Environmental engineering students take first place at WERC

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A team of four environmental engineering students took first place in Task 3 at the 22nd Annual International Environmental Design Contest hosted by the WERC Consortium and the Institute for Energy and the Environment at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The team also received second place among all tasks when judged by the other contestants for the bench-scale and poster presentations.

Held annually since 1991, the contest draws hundreds of college and university students from across the United States and around the world. Student teams design solutions for real-world problems while developing fully operational bench-scale solutions that are then presented to panels of judges comprised of environmental professionals. The teams prepare four different presentations: written, oral, poster and a bench-scale model.

The winning team was comprised of 4B environmental engineering students, Lindsay Bowman, Victoria Chennette, Beth Hamley and Laurel Hoffarth.  The team was supported by Shoeleh Shams, a PhD candidate in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and faculty advisor, Jon Sykes.  The team’s project, entitled "Nitrate Removal in Rural Drinking Water Using Electrocoagulation", presented the design, testing and implementation of a treatment system for nitrate removal from groundwater. The project details the prominence of groundwater used as a source of drinking water, the potentially devastating health effects when contaminated by nitrate, and alternative methods to remove nitrate. The team’s solution to use electrocoagulation as the preferred alternative was an innovative choice that proved to be successful within the competition.

winning team of students, from left to right: Laurel Hoffarth, Victoria Chennette, Beth Hamley and Lindsay Bowman

Members of the winning team, from left to right: Laurel Hoffarth, Victoria Chennette, Beth Hamley and Lindsay Bowman.