Lyle team places 1st in WEAT competition

DALLAS (SMU) – For the ninth consecutive year, SMU-Lyle students have won the WEAT (Water Environment Association of Texas) Student Design Competition. The 2017 team comprised of three seniors from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) will go on to compete at the national competition at WEFTEC (Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference) in Chicago, Illinois, on October 1, 2017.

The winning team ‒ Joe Hutchinson, Marco Miranda, and Danny Roberts ‒ focused on the expansion of the Riverbend Water Reclamation Plant in Aubrey, Texas, presenting a master plan to convert the plant’s existing sequencing batch reactors to a conventional activated sludge system. The goals of the project were to evaluate alternatives, select a design for recommendation, and provide an opinion of probable construction cost, construction phasing plan, and operation and maintenance requirements for the plant.

The WEAT competition offers students the unique opportunity to work on real-life engineering design projects. Competitors must submit a Technical Design Report to WEAT and present their project to industry professionals during the annual Texas Water Conference in Austin. One-half of the scoring is based upon the design report, and the remaining half is based on presentation. This year, the SMU-Lyle team competed against five teams from four regional schools, winning first place over competitors from Texas Tech University, Texas A&M University, LeTourneau University, and Louisiana State University.

What was winning like for Lyle’s CEE team?

"The WEAT Student Design Competition was a great experience that built upon the research and presentation skills we’ve developed from our time at SMU. The opportunity we’ve been given to work with the Riverbend Water Reclamation Facility and to present our research to the Texas water community has been phenomenal, and we look forward to presenting at WEFTEC in October." - Danny Roberts

“Though it was stressful at times, the work that we put into our project was worth it in the end. We began working on the design in September, and finalized it in March. It was an amazing experience to travel to Austin and present our proposed design and compare it to those of other teams. The competition was intense this year, but our diligence in presentation preparation helped us to have a really polished final presentation.” - Joe Hutchinson

"Having the opportunity to represent SMU at the WEAT student design competition in Austin was a tremendous blessing. All three of us grew an incredible amount throughout the months we spent preparing our design report and presentation. We received a ton of support from SMU and our peers and I’m so glad we were able to make good on it by meeting success at the WEAT conference.” - Marco Miranda


About SMU

SMU is a nationally ranked private university in Dallas founded 100 years ago. Today, SMU enrolls approximately 11,000 students who benefit from the academic opportunities and international reach of seven degree-granting schools.

About the Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering

SMU’s Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering, founded in 1925, is one of the oldest engineering schools in the Southwest. The school offers eight undergraduate and 29 graduate programs, including master’s and doctoral degrees, through the departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Computer Science and Engineering; Electrical Engineering; Engineering Management, Information, and Systems; and Mechanical Engineering. Lyle students participate in programs in the unique Deason Innovation Gym, providing the tools and space to work on immersion design projects and competitions to accelerate leadership development and the framework for innovation; the Hart Center for Engineering Leadership, helping students develop nontechnical skills to prepare them for leadership in diverse technical fields; the Caruth Institute for Engineering Education, developing new methodologies for incorporating engineering education into K-12 schools; and the Hunter and Stephanie Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity, combining technological innovation with business expertise to address global poverty.