Putting Wastewater Designs to the Test During WEFTEC 2016 Student Design Competition

August 19, 2016

WEF Resources & Efforts

During WEFTEC 2015, the audience listens to teams present their projects for the Wastewater Design Competition and Water Environment Design Competition. Photo courtesy of Oscar & Associates.

During WEFTEC 2015, the audience listens to teams present their projects for the Wastewater Design Competition and Water Environment Design Competition. Photo courtesy of Oscar & Associates.

A record number of teams is set to compete in the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) Student Design Competition at WEFTEC® 2016 in New Orleans. This year’s Student Design Competition will feature 15 teams from 16 different schools, making it the largest field of contenders since the competition began in 2002.

The Student Design Competition promotes real-world design experience for students interested in pursuing education and careers in water and wastewater engineering and science. As a program of WEF’s Students and Young Professionals Committee (SYPC), the competition tasks individuals or teams of students to prepare and present a design that helps solve a water quality issue. Teams evaluate alternative ideas, perform calculations, and recommend solutions in the form of an engineering report and presentation.

“The students are bringing good quality design approaches to current water quality issues,” said Lauren Zuravnsky, chair of the SYPC Student Design Competition Subcommittee. “It’s great to watch their presentations, learn something new, and catch their enthusiasm.”

Students participating in the competition will gain professional experience and exposure by presenting their work to a panel of judges during the event. They also will have the opportunity to learn about the projects of other schools, to network with leaders in the industry, and to participate in WEFTEC activities.

“We encourage students to participate in more than just the competition and to get fully involved in WEFTEC,” Zuravnsky said.

Students prepare and present a design that helps solve a water quality issue to a panel of judges for the WEF Student Design Competition. Photo courtesy of Oscar & Associates.

Students prepare and present a design that helps solve a water quality issue to a panel of judges for the WEF Student Design Competition. Photo courtesy of Oscar & Associates.

The 15th annual Design Competition will begin at 8 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 25. The morning section of the competition will feature the Wastewater Design Competition, in which participating students present traditional wastewater design projects. Students participating in the Water Environment Design Competition, which includes contemporary water environment projects, will present after lunch. The event will conclude around 5 p.m. with an awards ceremony.

“The event is where we are showcasing talented students. We invite people to come and meet them and ask them about their plans,” Zuravnsky said. “Having support for the students increases the energy in the room and elevates the competition.”

Schools participating in this year’s competition include

  • University of British Columbia (Vancouver),
  • University of North British Columbia (Prince George),
  • Seattle University,
  • Utah State University (Logan),
  • University of Colorado – Boulder,
  • Southern Methodist University (Dallas),
  • North Dakota State University (Fargo),
  • University of Minnesota (Minneapolis),
  • University of Wisconsin – Platteville,
  • Milwaukee School of Engineering,
  • University of Guelph (Ontario, Canada),
  • Northeastern University (Boston),
  • Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore),
  • Virginia Military Institute (Lexington),
  • North Carolina State University (Raleigh), and
  • University of South Florida (Tampa).

A full schedule of events will be released on WEFTEC’s Students and Young Professionals page closer to the competition.

If you are interested in supporting the competition as a sponsor, or learning more about this year’s competition, contact SYPC Design Competition Chair Lauren Zuravnsky or WEF staff Caroline Pakenham.

Caroline Pakenham, WEF Highlights

 

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