The 32nd Environmental Design Contest

Make Tomorrow Greener!

April 10-13, 2021

The WERC Environmental Design Contest is a unique design competition that brings industry, government, and academia together in search for improved solutions to today’s environmental challenges.

Since 1991, the competition has been held annually at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico, drawing hundreds of college students from throughout the United States and around the world. Many professors return year-after-year because of the unique opportunities for their students.

Students take the lead as consulting engineers, developing an entrepreneurial mindset as they work in teams to solve challenging tasks.They report their findings through research papers, oral presentations, and bench-scale demonstrations.


What sets us apart

  • We provide real-world environmental problems that face industry right now.
  • Teams of students build working bench-scale models that we independently test at the contest.
  • Engineering professionals judge the contest and discuss with each team the finer points of design, including consideration of engineering design, economic and logistical feasibility, regulations, and public policy.
  • The contest is an excellent real-world capstone design course that prepares students for industry and is an important part of ABET accreditation.


At the WERC Environmental Design Contest, students:

  • Address real-world environmental problems.
  • Develop skills in teamwork. Multidisciplinary teams are encouraged
  • Work as consulting engineers.
  • Develop an entrepreneurial spirit.
  • Prepare research papers suitable for publication.
  • Develop fully operational bench-scale models of their technologies.
  • Learn from judges who are the top environmental professionals in their field.
  • Network with experts from academia, government, and industry.
  • Gain the knowledge to develop technologies into marketable projects.
  • Speak to varied audiences, discussing their designs with engineers, as well as visitors from the Las Cruces community
  • Win awards and cash prizes totaling over $30k each year.



  • Judges are environmental experts from government, academia, and business.
  • Faculty appreciate the professional judging that prepares students for careers.
  • WERC provides the judges’ feedback to participants after the contest. (Typical Feedback letter)
  • Judges’ feedback has become an important part of ABET accreditation.



Type of RegistrationFirst team*Each extra team*Due Date
Early Bird–Teams fully registered and paid by due date.$850$650October 30– December 31, 2021
Regular–Teams fully registered and paid by due date.$950$750On or before January 24, 2022
Late–Teams fully registered and paid by due date.$1,100$950On or before March 7, 2022
Additional Participants$150$150Add by March 7.
IEEE Discount–If at least one member of the team (including advisors) is a member of IEEE, the first team will receive a $50 registration discount. (-$50)Indicate membership prior to payment.
Thank you for helping us keep the contest running!
Registration fees cover only 1/4 our costs.
* Fees paid online via credit card (plus 2.5% Shopcart fee).

Platinum Sponsors

Click on link to go to sponsor’s website


Platinum Sponsors

Click on link to go to sponsor’s website