WRITER: Tiffany Acosta
After a seven-year hiatus, New Mexico State University will have a student team compete in the 27th annual WERC Environmental Design Contest Sunday, April 2, to Wednesday, April 5, at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces.
NMSU’s Engineering New Mexico Resource Network, will host the WERC contest, which gives students the chance to feature their innovative designs to real-world problems. The contest urges students to create technological solutions to environmental challenges, and merges government, private sector and academic interests.
“We are very excited to participate in the design contest,” said Pei Xu, civil engineering associate professor. “This is the first time for me and three NMSU students, Shanka Henkanatte Gedara, Lu Lin and Wenbin Jiang, to be part of this terrific event. It is a great opportunity for our NMSU team to exhibit our technology and learn the research conducted by other teams.”
This year students can choose from four different tasks – open task, passive solar distillation of acid rock drainage waters, tailings dust emissions and Internet of science and engineering. NMSU will compete in the open task division.
“The project aims to overcome the limitations of current wastewater treatment processes by developing innovative technologies that are cost effective, energy efficient, can recover resources from wastewater, and generate potable quality water from sewage,” Xu said. “The design project is expected to benefit local communities in arid and semi-arid regions of the world including southwestern United States that are lacking of fresh water supplies.”
This year, 24 teams from 12 schools are participating including first-time participants James Madison University, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, Louisiana State University, Montana Tech, NMSU, Northern Arizona University, Ohio University, University of Arkansas, University of California, Riverside, University of Idaho, University of New Hampshire and University of New Mexico.
For more information on the contest visit https://iee.nmsu.edu/2017-international-environmental-design-contest/.