Make Tomorrow Greener!

Real-world tasks proposed, designed, and sponsored by industry and government agencies


Task 1 – Monitoring Virus Removal in MBRs

Task 1 – Monitoring Virus Removal by MBRsClick to download pdf of Task Problem Statement
Task Sponsor: CDM Smith

Task Overview: Teams are challenged to determine a log removal value for viruses from membrane bioreactors, and then develop a way to monitor virus removal in near-real time during wastewater treatment.

Task 1 FAQs
No questions have been asked yet.


Task 2 – Carbon Conversion for the Energy Transition

Task 2 – Carbon Conversion for the Energy TransitionClick to download task problem statement.
Task Sponsor: El Paso Electric Company

Task Overview: Why just capture and store CO2 from a power plant? This task challenges teams to make something useful from the CO2 emissions.

Task 2 FAQs
No questions have been asked yet.


Task 3 – Value-added  Use of Copper Mining Smelter Slag

Task 3 – Value-added Use for Copper Smelter SlagClick to download task problem statement.


Task Sponsor: Freeport-McMoRan

Task Overview:
Task will ask teams to use copper smelter slag for economically viable applications that make use of the slag’s advantageous properties, such as its high iron silicate content, electromagnetic interference shielding properties, and its potential as a pozzolanic material (when specially processed). Pozzolans are particularly important in the concrete industry.

Task 3 FAQs

View Copper Processing Operations
View Freeport-McMoRan’s copper processing operations, including smelting. YouTube video:


Task 4 – NASA Task – Lunar Regolith Dust Cleaning for Spacesuits

Task 4 – Lunar Regolith Cleaning For SpacesuitsClick to download pdf of task problem statement
Task Development by: NASA and the New Mexico Space Grant Consortium
Task Overview: Upcoming at NASA are Extra Vehicular Activities (EVAs) (walking on the moon or Mars) to help space crews better understand how humans can live beyond Earth. An extremely challenging issue is how to clean the very fine dust that accumulates on spacesuits when the crew returns to their vehicle. Dust on the suits can cause serious problems in the cabin environment. NASA needs a cleaning system that will remove the dust from the suits before the crew enters the cabin. This task would be good for students in CHME, Materials, ME, and EE.Grants available: Teams from New Mexico are eligible to apply for a grant from the NM Space Grant Consortium for up to $5000 to cover laboratory and travel expenses. Don’t live in New Mexico? Space Grant organizations in your state may have a similar grant for you.

Task 4 FAQs
No questions have been asked yet.


Task 5 – Controlling VOC Emissions from Produced Water Recycling

Task 5 – Controlling VOC Emissions in Produced Water RecyclingClick to download task problem statement.


Task Sponsor: NGL Water Solutions

Task Overview: Produced Water (PW) recycling efforts are being threatened by proposed government regulations that will dramatically limit VOCs (based on a “potential to emit VOCs”, not what actually gets emitted). Even though VOCs are very low in recycled PW, recycling operations require storage of such large volumes of water that, on paper, potential to emit VOCs looks large. Reducing VOCs in PW will ensure that oil companies can keep recycling water instead of pumping fresh ground water for their operations.

Task 5 FAQs
There are no questions yet


Track E:  Open Task

Task 6 – Open TaskClick to download task problem statement.
Task Sponsor: TBA

Task 6 FAQs

No questions have been submitted yet.


General FAQs

Watch here for general (non task-specific) questions.

Q1. What should be in the Preliminary Report? (Posted 8/4/2021)
A1. Your Preliminary Report is your way of communicating your design plans to the judges. You will not be judged on the preliminary report. It is solely intended to help your team improve your approach. The emphasis is content, not flowery prose. Make it brief and to the point to allow judges to scan your plans, and use bulleted lists when possible. You may submit the report prior to the due date, if you wish.


Flash Talk Competition–Monday, 11 February, 2022

Helping schools meet new ABET Student Outcome 3–Teams will give a 3-minute Flash Talk to members of the local community, engineering professionals, faculty, and other students.

See 2022 TEAM Manual (Guidelines) for details (coming soon)

Archives of the WERC Environmental Design Contests

Here you can find tasks for previous years, as well as the teams that won them.