Environmental engineering students find success at national contest

Students in the “Environmental Engineering Capstone” course at the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis won eight awards at the WERC Environmental Design Contest at New Mexico State University in April.

WERC competition participants
(From left) Back row: Zhen (Jason) He, Serena Earp, Frankie Lynch, Max Trachtenberg, Bella Stull, Matt Greenberg, Juli Aronson and Kristen Wyckoff. Front row: Serene Tomaszewski, Kaelan Smyser, Elana Lerner, Jordan Lin and Maya Mehrotra. (Photo: WERC)

“This is a high-profile event that is the gold standard for environmental design competitions in the nation,” said Joshua Yuan, chair of energy, environmental and chemical engineering and the Lucy & Stanley Lopata Professor. “That we won the most awards among all universities says a lot about the quality of our program and students.”

Kristen Wyckoff, a senior lecturer in energy, environmental and chemical engineering, teaches the course with Zhen (Jason) He. Students estimated they spent an average of 20 hours a week since October planning, designing and building their projects as teams.  

Eleven environmental engineering students comprised two teams for the contest, in which teams design a working bench-scale system that provides proof of concept for one of various tasks. The tasks for the 2024 competition included stormwater management, net-zero electrical grid, modular carbon dioxide removal, water treatment, and their own proposed environmental challenge. Eighteen teams competed this year from across the United States.

Read more on the McKelvey School of Engineering website.

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