The Water Environment Federation (WEF) proudly announces students from Clemson University and California State Polytechnic University, Pomona as winners of the 2021 Student Design Competition.

The 20th annual competition showcased the innovative ideas of 23 teams from 18 WEF Member Associations and four countries during WEFTEC® 2021, WEF's 94th annual technical exhibition and conference.

The California State Polytechnic University, Pomona’s project, “A Community Approach to Puddingstone Watershed Restoration” won in the Water Environment Design category, and the Clemson University team’s project, “F. Wayne Hill Water Resources Center Solids Processing upgrades” won in the Wastewater Design category. This was the first win for both California State Polytechnic, Pomona (California Water Environment Association) and Clemson University (Water Environment association of South Carolina).

As a program of WEF’s Students & Young Professionals Committee, the competition promotes real-world design experience for students interested in pursuing an education and/or career in water/wastewater engineering and sciences. Individuals or teams of students within a WEF student chapter are challenged to prepare a design to help solve a local water quality issue. Teams evaluate alternatives, perform calculations, and recommend the most practical solution based on experience, economics, and feasibility.

Winners of this year’s competition are:

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)

GHD, Carollo, Vaughan, Black & Veatch, and CDM Smith sponsored this year’s competition.


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. 

Learn more about the Student Design Competition.



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