Student Design Competition

2024 Team Entry Form

Download the 2023 WEFTEC Student Design Competition Program

The WEF 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.

May 1st is the deadline to inform the planning committee, by email, of your team or Member Association's intent to participate in the 2024 WEFTEC SDC. Email contacts below.

The competition begins at the Member Association (MA) level. Each MA is encouraged to develop their own Student Design Competition based on a chosen design problem or allow student teams to bring problems they are currently working on. The competition concludes each year at WEFTEC. 

About the Competition

The competition hosts two different categories at WEFTEC:

  • Wastewater Design: The Wastewater Design Competition is intended to include design projects that traditionally address a challenge within a water resource recovery facility, e.g. hydraulic capacity design, upgrades to existing treatment systems, biosolids handling, etc.
  • Water Environment Design: The Environmental Design Competition is intended to include design projects that address challenges within the broader water environment, e.g. water reuse, stormwater management, wetland construction, etc.

Both the Wastewater and Water Environment Design Competitions follow the same guidelines and scoring system.

There are many benefits to participating in the WEF Student Design Competition. At the competition, participants will have the opportunity to:

  • Network with students and industry leaders from across the world.
  • Gain professional experience and exposure.
  • Highlight their skills and enthusiasm for the water environment.
  • Participate in WEFTEC activities tailored to students and young professionals.

Questions about the Student Design Competition?

Sydney Gard
Design Competition Subcommittee Co-Chair

Vishal Vaidyanathan
Design Competition Subcommittee Co-Chair

Brad Lovett
Manager, WEF Student Programs 

2023 WEFTEC Student Design Competition Sponsors



WEF Student Design Competition Resources

Whether you are looking to start a Student Design Competition or have been invited to attend the National Student Design Competition at WEFTEC, the resources on this page will help answer many of your questions about the competition.

First Place Paper

Past Winners

Congratulations to past winners of the WEF Student Design Competition!


Year Wastewater Design Environmental Design
2023 Texas Tech University Georgia Institute of Technology
2022 The University of Texas, Austin Georgia Institute of Technology
2021 Clemson University California State Polytechnic University
2020 Colorado School of Mines University of Guelph
2019 University of Colorado, Boulder University of British Columbia
2018 University of Colorado, Boulder University of British Columbia
2017  University of Colorado, Boulder  University of Guelph
2016 Southern Methodist University University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
2015 Southern Methodist University North Dakota State University
2014 University of South Florida University of British Columbia
2013 University of South Florida University of British Columbia
2012 University of Colorado, Boulder University of South Florida
2011 University of Wyoming University of Florida
2010 Southern Methodist University


University of Florida

2009 University of Colorado, Boulder University of Florida

View Results From Past Competitions (2002 - 2018)

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Student Design Competition News

Teams from University of British Columbia, University of Colorado Win 2019 Student Design Competition

The Water Environment Federation (WEF) proudly announces students from the University of British Columbia and University of Colorado as winners of the 2019 Student ...

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University of British Columbia and University of Colorado Teams Win Student Design Competition

The WEF Students and Young Professionals Committee welcomed 22 schools representing 20 Member Associations and 3 countries to the Student Design Competition on ...

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Teams from Rocky Mountain and Ontario Associations Earn Top Prizes in Student Design Competition

Earlier this month, the judges of the 2020 WEF Student Design Competition chose winners in two categories from among the 27 universities that participated. This ...

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Texas and Ontario Teams Take Student Design Competition

On Sunday, October 9, the WEF Students and Young Professionals Committee welcomed 25 teams from 21 schools spanning 4 countries and representing 19 Member ...

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