Design Portfolio


BLUElab NicarAGUA started its first big project after being approached by Rancho Los Alpes in Leon, Nicaragua, who we were put into contact through the non-profit organization Aqua Clara International. The team originally went to the ranch to work on water filtration systems in the surrounding community, however the eco-lodge felt a need for more water as the rainy season was becoming much different than what the local populace had been used to. The local farmers that the ranch work with felt that the wells would not be enough to keep the farms watered as the larger sugarcane farms were using most of the water. In order to solve this problem, a rainwater harvesting system was introduced, capable of storing 12,000 gallons of water at a time, which would be enough to increase the growth duration of the crops by one month with the size of the field that the team was working with.

After the implementation of the rainwater harvesting system in August of 2014, the team focused more on scaling up the rainwater harvesting technology, which would give the team the opportunity to spread the technology across the states.

While waiting for the results of a P3 competition, NicarAGUA decided to implement a local water harvesting system at the Campus Farm at Matthaei Botanical Gardens. This new system will allow for a more durable system to be designed, along with growing interest for this technology through local tours given by the staff members at the Campus Farm. NicarAGUA hopes the local system re-design will be sturdy enough to implement in more rural areas of Nicaragua, such as Chinandega, where the villagers have to leave their homes for six months a year to live by the river once the wells dry up after the four month long rainy season.

Project Team

  • Adam Perry IOE
  • Allison Ward MSE
  • Amy Zhou Undecided
  • Anya Louisa Laroche Civil
  • Brinda Nandini Yarlagadda Undecided
  • Danika Jho Rodrigues BME
  • Ellen Marie Tilford Undecided
  • Emma Elizabeth Whipple Industrial Design
  • Garrett James Prost Undecided
  • Joanna Lena Ciatti Undecided
  • Joseph Michael Pohlman CSE
  • Katie Julianne Kinchen Yuhas EnvE
  • Kyle Robert Reynolds ME
  • Mackenna Anne Bell EnvE
  • Mario Nino Arjona ME
  • Raji B Kiridena ME
  • Ryan Douglas Kuhn ME
  • Sai Sajani Sivakumar MSE
  • Sarah Elizabeth Bohen EnvE
  • Shaquan Anthony Smith Env. Sci.
  • Srishti Pillutla EnvE
  • Susan Denise Rusinowski EnvE
  • William Yang ME
NicarAGUA | BLUElab Team


  • Steve Skerlos Mechanical Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering PhD