International Environmental Design Contest

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The International Environmental Design Contest (IEDC) is a competition hosted by the WERC Consortium and the Institute for Energy & the Environment at New Mexico State University. It is an annual event in which student teams prepare written, oral, poster, and bench-scale model presentations in response to design tasks. The student solutions are judged by industry and academic professionals. For an explanation of the contest tasks, awards, and a listing of participating teams, see below.

Description[edit]

The International Environmental Design Contest (IEDC) has been held annually at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico since 1991. The Design Contest occurs in April and draws college students from around the United States and the world to showcase engineering design solutions.[1] It is hosted by New Mexico State University's WERC Consortium and Institute for Energy & the Environment. In the past, the contest has also held concurrent high school design contests.[2]

A student prepares a bench-scale demonstration at the International Environmental Design Contest

In response to design tasks posed by the hosting organization, student teams prepare written, oral, poster, and bench-scale model presentations. The design tasks are "based on real-world environmental challenges, focusing on technologies to tackle renewable energy innovation, sustainable building design, and water issues.[3]" The design challenges usually relate to water and renewable energy.[2] The challenges are developed with assistance from government agencies, industrial affiliates, and academic partners.[2] These assisting entities also serve as judges for the final competition.[2] Judging criteria includes: process feasibility and practicality, cost analysis, community relations and outreach, adherence to various applicable regulations and permitting, safety considerations, and a discussion of potential waste streams.[4]

An oral presentation at the International Environmental Design Contest

Students consider alternative solutions to a given “environmental challenge” from all aspects including technical, legal, health, socioeconomic and community related issues.[4] Other considerations include regulatory guidelines, public opinion, and cost.[2] Winning solutions merit cash prizes and traveling trophies.[5] For more information about awards and tasks, please see the Awards & Tasks sections below.

The Contest is hosted by the Institute for Energy & the Environment at New Mexico State University. The Institute for Energy & the Environment includes WERC: a Consortium for Environmental Education and Technology Development, Southwest Technology Development Institute, a renewable energy research and development group, and Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research Center, a nuclear waste-management and monitoring center. [6]

The contest is a sponsored event. In 2007, it was sponsored by private and public entities such as Intel, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the American Water Works Association and Research Foundation.[5] In 2011, the State of New Mexico, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, Intel Corporation, the Office of Naval Research, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration acted as sponsors for the event.[7]

Tasks[edit]

Awards and Tasks for the event change from year to year; the number and type of tasks change annually. In 2003, there were as many as 14 tasks. In 2011, there were seven.[8] Tasks require students "to present design proposals, oral and poster presentations, and working bench-scale models to verify the design, functionality, and cost-effectiveness of their proposed solutions." [8] The tasks are developed from input given by government agencies, industrial affiliates, academic partners to the Institute for Energy and the Environment.[2]

Example Design Contest tasks from 2007:

  • Develop a photovoltaic (solar panel) system performance indicator to determine that a residential utility-interactive PV system is operating properly and that the AC power output is following the solar power available to the PV array.
  • Develop an inland desalination operation and disposal system (for water) in rural, isolated communities to demonstrate a low-cost, simple and reliable system.
  • Convert a biomass resource to useful forms of energy and other products to demonstrate options using biogas or liquids.[2]

Awards[edit]

Cash prizes and traveling trophies are awarded at the Design Contest.[3] Individual awards are also distributed at the event. Awards include:Outstanding Award for best oral and paper presentation, the Terry McManus Award, the Intel Innovation award,and first and second place for the various tasks.[5] [9] The following is a listing of Design Contest Awards and their recipients at previous years' competitions:

2014 Design Contest Awards[edit]

Award University Task
First place Montana Tech. of Univ. of Montana Task 1
Second place Roger Williams University Task 1
First place University of Idaho Task 5
Second place Cal Poly State Univ., San Luis Obispo Task 5
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Innovation in Sustainability Award Montana Tech. of Univ. of Montana Team B Task 1
Intel Environmental Innovation Award University of New Hampshire Task 3
Judges Choice: Team Dynamics Northern Arizona University Task 3
IEE Energy Efficiency Cal Poly State Univ., San Luis Obispo Task 5
IEE Pollution Prevention Louisiana State University Team B Task 1
Peer Award Roger Williams University Task 1
Peer Award Northern Arizona University Task 2


2011 Design Contest Awards[edit]

Award University Task
First place University of California- Riverside Task 6
Second place University of Arkansas Task 7
First place University of Idaho Task 3
Second place Roger Williams University Task 2
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Innovation in Sustainability Award University of Waterloo Task 5
Terry McManus Memorial Award James Gutierrez Task 6
Intel Environmental Innovation Award University of Arkansas Task 7
Judges Choice: Clean Energy Portable Safe Drinking Water System Award Louisiana State University Task 7
Judges Choice: Best Paper Award Montana Tech Task 7
Judges Choice: Best Engineering Analysis Award South Dakota School of Mines and Technology Task 5
Judges Choice: Innovation & Simplicity of Design Award University of Idaho Task 1
Judges Choice: Best Oral Presentation Award University of Idaho Task 3

1991 Design Contest Awards[edit]

Award University
First Place New Mexico Tech
Second Place University of Maryland
Third Place West Virginia
Best Paper Design New Mexico Tech
Best Paper Design University of Maryland
Best Undergraduate Team Design Arizona State University
Best Bench-Scale Demonstration New Mexico State University
Most Cost Effective Design University of New Mexico
Most Creative Design State University of New York, Buffalo

Participating Teams[edit]

More than 5000 students have participated in the contest since its beginning.[5] As of 2011, the following universities have attended the International Environmental Design Contest:

References[edit]

External links[edit]