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CEE team won WEAU competition


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From left to right: Ahmed Bitar, Dominique Bertrand, Erin Andersen, Dan Horne, Dr. Michael McFarland

A team from USU competed against local university in Utah and won the annual Water and Environment Federation of Utah (WEAU) Student Design Competition on Friday April 29 in St. George. 

The team was selected by the WEAU Board to represent the State of Utah and compete in the national WEFTEC 2016 in New Orleans next September.

The team is composed of Ahmad Bitar (Graduate Student, CEE), Erin Andersen (Graduate Student, CEE), Dominique Bertrand (Sophomore, CEE), Darren Bingham (Junior, NR) and Dan Horne (Junior, CEE) and is mentored by Dr. Michael McFarland.  

The team managed to design an innovative system for biosolids handling at Central Davis Sewer District to help them get over odor issues and their potential loss of land in addition to improving their operation and providing cost-effective and profit-generating options. The proposed system incorporated an innovative technology called Biochar that provides efficient volume reduction and complete odor elimination through bio processes and pyrolysis while maintaining net zero energy usage.

From left to right: Ahmed Bitar, Darren Bingham, Erin Andersen

Ayman Alafifi, WEAU student chapter president said that: "this is a great accomplishment for the university because this is the third year in a row that a USU team is selected to represent that State in such a prestigious national competition. The team in the past managed to get 2nd place and we are hoping this year we will make it to the first place." Ayman, who was on the team for the last two years, also said: "the experience and the networking we got from these competitions are invaluable". Ahmed, the team leader this year, said: "we had a great help and support from the College of Engineering Dean, the CEE department, the Water Lab and the College of Natural Resources. We are also grateful for our academic advisor and for our professional mentors at Carollo, MWH and JUB Engineers".