Skip to main content

Public invited to the 29th Environmental Design Contest at NMSUThe 29th annual WERC Environmental Design Contest at NMSU will be open to the public April 9.

  • By Mona Elshinawy
  • 575-646-8171
  • Mar 11, 2019

New Mexico State University’s College of Engineering will host the 29th annual Waste-management Education Research Consortium Environmental Design Contest in April. The event brings together industry, government and academia in the search for solutions to the world’s environmental challenges.

The public is invited to attend the competition to see live, bench-scale testing of student-developed technologies from 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesday, April 9 at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum. The event is free.

Since 1991, the College of Engineering at NMSU has conducted an environmental design competition, challenging university students from around the world. The goal of the competition is for student teams to design, develop and test actual environmental processes for real-world problems using functional prototypes developed by each team. The tasks are developed by industry partners and focus on both current and emerging environmental issues.

The contest was launched by WERC, comprising New Mexico’s research universities, Sandia National Laboratories, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Diné College. Administratively located at NMSU, the program focuses on the development of comprehensive and innovative solutions to world-wide environmental challenges.

The contest is structured to give student groups from across the country an opportunity to exchange information and participate in a national environmental design competition. Throughout the multi-day contest, participating teams present their work through a conference-style poster session, and both written and oral presentations, which they showcase along with the bench-scale model before a panel of environmental professionals who serve as judges for the contest.

Past participants have noted that their involvement in the competition was one of the highlights of their academic career, providing true real-world experience to design and test new technologies that are relevant in today’s world.

This year’s competition will bring more than 160 university students and faculty from across the country to Las Cruces. The teams will compete with their innovative solutions for:

-Microbial check valve for spacecraft potable water systems
-Industrial stack exhaust emissions testing using drone technology
-Selenium water treatment and recovery
-Recovery of water and salt from hypersaline mine water using freeze crystallization
-Removal and reuse of phosphorus as fertilizer from confined animal feeding operation runoff
-Open task for which students can choose their own environmental issue to address

For more information, visit, or contact Mona Elshinawy, research engineer, at or 575-646-8171.