Students: Riley Bronga, Jessica Farrell, Joshua Smith and Gabriel Thomas

Faculty Advisor or Community Project Lead:

Osama A. Abaza, Ph.D., Professor of Civil Engineering, UAA

Dr. Andrew Metzger, Civil Engineering, UAA

Jacob S. Gondek, P.E., Alaska State Parks D & C

James Amundsen, P.E., Chief of Highway Design, ADOT&PF

Stephane Nuss,   Engineering Division Director, AWWU

Client Organization:
Alaska Pacific University (APU)


Alaska Pacific University (APU) owns a training facility that is located on Eagle Glacier in the Chugach National Forest.  During the summer months, skiers from around the world travel to the APU Nordic Ski Facility to continue their training on Eagle Glacier. The water source for this facility is a natural detention reservoir that collects snowmelt during the training season. Accumulated snowmelt is pumped from the reservoir and then filtered for use by the skiers. Due to a warmer climate, the water has been draining out of the basin earlier in the season, causing APU to venture farther from their site to seek a reliable water source. APU has reached out to University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) engineering students to design a way to maintain a reliable water source throughout the training season.

In addition to the water reservoir modifications, APU has asked UAA engineering students to design a covered structure to hold their PistenBully 100 which is used to clear and groom the ski trails. The PistenBully 100 is perhaps the most important piece of equipment at the facility and a vital asset to APU’s operations. Currently, this machine is subjected to harsh weather conditions year round and the APU staff has difficulty performing routine maintenance on it. The life span of this machine could be significantly improved by housing it in a covered structure. This would also allow maintenance operations to be performed much easier.

The improvements listed above will help APU benefit from a more successful facility, allowing them to focus on their training with a much lower risk of being shut down due to mechanical issues or water shortage.

The scope of the project will consist of the following:

  • Provide a grading plan for the new water reservoir
  • Means and methods for anchoring a liner for the water reservoir
  • Provide the plans for a new structure to house the PistenBully 100
  • Suggested phasing in order to complete the project within the available time frame. 



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