FAU Students Awarded Second Place at Inaugural National Solid Waste Design Competition

By Cheryl Halle | August 27, 2015

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FAU Students Awarded Second Place at Inaugural National Solid Waste Design Competition

Florida Atlantic University civil engineering students won second place in the Solid Waste Association of North America’s (SWANA), inaugural National Solid Waste Design Competition (SWDC), at the WASTECON 2015 conference, held in Orlando, Florida, August 24 - 27.

Student teams were challenged to solve a "real world" problem faced by solid waste professionals – to design a solution for dealing with elevated levels of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) in landfill gas (LFG). The competition consisted of a design report, a poster outlining the proposed solution and a presentation by the team to demonstrate their understanding of the material.

"This event allowed our team to highlight skills that we learned in the civil engineering capstone design class, which makes us highly sought after upon graduation," said Joseph Lakner, graduate student and team co-captain. "It also opened our eyes to engineering applications that we never considered. We were blown away by how much the industry is inspiring students and young professionals to transform waste into reusable products."

The team included undergraduate students Alyssa Dalloo; Justin Dacey and graduate students Lakner, Bishow Nath Shaha; and Neil Coffman. The team was guided by Daniel Meeroff, Ph.D., associate chair and professor in the FAU Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatics Engineering.

"This competition was a great opportunity for our students to compete against students from the top universities by practicing what they have been learning in the classroom and the research lab," said Meeroff. "We are very proud of their accomplishments and we received so many compliments on the quality of their design. They really did an excellent job."

The goal of the activity is to give students an opportunity to gain industry-related design experience and to be introduced to potential careers in solid waste management.

"Our team gained confidence from the event that we hope will inspire the next student team members to believe in themselves and make the FAU community proud," said Nath Shaha. "On behalf of the FAU student team, I am thankful to Dr. Meeroff for his continuous guidance and also Nathan P. Mayer from SWA for his continuous support."

The event was created by SWANA's Young Professionals (YP) group. The students received $1000 in prize money and $50 each for participating.

Photo l-r: Neil Coffman, Bishow Nath Shaha, Joseph Lakner, Alyssa Dalloo, Justin Dacey and Dan Meeroff, Ph.D.