The NEWEA Student Design Competition (SDC) is intended to promote a “real world” design experience for students interested in pursuing an education and/or career in water engineering and sciences. This competition tasks teams of student members within NEWEA to design and present a project solution meeting the requirements of a problem statement that they have worked on together as a team. This competition is intended for both undergraduate and graduate students, typically completing a capstone project.  The winning teams from each category will compete at the national WEFTEC Student Design Competition.

Brainstorming at Student Design CompetitionStudent teams will compete in one of two categories:

  1. Wastewater Design (e.g. hydraulic capacity design, upgrades to existing treatment systems, biosolids handling, etc.)
  2. Water Environmental Design (e.g. stormwater management design, green infrastructure, low impact development, water reuse, wetland construction, distributed treatment systems, systems in developing countries, etc.)

The competition consists of two portions, the written submittal and the presentation, which will take place in Spring.

Students are expected to work together as a team to recommend a complete engineering design solution with little assistance from an advisor/professor/or industry professionals/consultants.

View SDC Guidelines >>

Watch past winners discuss the benefits of participating in the competition.


Each team shall submit an entry form and team participation form for the competition. One university is permitted to send up to two teams to the competition, one in each category (wastewater and environmental).  There is no entry fee to participate.

Official Entry Form >> Submit prior to March 12, 2021

Team Participation Form >> Submit prior to April 16, 2021


The competition will be held in early May and will be open to the public.  Watch for more information.


The first place winners in the Wastewater Design and the Environmental Design categories will receive the NEWEA Student Activities Award ($600) and travel allowance to compete at the WEFTEC Student Design Competition in the Fall.

*first place teams are required to present at WEF


  • Official Entry Form shall be submitted no later than 11:59 pm on March 12, 2021.
  • Team Participation Form shall be submitted no later than 11:59 pm on April 16, 2021.
  • Student resumes shall be submitted no later than 11:59 pm on April 23, 2021. Late resumes will not be accepted.
  • A project written data submittal (“report”) must be received no later than 11:59 pm on April 23, 2021.
  • The competition will take place in early May.
  • All forms, resumes, and reports must be sent to Nick Tooker, Student Activities prior to the deadlines listed.


Your firm’s involvement is greatly appreciated and ensures the sustainability of this important program.

  1. Facility/Utility/Consultant/Consulting Firm Sponsorship: Competition can be sponsored by a participating entity by providing a monetary prize for the winning team.
  2. Facility/Utility/Consulting Mentorship: Competition can be mentored by a participating entity by providing the problem statement for the competition and/or participating in the project plan, final design reviews, and judging.

View Sponsor/Mentor Flyer >>
View the Sponsorship form for student engagement opportunities >>


Please contact: Nick Tooker, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA; phone: 413-313-6217, email or the NEWEA office.

Good luck! Thank you for your interest and support!