2015 Archives

SMU Lyle women student engineers take first place in national wastewater engineering design competition

November 19, 2015

DALLAS (SMU) - Three women in the SMU Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering were awarded first place in a nationwide student wastewater engineering design competition.

Erin Mosely (WEF Board of Trustees) is the person on the far left.  She made the award presentation to the SMU Team.  The SMU Team from left to right:  Kaylee Dusek, Allison Leopold, and Abigail Klaus.
(l. to r.) Erin Mosely (WEF Board of Trustees), who made the award presentation. SMU Team members Kaylee Dusek, Allison Leopold and Abigail Klaus.

The SMU design team competed against ten different universities at the 88th annual Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC) in Chicago, where they won the national title Sept. 27. The team won first place in the regional competition at the ninth annual Water Environment Association of Texas (WEAT) Student Design Competition in April.

The project, City of Grapevine Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) Master Plan, was created by SMU environmental engineering graduate students Kaylee Dusek, Abigail Klaus and Allison Leopold. Their project focuses on upgrading the City of Grapevine’s water facility.

"Essentially, the design focused on equipping the Grapevine Wastewater Treatment Plant for future governmental regulations, as they become stricter with time and increasing technological efficiency,” said Abbey Klaus, member of the winning SMU design team. “The three project objectives involved a redesign focused around decreasing nutrients in the cleaned outflow water, taking one million gallons per day to water a local golf course with reclaimed water, and finally upgrading the solids to a classification that would allow them to be publicly applied to land for beneficial use."

“As a team for the WEAT student design competition, we got an opportunity to provide solutions to a relevant and real-world engineering problem, learning and completing all the different elements that go into an engineering project,” said team member Leopold. “Texas Water and WEFTEC were great experiences to interact with other students and industry professionals who work every day toward providing clean water and treatment solution in their communities and across the world.”

Women have averaged more than 30 percent of incoming undergraduates in the Lyle School since 2005, exceeding the national average of about 20 percent in American colleges and universities.  For fall 2015, 100 out of 295 first-year students enrolled as engineering pre-majors at SMU are women – almost 34 percent of the total.

“We couldn’t be prouder of Kaylee, Abigail, and Allison,” said Lyle School Dean Marc Christensen. “We’ve been very competitive in this contest for a number of years and are happy to see these young women taking top honors.  Each of them is a shining example of how our students strive to solve problems that matter and make a difference in the world.  We aim to create an environment where all students feel challenged to succeed, and this victory is evidence that our efforts are paying off.”

About the the Water Environment Federation’s Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference

The Water Environment Federation’s Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference is the largest conference of its kind in North America and offers water quality professionals from around the world with the best water quality education and training available today. Also recognized as the largest annual water quality exhibition in the world, the expansive show floor provides unparalleled access to the most cutting-edge technologies in the field; serves as a forum for domestic and international business opportunities; and promotes invaluable peer-to-peer networking between its more than 22,000 attendees. 

About the Water Environment Federation

The Water Environment Federation (WEF) is a not-for-profit technical and educational organization of 34,000 individual members and 75 affiliated Member Associations representing water quality professionals around the world. Since 1928, WEF and its members have protected public health and the environment. As a global water sector leader, their mission is to connect water professionals; enrich the expertise of water professionals; increase the awareness of the impact and value of water; and provide a platform for water sector innovation.