The WERC Environmental Design Contest unites industries, government agencies, and teams of university students in solving environmental challenges while preparing the next generation of top engineers.

The contest prepares students for industry as they work in teams to design and demonstrate the functionality of a complex engineering system. Students are energized as they face real-world scenarios that challenge their ability to think critically and creatively as they:

  • explore both traditional and innovative solutions,
  • develop business acumen and develop an entrepreneurial mindset, and
  • gain insight into the broader impact of environmental challenges on society.

The 31st WERC Environmental Design Contest will be held online April 11-14, 2021 via Zoom. Email us for an invitation to attend the sessions (

Sponsorship BrochureJoin us in raising students to the next level! Click to download pdf file.

Benefits of Sponsorship


Support students as they act as consulting engineers solving real-world environmental challenges that are making headline news. Does your company have an environmental concern? Platinum sponsors can tailor a contest task to solve their company’s unique environmental challenge.


Come to the contest, meet intelligent and energetic students, and introduce them to employment opportunities at your company.


Provide judges from your company and watch the growth that springs forth from your staff. Our current sponsors are enthusiastic about the professional development gained when members of their staff serve as judges.


Highlight your commitment to sustainable development and ensure that your brand resonates among environmental experts, distinguished faculty, and bright students.


Jerry Roose, Director of North American Environmental Operations, Freeport-McMoRan

“Freeport-McMoRan receives multiple benefits from its sponsorship of the Design Competition: name recognition, highlighting our commitment to sustainable development, task sponsorship, relationship development with universities, recruiting outstanding students and the development of Freeport staff through their participation as judges.

We get back every penny we put into the contest, and then some.“


Call for tasks

Topics of Interest

Private industry and government agencies are invited to submit tasks that clearly define a current or emerging environmental challenge that needs to be solved or addressed through innovative, novel ideas (see to review a sample task)

Topics of interest are separated into the following tracks:

Track 1: Government Need

Track 2: IOT for environmental applications

  • Remote monitoring of radioactive environments
  • Remote sensing
  • Robotics applications for remote sensing, data collection, etc.
  • Other (to be defined by proposed sponsor) 

Track 3: Industry need

  • Treatment of soil, water, wastewater and/or produced water
  • Remediation of soil
  • Robotics for environmental applications
  • Integration of alternative energy into new and/or traditional technologies for environmental application
  • Other (to be defined by proposed sponsor)

Track 4: Environmental Public health

  •  Arsenic and nitrate removal from water
  • Removal of emerging contaminants of concerns in wastewater (pharmaceuticals, hormones, trace organics)
  • Hazardous and/or medical waste handling and disposal
  • Other (to be defined by proposed sponsor)

Track 5: Open Task