We are virtually here for you.

In the spirit of educating engineers who are flexible and can rise to ever-changing situations in the workplace, the WERC Environmental Design Contest will celebrate its 30th year by conducting its competition online. After viewing your ESPs, we are so excited to see your solutions to these challenging tasks!

Team Event GuidebookJudging Criteria, Meet Judges, See Team Logos, etc. Submit ReportsOnly Team Leader and Advisors may submit reports Bench-Scale Discussion ScheduleFile will download–Format: .xlsx

4/13/2020: Team FAQs for the Virtual Contest

How do I find my link to the next zoom meeting for Tasks 1, 2, 3?
Please search your email for mail coming from werc@nmsu.edu Subject: All Zoom Registration Invitations Tasks 1, 2, 3.
How do I find my link to the next zoom meeting for Tasks 4, 5, 6?
Please search your email for mail coming from werc@nmsu.edu Subject: All Registration Invitations Tasks 4, 5, 6.
I am scheduled to start judging the Oral Presentation today at 10:45 AM. Why does my meeting invite say the meeting starts at 9 AM?
Please arrive 5-10 minutes prior to your scheduled starting time. (Click on the schedule button above to check your time.) The reason the meeting time is listed as beginning at 9 AM is that we have scheduled one 6-hour meeting for all teams to sign in/out during the day. It just happens to start at 9 am, but do not arrive at that time unless yours is the first meeting of the day (9:15 am).

4/12/2020: Team FAQs for the Virtual Contest

Where do we submit our Brochures?
Submit your brochures on the werc team site: werc.nmsu.edu Submission is similar to the way you submitted the Written Report. Only the faculty advisor and the student Team Leader are able to submit the brochure.
May faculty attend the Zoom Oral and/or Bench Presentations?
Ordinarily, we prefer that advisors not attend because our goal is to move the students up to the next level of being independent of their advisors, and having the advisors present can inhibit the students during their presentations. This year, with the contest being conducted via zoom, it might be nice for the advisor to be in attendance to help out with any technical issues relating to zoom. It is suggested that advisors turn off their cameras to downplay their role in the students’ eyes during the presentations. If it is a matter of curiosity–to see how the students presented their material or to hear what questions they were asked by the judges–our judges are recording all of the sessions and we can make the recordings available to you. In short, the advisors may choose to attend or not attend. You know your students best. The only thing we ask is that you remain silent, unless you need to help students with technical difficulties. Under no circumstances is the advisor to speak about their team’s project during any session.

4/7/2020: Team FAQs for the Virtual Contest

My team is scheduled to start our Oral Presentation (and the Zoom Test) at 10:45 AM. Why does my meeting invite say the meeting starts at 9 AM?
Excellent question! Because some teams start at 9:15, and some go as late as 2:30 PM, we scheduled the meeting to start at 9 AM. It will stay open for 6 hours as participants sign in/out. Please look at the schedule (posted above) and arrive 5-10 minutes prior to the time listed for your team’s start time. (Note: we will actually open the meeting at 8:45 AM, in case you want to arrive up to 1/2 hour early.)

4/6/2020: Team FAQs for the Virtual Contest

Are team members (students) supposed to join the Zoom Test on 8-Apr?
Yes! All team members, advisors, and judges will be signing in at their scheduled times. This is the order of events: 1) Sign in 5 minutes prior to your assigned time shown on the Oral Presentation Schedule. 2) Everyone who signs in will be placed in one large Main Zoom meeting 3) When all from your team have arrived in the Main meeting, each person on your team will be placed in the appropriate Breakout Room. 4) Your team’s judges will also be placed in that Breakout Room. You do not need to prepare anything, just be ready to experience: signing in, being moved to a Breakout Room, chatting with each other for a short time. 5) Wait for the meeting host to come to your room to discuss logistics and close the Breakout Room when all are ready to do so.

4/4/2020: Team FAQs for the Virtual Contest

Will a team's faculty advisors be joining the Zoom sessions?
Faculty Advisors may choose whether or not to attend their students’ sessions. Ordinarily, we do not allow advisors to attend student presentations as we wish to support a dynamic of professionalism between teams and the judges. But in this videoconference situation, the teams may need the advisor’s help. Therefore, advisors are welcome in the room. They must not speak, except to help teams with technical issues relating to Zoom conferencing. 

4/3/2020: Team FAQs for the Virtual Contest

Will there be a chance for us to test our ability to join the Zoom conferences?
Yes! The first Zoom testing session will take place on Tuesday, 7 April. Due to increased Zoom security measures, you will be emailed the links for joining the session.
What are you doing about security for the Zoom conferences?
We are aware of Zoombombers and are implementing a three-step verification process for entering our Zoom sessions. Do your part: download the latest Zoom security updates before launching Zoom.

4/2/2020: Team FAQs for the Virtual Contest

Is there still a maximum of 4 speakers in the Oral Presentation?
We will not place any restrictions on number of speakers. The team may decide what works best for them, but remember to plan well for each person’s participation.
There are students on the team who are not scheduled to present. Are they allowed in the Zoom Conference?
Yes! We want all team members to experience the presentation and hear the Question/Answer session at the end. This will help all team members prepare for the Bench-scale Discussion.
Is it mandatory that all team members be logged in and 'attend' the talk?
If at all possible, all should attend. A great deal of learning takes place during a session like this. Especially during the Q/A with the judges. The Faculty Advisor will determine attendance requirements for each team.
Does everyone speaking have to be on camera or is audio sufficient?
Since this is an oral presentation, the speakers should be on-screen and present themselves as they would for a business video conference.
What if I don't have a camera for my computer?
If at all possible, borrow a computer that has a camera. If this is not possible, then we will be happy to have you join the meetings through audio only.
I am concerned about the background for the video conference. My house is a bit messy
Zoom allows you to select virtual backgrounds, so no one will ever see your house. (There may be some options pre-loaded on your zoom account). If you have an account, you can set these up in advance, or you can access these, or upload your own images, at the beginning of a Zoom session by clicking the ‘up’ arrow near the camera icon and select ‘Choose Virtual Background’.  Virtual backgrounds should lend a professional appearance to the presentation. We recommend that each member of your team upload your school logo on a plain white or black background. This will lend a more uniform appearance to your presentation. For more information, see: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/210707503-Virtual-Background#h_2ef28080-fce9-4ac2-b567-dc958afab1b7


3/27/2020 Manual Supplement Update

Virtual Contest Team ManualOfficial Supplement to the 2020 WERC Team Manual.

This update more clearly explains the intended audience for the brochure and clarifies a few other logistical elements of the contest.

3/24/2020  The Virtual Contest is officially underway!

WERC Team Manual Supplement-Virtual Contest—the updated supplement to the original Team Manual.

Refer to the manual for all information (scheduling, Zoom links, preparing for each event):


  1. Written report
  2. Oral presentation
  3. Bench-scale discussion
  4. Brochure presentation (Replaces the traditional Poster presentation)
  5. Awards Ceremony

The Flash Talk Competition is cancelled for 2020 (Sorry, but teams are already very busy and did not need one more event to prepare for).


3/23/2020:  This is going to be an exciting contest!

The Virtual Supplement to the Team Manual will be published here on 3/24/20. Until then, below are the definitive dates and events for the 2020 Virtual Environmental Design Contest.

VIRTUAL CONTEST DATES (All times in Mountain Daylight Time)

  1. Monday, April 6: Written Report due 11:59 PM
    Grace period: April 7–April 10 at noon. No submissions accepted after noon, Friday April 10.
  2. Sunday, April 12: Brochure due 11:59 PM
  3. Monday, April 13: Oral Presentations. From 8:30 am – 3:30 pm, in 45-minute time slots.
    WERC will email the team’s 45-minute time slot and Zoom conference link to the Team Leader
  4. Tuesday, April 14: Bench-scale Discussions. From 8:30 am – 3:30 pm, in a 2-hour time slot.
    WERC will email the team’s 2-hour time slot and Zoom conference link to the Team Leader.
  5. Wednesday, April 15: Judge Deliberations. 9:00 am – 11:00 am. (No team duties at this time)
  6. Wednesday, April 15: Awards Ceremony. Noon-1:30 PM (All participants sign in via Zoom).
  7. Complete details published in the Supplemental Manual (to be published 3/24/20)

3/23/20:  Flash Talks are cancelled for 2020

to simplify participation in the contest.


1. All deadlines will be extended at least 1-2 weeks.

2. Oral presentations, Flash Talks, and Bench-scale discussions will be held via Zoom.
We will do our best to ensure a personal experience between teams and judges, as interaction with the judges is one of the most important features of the contest.

3. For the presentations mentioned above, Judges have the option of logging in remotely or meeting together at NMSU’s Instructional Media Services (IMS), where there will be no more than 10 people in a room, and judges will be placed at least 6 feet apart.


Words of Encouragement

“In the world of business development it is said that there are “seven touches” before a prospective person engages with the idea.  This target audience could be a potential client, outside investor or internal company executive deciding on division budget.  In today’s world many of these demonstration opportunities are not in person. How many viable ideas died on the vine because they could not be communicated effectively?

Soon these students will be joining the workforce or seeking additional education.  In both instances they will be thrust into a more competitive population jockeying for finite resources.  To that end I encourage them to take this opportunity to adjust to a dynamic environment and focus on how they can best showcase their work in the new setting.  This nimble way of thinking will surely help them be successful their careers. ”

—From WERC judge Ryan Hall, of NGL Solutions, LLC. (Our Silver Sponsor).