Welcome to the CWEA Student Design Competition Webpage

We're gearing up for the next competition season.  CLICK HERE to view the 2024 flyer.  Read below for more details!
CWEA Student Design Competition:
  • Each year, CWEA hosts a Student Design Competition to promote real-world design experience for students interested in pursuing education and careers in water and wastewater engineering and science.  The competition is intended for both undergraduate and graduate students and tasks students to design and present a problem statement and engineering solution they have worked on as a team.  Teams prepare a written report and oral presentation for the chance to win the first-place award of $1,000 to be divided between the team members and a travel allowance of up to $4,000 for the team to participate and compete at the national WEFTEC Student Design Competition in New Orleans in 2024. A second-place award of $500.00 will also be awarded if more than three teams compete in the annual competition.
  • Design projects generally fall into one of two categories: wastewater or water environment design.
    • Wastewater design projects traditionally address challenges within a water resources recovery facility (e.g. hydraulic capacity design, upgrades to existing treatment systems, biosolids handling, etc.)
    • Water environment design projects address challenges within the broader water environment (e.g. water reuse, stormwater management, wetland construction, etc.)
  • All projects are evaluated against each other by industry professionals using the same guidelines and scoring rubrics.  Reach out to Committee Chair Tom Howard at or check the full guidelines below for examples of qualifying projects.
Student Design Competition Timeline
  September 2023    thru December      2023Get in touch with the CWEA Student Design Competition Committee to ask questions and learn more about the competition requirements. Identify a problem statement and begin brainstorming solutions.
  January 2024Read the full competition guidelines once they are released. Continue to brainstorm and work on your design project.
  February 2024Build out your design project and express your team's intent to participate in the competition by submitting the Preliminary Team Entry Form by February 29, 2024.
  March 2024        Build out your design project and submit the Amended Entry Form by March 31, 2024, to select your team's presentation style (virtual or in-person).
  April 2024Put the finishing touches on your design project and oral presentation.
  May 2024Submit the final version of your written report by May 3, 2024, and deliver your oral presentation to industry judges (dates TBD).
  June 2024The first-place team will be announced and asked to submit information to attend WEFTEC in October 2024.
  June 2024 thru September 2024Revise design report and presentation based on judge feedback (first-place team only).
  October 2024Meet virtually with the Student Design Committee to practice your presentation before presenting your final solution at WEFTEC in Chicago (first-place team only).

Competition Materials
2024 Competition materials have not yet been posted.  Check back in January.
2023 Design Competition Guidelines
2023 Design Competition Scoring Rubric - Written Report
2023 Design Competition Scoring Rubric - Oral Presentation
2023 Design Competition Entry Form
2023 Design Competition Amended Entry Form
Student Design Competition Winners from Prior Years
2023 - Ashley Choy, Elmer Hernandez, Kevin Sommer, Dorothy Thompson
2022 - Ella Baron, Hana Escovar, Mitchell Kleckner, Madi Miro
2021 - Annabel Mungan, Brennan Pitts, Lindsey Pitts, JJ Tie
2020 - Bhawramaett Punruckwong Broehm, Thomas Howard, Aryianna Moore, Marcos Pascual
2019 - Rafael Ferguson, Kimberly Koon, Kevin Wang