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.

25 teams from 4 countries and representing 19 WEF Member Associations competed in the WEFTEC 2022 Student Design Competition on October 9th, 2022 at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, Louisiana. Explore the event brochure for the day-of schedule, team members and project abstracts. 


Winners of the 2022 Student Design Competition are as follow:

Water Environment Category:

1st: University of Waterloo (WEA Ontario)

2nd: SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry (NYWEA)

3rd: University of South Florida (FWEA)

4th: Illinois Institute of Technology (IWEA)


Wastewater Category:

1st: The University of Texas at Austin (WEAT)

2nd: The Univeristy of British Columbia (BCWWA)

3rd: North Carolina State University (NC One Water)

4th: Costa Rica Institute of Technology (Central States)


2022 WEFTEC 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 2023)
[SAMPLE] Design Team Entry Form (as of 2023)
[SAMPLE] Abstract Submission Form (and Executive Summary/In-Progress Report requirements) (as of 2023)
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]