NEWT held its 1st Annual National Undergraduate Water Technologies Design Competition on April 15th, 2016 at Rice University in Houston, TX.
For the first installment of our design competition, 18 student teams from 13 universities across the US submitted their designs. Eight teams were selected to travel and attend the day-long event at Rice University, where they presented their designs to a panel of judges who evaluated their presentations based on how clearly they articulated the water challenge that their technology sought to address, the technical and social feasibility of their proposed solution, and the team’s plan to overcome possible technical and social hurdles associated with their solutions.
The 8 finalist teams were: H2O TX from UTEP, HydroPal from Lamar University, TruePani from Georgia Tech, Vitae Mare from Texas A&M, The Drinkable Book from Carnegie Mellon University, Arcangels of Water from Rice, VT EBBL Futuristic Five from Virginia Tech, and Panama Water and Sanitation from Bucknell University.
And the winners were:
1st place: TruePani, Georgia Institute of Technology. Their design was a water sanitation kit for the household that relies on a layer of galvanically deposited copper to prevent microbial growth on drinking cups and storage containers.
2nd place: VitaeMare, Texas A&M University. Their NanoWell device is an inexpensive, low power water generation system for the developing world.
3rd place: VTEBBL Futuristic Five, Virginia Tech. They proposed a forward osmosis microbial desalination cell, aimed at treating wastewater and seawater.
We would like to thank all of the student participants and our judges: Sanjay Bhatnagar (WaterHealth International), Laura Capper (CAP Resources), Michael Clark (Interflote-USA), Dr. Fermín Reygadas (Fundación Cántaro Azul), Dr. Debora Rodrigues (University of Houston), Dr. Shane Walker (University of Texas at El Paso), Sarah Young (Living Water International), and Dr. Katherine Zodrow (Rice University).
Special thanks to our keynote speaker, Dr. Fermín Reygadas from Fundación Cántaro Azul in Mexico. His presentation is embedded at the end of this post.