Wednesday, December 13, 2017

On December 5, 2017, four student teams in Bo Yang’s Studio V class presented their final design projects in front of a five-member jury as they competed to win the first Elizabeth “Liba” Wheat Memorial Prize. Each student team sought to create an innovative green infrastructure design for a portion of the University of Arizona’s main campus that prioritized stormwater harvesting and flood mitigation. As part of the presentations, each team shared the forecasted performance benefits and strategies for climate change resilience present in their designs. Each project will be submitted to the 2017 U.S. EPA Campus RainWorks Challenge Competition.

The student teams and their final project titles were:

Team 1: Nate Ritchie, Daniel Zedick, Yuheng Zhang, Fei Yu - A River Runs Through It

Team 2: Amy Webb, Molly Adamowicz - Rejuvenation: Reviving Connections, Resources, and Spaces

Team 3: Elliott Bartels, Michael Cimino - Conduit Connections

Team 4: Andre Rioux, Brendan Ore, Brad Kindler, Samantha Hauserman - The West University Wash Revival

The Jury commented on the students’ work and provided constructive feedback following each presentation. After a lengthy, closed-door discussion, the jury announced the recipients of the 1st “Liba” Prize to Team 3: Elliott Bartels and Michael Cimino, for their project Conduit Connections.  

Project Details

Bartel’s and Cimino’s project location was centered around the Olive Road/Speedway Underpass, which is faced by CAPLA, the Eller College of Management, and the Visual and Musical Arts complex. The design process involved a detailed site inventory and analysis, conceptual development, and a final design which went through several iterations. The team collaborated closely with Professor Yang throughout the design process, especially with regard to site performance calculations. 

The main design features are terraces planted with native Sonoran vegetation, permeable paving materials, a pedestrian/bicycle bridge in the underpass, two water harvesting cisterns, and a vegetated roof section on top of the parking garage. 

Overall, the design’s aim was to manage stormwater while simultaneously improving the use and human comfort of the site.

Lauri Macmillan Johnson, Eric Scharf, Michael Cimino MLA ’18 (expected), Elliott Bartels MLA MLA ’18 (expected), and Bo Yang pose with the award certificates.

A certificate was presented to Bartels and Cimino by Eric Scharf (Donor), Lauri Macmillan Johnson (Professor and School Director), Kay Brown (Development Officer) and Bo Yang (studio instructor). The winning team will also receive a $1,000 cash award in spring 2018.  

Jury members Bo Yang, Caryl Clement, Eric Scharf (non-voting), Laura Mielcarek, and Grant McCormick.

Sincere thanks go to the jury members: Eric Scharf (Donor, Former Principal of Wheat Design Group), Grant McCormick (Campus Planner, Adjunct Professor, Department of Soil, Water, and Environmental Science), Laura Mielcarek (Principal of Wheat Design Group), Caryl Clement (Landscape Architect, Artist), and Bo Yang (Studio V instructor).

For more information, please contact Bo Yang, PhD, at ( or 520-621-1009.  

Elizabeth "Liba" Wheat