Matthew Dunaway

Engineering for his daughter

Matthew Dunaway has projects on his mind. His capstone, for example, is building a biodigester at Farmer Frog, a nonprofit demonstration farm in Woodinville.

The Farmer Frog biodigester is a closed container that takes in plant and animal wastes that break down to create methane, he explains. The fuel is then used to heat water for an aquaponics system while remaining waste can be used as fertilizer. With a $1,000 budget, the project goal is to create an easy-to-build, easy-to-use biodigester that Farmer Frog can use as a teaching tool.

Sometimes, Dunaway has been too busy for his 12-year-old daughter. “She hates the fact I don’t have as much time to spend with her,” he says. Still, he says his time at UW Bothell has been “a blessing.”

Dunaway arrived from Fort Worth, Texas, by way of a couple of community colleges. Since then, his Husky experience has included 17 days on a study abroad tip in Japan. He also did undergraduate research with Shima Abadi, assistant professor in mechanical engineering, that looks to find a way to build hydrophones (underwater microphones) more cheaply.

After graduating in June in mechanical engineering, Dunaway will go to work for Clark Construction on the expansion of the state’s Convention Center in Seattle. Clark Construction is a major Washington, D.C., based contractor that aso has worked on improvements at Sea-Tac Airport.

Dunaway hopes the Convention Center expansion and perhaps other regional projects will keep him in the Seattle area until his daughter graduates from high school.

“She’s very proud of me. She says she wishes she could do as well in school as I do,” Dunaway says. “I’m trying to push hard work and goal-oriented ideas on her.”