Whether it is getting a site visit tour from a family of ducks or examining a drainage problem at an animal shelter, UGA College of Engineering students are always prepared as they have fanned out across Georgia’s Archway communities for a record breaking number of projects in 2021-2022.

“I have been fortunate to work with the Archway Partnership since 2014 through our Capstone Design program in the College of Engineering,” said Stephan Durham, one of the engineering professors involved in the partnership with Archway. “Working with them has been a great partnership offering our students the opportunity to work with communities on real-world engineering design projects. These types of projects are the best learning experience for our students!”


Every engineering student at the University of Georgia is required to do a Capstone project – think thesis for an engineer. Quinn O’Brien is one of the students who has worked with Archway through the partnership. She recently traveled to Moultrie for a site visit at the Moultrie-Coulquitt County Humane Society for a project to improve and update their facilities.

“Working with real live community members was awesome because we got to hear their personal stories which gave the project more personality and spark than it had before,” said O’Brien. “Seeing how much everyone loves Moultrie was really inspiring and made me want to work even harder to give them a great solution. You can feel just how much they love their town, and it is so exciting to be a part of a project with so much passion and energy behind it.”


In Hawkinsville, Pulaski County, students have been working on a downtown riverfront park project and possible updates to the airport. Hawkinsville developed as a river city in the days when agricultural products were still shipped on flat boats or paddle boats up and down the Ocmulgee River but the centrality of the river faded as the economy changed. The city would like to develop the riverfront as a larger part of regular life for downtown visitors. Engineering students are developing a plan that is both visitor friendly and that can handle occasional flooding. At the airport, students have been tasked with modernizing it and coming up with possible grant proposals for improvements.

“These students always bring new ideas to the table. It’s amazing to see the work that they’ve done on our boat landing and airport designs. We welcome new ideas and perspectives and by working with UGA, we’re often able to implement these engineering projects that the students have presented to us,” said Sara Myers, Hawkinsville city manager and member of the Pulaski County Archway Partnership Executive Committee. “The Archway program produces a great return on our investment, without it, our community would not be able to progress as quickly as it has in the past few years. We always look forward to seeing what these young minds will come up with next!”


Griffin+Spalding is also hosting two engineering projects this year, a park concept plan for a retired landfill and a proposal for trails around a reservoir that has fallen into disrepair.


In addition to these projects, students are also working on a project for the Tired Creek Lake Development Authority in Grady County, a reconfiguration at the Hart County Milltown Campground, an intersection design and an airport terminal in Griffin+Spalding, a park design and historic street revitalization in Thomson-McDuffie, and a possible railroad crossing in Tennille in Washington County.

Archway is proud to provide a platform for these students’ work as engineers but also to improve quality of life or economic development in our communities. Engineering-related project value in Fiscal Year 2021 was more than $500,000 and the projects this year will potentially be much more. Thanks to the professors and students for all their hard work.