high water flooding swift creek valemount

Submitted by
UNBC Communications

Five UNBC environmental engineering students were part of a team that won this year’s BC Water & Waste Association (BCWWA) Student Design Competition.

As part of the competition, teams of students prepare and present a conceptual design that addresses the requirements outlined in design criteria established by a BC municipality, based on a real-world scenario.

For this year’s competition, the teams were tasked with developing a method to break down sewage and produce biogas at the City of Kelowna’s wastewater treatment plant.

The winning team members, Allison Matfin, Clayton McBride, Stephanie Doherty, Maureen Long and Brenden Vissers, proposed a solution that would produce electrical and thermal energy, recover biosolids and nutrients for use as fertilizer, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 90 per cent compared to conventional approaches.

“Our students are strongly motivated, and have enthusiastically participated and excelled in many external engineering design competitions. We are very proud of their accomplishments,” says Jianbing Li, Co-Director of the Environmental Engineering Program, a joint program offered by UNBC and the University of British Columbia.

As winners of this year’s competition, the students will present at the 2015 BCWWA Annual Conference and Trade Show as well as compete in the next Water Environment Federation Student Design Competition.

Last year the previous UNBC team took home first place in that competition, which is part of WEFTEC, the world’s largest water quality event, bringing together more than 20,000 water professionals from nearly 100 countries.

“The knowledge and leadership skills these students displayed will be a huge advantage for them as they enter the working world,” says UNBC President Daniel Weeks. “Their accomplishment also reflects the quality of instruction provided by the engineering faculty at UNBC and UBC. Congratulations to all on this wonderful achievement.”