Putting Wastewater and Environmental Designs to the Test

The Student Design Competition (SDC) 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.

23 teams from 4 countries and representing 18 WEF Member Associations competed in the WEFTEC Connect 2021 Student Design Competition on October 17th, 2021 at McCormick Place, Chicago Illinois. Explore the event brochure for the day-of schedule, team members and project abstracts. 

For the 2022 WEFTEC SDC Competition, Submit your Team Entry Form, Abstract and In Progress Report/Executive Summary Here by June 6th


Congratulations to our 2021 winners!

Water Environment Category:

1st: California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (California Water Environment Association) 

2nd: George Mason University (Virginia Water Environment Association)

3rd: University of South Florida (Florida Water Environment Association)

Wastewater Category:

1st: Clemson University (Water Environment Association of South Carolina)

2nd: Northeastern University (New England Water Environment Association)

3rd: North Carolina State University (North Carolina AWWA-WEA)

4th: City College of New York (New York Water Environment Association)

5th: Southern Methodist University (Water Environment Association of Texas)

2021 WEFTEC Connect Student Design Competition Sponsored by:





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.

WEF Student Design Competition Resources:

Design Competition Guidelines  (as of 2022)
[SAMPLE] Design Team Entry Form (as of 2022)
[SAMPLE] Abstract Submission Form (and Executive Summary/In-Progress Report requirements) (as of 2022)
Competition Historical Information (team and sponsor participation)
Toolkit for Starting a Student Design Competition
Ideas for Attending WEFTEC on the Dime (as of 2021)


The WEF Student Design Competition hosts two different competitions 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


Congratulations to past winners of the WEF Student Design Competition!


Wastewater Design

Environmental Design


University of Colorado, Boulder

University of British Columbia


University of Colorado, Boulder

University of British Columbia


University of Colorado, Boulder    

University of Guelph


Southern Methodist University

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities


Southern Methodist University

North Dakota State University


University of South Florida

University of British Columbia


University of South Florida

University of British Columbia


University of Colorado, Boulder

University of South Florida


University of Wyoming

University of Florida


Southern Methodist University

University of Florida


University of Colorado, Boulder

University of Florida


View Results From Past Competitions (2002 - 2018)


Questions about the Student Design Competition?

Stephanie Castro-Sanchez
Design Competition Subcommittee Co-Chair
[email protected]

Annie Sager
Design Competition Subcommittee Co-Chair
[email protected]


Brad Lovett
Manager, WEF Student Programs
[email protected]