purchase Road Latrobe, PA 15650-2690 www.stvincent.edu

Building Funds Secured through June 2010 $40,000,000 $35,000,000

Funds Needed $6 million

$30,000,000 $25,000,000 $20,000,000 $15,000,000 $10,000,000 $5,000,000

Funds Committed $33 million

Thanks to the generous support of our alumni, friends, foundations and other agencies, the total dollars committed to the Sis and Herman Dupré Science Pavilion continue to climb.

WEISS continued from inside he predicted. “I would love to work in the construction field, perhaps as a project manager for Jendoco, which he praised for their skills in all areas of the project.” Alex said his Saint Vincent education was valuable to him in the internship, especially a class he took in mechanical drafting. Other courses helped him learn to troubleshoot and solve problems by synthesizing the information that was available. “I absolutely love Saint Vincent,” he concluded, “beautiful campus, great people, great opportunities. The faculty really goes out of their way to help you succeed.” Alex is the son of Edward Weiss and Diane Sheehan of Palmerton, near Allentown, Pennsylvania. A 2008 graduate of Palmerton Area High School, he has been very active in the Saint Vincent Fire Department where he has taken classes for first responders and emergency medical technicians, has made many friends and learned leadership skills. He is a lieutenant in the student organization. He has a brother, Brandon, who graduated from Saint Vincent in May and is now a resident assistant at the College.

Profile for Saint Vincent College

Boyer Bulletin Vol. 2, No. 1  

Newsletter of the Boyer School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Computing

Boyer Bulletin Vol. 2, No. 1  

Newsletter of the Boyer School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Computing