By Pono Hanson, P.E., Chair of the Student Design Competition

At WEFTEC 2018, teams from the University of British Columbia (Vancouver) and University of Colorado, Boulder, walked away from the Student Design Competition as winners. The competition, a Water Environmental Federation (WEF; Alexandria, VA) Students and Young Professionals Committee program, provides students with real-world design experience.

WEF student members interested in pursuing an education and/or career in water and wastewater engineering and sciences are invited to take part in the competition as individuals or on teams. They are tasked with demonstrating their ability to assess potential fixes, develop a comprehensive design, and present a solution that meets the requirements of a problem statement through both a written report and an oral presentation at WEFTEC. The competition promotes interests and skills that will prove to be extremely valuable as students enter the professional world.

The University of British Columbia (Vancouver) team, representing the British Columbia Water and Waste Association, won first-place in the water environment category with their project, “Ellis Creek Remediation.” Other teams who placed in the category were the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in second place; Northeastern University (Boston) in third place; and National University of Singapore in fourth place. Pictured above.

The University of Colorado, Boulder team, representing the Rocky Mountain Water Environment Association, won first place in the wastewater category with their project, “Enhancing Nutrient Removal at Boulder’s 75th Street Wastewater Treatment Facility.” This marked the second consecutive win for the university team that also placed first in the wastewater design portion of the 2017 Student Design Competition. Other teams that earned top rankings in the category this year were the University of South Florida (Tampa) and Utah State University (Logan), that tied for second place, and the University of Idaho (Moscow) in fourth place. Pictured above.

This year, WEF President-Elect Jackie Jarrell from Charlotte (N.C.) Water announced and presented the awards to the winning teams.

Since the competition began with the help of the Florida Water Environment Association at WEFTEC 2002, it has continued to grow annually. This year brought a record-setting 23 teams from 22 different schools, representing 20 WEF Member Associations and 3 different countries.

The SYPC would like to extend it's sincerest appreciation and gratitude to Greeley and Hansen (Chicago), Black & Veatch (Overland Park, Kan.), CDM Smith (Boston), and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (Madison) who sponsored the 2018 competition. Thank you for investing in the future of our industry!!

Students participating in the Process Challenge


23 Teams from 22 schools, 20 MAs and 3 Countries participated this year!

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