NMSU Civil Engineering Team Wins at the 27th Annual International Environmental Design Contest

After a seven-year hiatus, NMSU student team with faculty advisor Dr. Pei Xu competed in the 27th International Environmental Design Contest Sunday, April 2, to Wednesday, April 5, in Las Cruces. This design contest gives students the opportunity to present their innovative designs to real-world problems. The contest is a unique event that brings industry, government, and academia together in the search for improved solutions to environmental challenges.  This year, 24 teams from 12 schools in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio and Virginia, participated in the design contest. 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. Shanka Henkanatte Gedara and Lu Lin in Civil Engineering, and Wenbin Jiang in Chemistry & Biochemistry represented NMSU. The NMSU team competed in the open task division and demonstrated an integrated algal- and membrane-based system for wastewater treatment and potable water recovery.  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. 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.  The creative design of the NMSU team to solve real-world water and environmental challenges was well recognized during the contest. The team was presented two awards – the Peer Award, and the EPA Energy Efficiency/Pollution Control Award. Congratulations Shanka, Lu and Wenbin!

From Left to Right: Shanka Gedara, Wenbin Jiang, COE Dean Lakshimi Reddi, COE Program Manager Chris Campbell, Dr. Pei Xu

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