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 year was the first fully virtual competition.

With 27 teams, the two-phase competition represented 22 WEF Member Associations and five countries. In the first phase, teams submitted 20-minute videos of their team’s design project in addition to a full technical report. A panel of judges evaluated these videos and determined the top four teams in each category. Download the competition program to see full details on the teams and their projects.

In the second phase, which was held September 23 and 24, the top four projects teams from each category gave live public presentations to a panel of judges, who questioned them on their projects.

As in previous years, the competition had two categories: Wastewater Design and Water Environment Design.

  • The Wastewater Design Competition is intended to include, but is not limited to, traditional wastewater collection and treatment design projects, such as hydraulic capacity design, upgrades to existing treatment systems, biosolids handling, small-scale community wastewater treatment designs, and other related topics.
  • The Water Environment Design Competition is intended to include design projects related to stormwater management, watershed management, green infrastructure, low impact development, water reuse, wetland construction, distributed treatment systems, groundwater treatment, and other related topics. Both categories follow the same guidelines and scoring system.

Wastewater Design Competition Results

First Place — Colorado School of Mines

Team members include Tori Heckart, Kayla Hubbard, Gillian Allison, Kelsey Buechler, and Kate Stephens. Chris Bellona, PhD, served as the team’s faculty advisor.

Water Environment Competition Results

First Place — University of Guelph

Team members include Rebecca Beutel, Rebecca Bar, Acacia Markov, and Justin Salvucci. Jana Levison, PhD, PEng, served as the team’s faculty advisor.

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About the Competition

The WEF Student Design Competitions were developed to provide a forum to showcase top students who will be future water quality professionals. The competitions provide university students with an opportunity to highlight their skills and share their enthusiasm for the water environment while addressing real world design challenges.

Student Design Competition


Thanks to the sponsor of the 2020 WEF Student Design Competition

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